What I Remember of the Benjamin Brown Family
By George H. Crosby, Jr., Evanston
, Wyoming, 1933
some ten years I have felt that I ought to record what I know
about the Benjamin Brown Family, but I haven't gat at it. Since
a Brown family reunion is to be held at Eagar on the fifteenth
of August, 1933, I am writing this sketch; am making eight copies
and sending on e copy to the Church Historian's Office in Salt
Lake City, one to the Stake Clerk of the St. John's Stake for
filing, one to the H. Manley Brown Family, father of President
Hugh B. Brown of the Granite Stake , am keeping one myself, and
the other four I am sending on for you to distribute there.
Brown, my great grandfather, was living near the town of Portlande,
in Chautauqua County in the western part of the state of New
York, along in the 1830s. He records that his father was named
Asa Brown and we know that Asa Brown's father was also named
Asa, but that is a sfar as we have been able to treace our genealogy.
Benjamin Brown married Sarah Mumford. Along in the late 20s he
records that one night after he had got his clothing damp, he
was sitting with his back to the fireplace drying his clothes
and thinking about religious matters when an angel appeared to
him and told him to join none of the churches because the true
church was not on the earth but would be in the near future.
Some time later he heard Mormonism preached and recognized it
as the true gospel. It was through him that the Browns, the Crosbys,
and the Mumfords joined the church.
After they joined
the Church, they waited for some time hoping that the father
of the Crosbys, Joshua by name, and the wife of Benjamin Brown
would also join the church, but they didn't. Joshua Crosby stayed
on his farm near Portland, now a town of about five hundred people,
and his wife Hannah Cann Crosby, [and the six Crosby children]
, the Mumfords, and the Browns in the late summer of 1838 went
west to join the Mormon people in Far West they got word that
the Latter-day Saint people had been driven out of Missouri and
so the company turned and went northwesterly and joined the Latter-day
Saint people at Quincy. In the spring of 1839 all three
families located at Nauvoo and helped to settle that place.
In Nauvoo Benjamin
Brown was made Bishop of the Fourth Ward and remained such as
long as Nauvoo was in existance. When the Saints had been
driven out of Nauvoo and located at Winter Quarters, he was Bishop
of the Fifteenth-Sixteenth Ward, and when Salt Lake City was
settled he was the first Bishop of the Fourth Ward and remained
as such for something like sixteen years, as I remember it.
and his wife, Sarahb Mumford Brown, had some other children but
the only ones that grew to maturity, as far as I know, were Lorenzo
Brown and Homer Brown. Homer located at Taylorsville and
many of his descendants are there yet.
Let me pause
here to tell of an interesting incident in my own life. In 1890
I took Aunt Maude Johnson Crosby and her children to Navajo Springs
to go by railroad to their new home in Salt Lake City. I hauled
back some cattle buyers with cowboys who were buying steers at
the Long-H Ranch-- one was an old gentleman with a gray beard.
When we got on top of the ridge south of Navajo we could see
the White Mountains and the old gentlman said: "Look at
those mountains yonder, do people live up there by them?"
I told him they did.
do they do? What kind of people are they?"
I answered, "There
are the non-Mormon Americans who raise cattle, Mexicans who raise
sheep, and Mormons who farm land."
Mormons! I used to live among the Mormons once."
that?" I queried.
State when Smith started preaching and some of our neighbors
they?" I asked.
the Browns, the Crosbys, and the Mumfords."
my people," I said.
a Mormon, are you?" asked he.
my name is Crosby. My mother was a Brown and my great grandmother
was a Mumford."
are you?" was the next question, "to Jesse Wentworth
"He is my
His arms went
around me, tears came to his eyes, and as he hugged me he said,
"I have found Jesse's grandson."
The next question
was, "Where is Fannie?"
I showed him
the Esquadilla Moutain and said, "Fannie lives just to the
west of that big blue mountain."
have married Fannie," said the old gentleman, "but
when she joined the Mormons it broke us up and she married Lorenzo."
What a visit
he and I did have on to the Long-H Ranch, all that evening and
the next morning. The Browns, Crosbys, Mumfords and the Richardsons
had lived near Portland in practically a little community by
The Seventh Ward
was really home ward of the Crosbys in Salt Lake and Benjamin
Brown lived right in the edge of the Seventh Ward all the time
he was Bishop of the Fourh Ward. He and his wife, Sarah Mumford
Brown, died after I can remember and I think in 1880, both of
them dying closely together.
and his wife, Frances Crosby, lived there in the Seventh Ward
and in 1861 they were called to go and help settle St.George.
Up to that time the most interesting thing in the life of Lorenzo
Brown had been a trip he had made to Las Vegas, now in Nevada
and once in Arizona and when he was there in 1856 in New Mexico.
He has kept a day-by-day account of that womderful trip and I
will have copies of his journal made and sent out to various
branches of the family a little later on.
was of a mechanical turn and he helped to build the Salt Lake
Theatre and many of the early day buildings of St.George. However,
right after he went to St.George he went into the sawmill business
and he and his sons had sawmills in Pine Valley. It was at their
sawmill that a great deal of the lumber that was used to build
the big organ in the Salt Lake Tabernacle was sawed. The
timber of northern Utah wasn't very good but that of the Pine
Valley mountains was more like the timber of the Kaibab Plateau
and of the central Arizona, and Grandpa Brown saved every [clear
piece] pole of his lumber for a long time and sent it by ox team
to Salt Lake City. The organ has since been remodled but a great
deal of the lumber that he sawed at his sawmill is still in that
As we all know,
the children of Lorenzo Brown and his wife, Frances Crosby Brown,
were: Benjamin Brown, Edward Mumford Brown, Sarah Hannah Brown
Crosby Brown, and Lorenzo John Brown. Edward Mumford Brown died
childless but the others have left large families.
Grandpa and Granma
Brown settled in St. George and Pine Valley and Grandpa worked
a great deal on the St. George Temple. His son Edward had four
mules and is said to to have hauled mote rock with his four mules
than any other rock hauler for Utah's first temple. When tha
temple was completed, Grandpa and Grandma were given a life's
mission to work in the temple.
IN January 1878
our grandfather, Lorenzo Brown, was selected to be Bishop of
the Leeds Ward, but Erastus Snow didn't want to take him away
from temple work and so my father was sent there in his stead.
However, in 1880 when Arizona was being colonized, they needed
people with a sawmill and cattle so they called Grandpa Brown
and his three boys to go to Arizona. The three sons left in the
fall of 1880 and after a short stay at Snowflake located in Nutrioso.
Grandpa and Granma stayed in St. George until the fall of 1883
and then they too went to Nutrioso and in the spring of 1886
my father and mother went there. Uncle Ed's family returned to
St. George in 1890, ten years after he moved to Arizona, and
in St. George he spent the rest of his life. However, Uncle Ben,
Uncle John and Mother stayed in Arizona.
was called to be Bishop of Round Valley in June 1886 being installed
on the fourth day of July and he and mother moved to Round Valley
later that fall. Uncle Ben and Uncle John moved down there abour
twelve ot thirteen years later, so Edgar is really the great
home of the descendants of Lorenzo Brown and his wife, Frances
is getting long but I want to tell a few interesting stories.
First of all, about Hugh B. Brown now President of the Granite
Stake. Hugh was taken to Canada when a small boy and he showed
wonderful ability as a leader got a good deal of military training
in Canada. He distinguished himself with the Canadians
in the World War battle when Vimy Ridge was taken away from the
Germans. Hugh was badly wounded and taken to England to a hospital.
He was wined and dined by the English aristocracy and when he
had sufficiently recovered went to Canada where he received wonderful
declarations from the Canadian government and wonderful attention.
He came back to England and a sick boy in the hospital sent for
him. Hugh thought the boy wanted some help with compensation
matters perhaps. The boy wasn't doing well and when Hugh came
to his bedside, he said: "Aren't you a Latter-day Saint
Elder?" Hugh said he was and the boy asked him to
administer to him. Hugh got oil, consecrated it and administered
to the boy and the boy began picking up right then and got well.
Hugh got to contemplating that although he paid little attention
to church and being an Elder, that he had a power that was greater
and worth more than the King of England had. When he returned
home he went, with that wonderful leadership of his, into church
work. When the Lethbridge Stake was created in Canada,
he was made its first president and about six or seven years
ago was released and came to Salt Lake. Within eighteen months
he has built himself up to the presidency of the Granite Stake,
one of the largest in the church with a population of thirteen
thousand. I consider him one of the ablest church men and one
of the best speakers in the church today. He is a son of H. Manley
Brown and a grandson of Homer Brown, his father being first cousin
to Uncle Ben, Uncle John and my mother.
I would like to say
something about the career of Charles S. Brown, also known as
"Farmer Brown" but he is close to home to you folks
and you can get that for yourselves.
Some interesting things regarding
our branch of the family in Arizona: An unfortunate thing was
that when the St.John's Stake was organized on July 23, 1887,
Lorenzo Brown, who was one of the best educated men in the new
stake and who had done so much for the people, was not recognized
in the stake organization. He never got over the affront and
it was a very great misfortune in the life of a very exttaordinary
man. I talked so hard to Grandpa to get him to forget it, but
he never did. He was splendidly educated and filled a good mission
to England in the late 70s and was an outstanding worker in the
St. George Temple.
was one of the greatest hustlers that eastern Arizona ever had
and in 1887 was made Bishop of the Nutrioso Ward. He resigned
expecting to go to Mexico on account of ill health, but a short
stya in southern Arizona and Mexico cured him and he went back,
lived, and died in Apache County.
Brown was one of the best members of the County Board that Apache
County ever had. He was left alone as a county boarf member when
the county was divided and Navajo County created. He largely
selected the other two members of the board and on his shoulders
fell the greatest task that any county board member ever had,
in the dividing of the assets of the two counties. He did it
well, and is counted by the solidest men of the county of the
best supervisors the county ever had. He was also Bishop of Nutrioso
for a good many years.
My mother married
her cousin, George H. Crosby, so we Crosby children are the only
ones of the three families that have Brown, Crosby, and Mumford
blood in them. I am proud of belonging to all three of those
families. My father was Bishop of four wards--the only man in
the history of the church to Bishop of so many--and during all
of that time my mother made a wonderfulBishop's wife. She was
an early day school teacher in St. George, serving for about
seven years as Stake President of the Primary Association in
the St.John's stake; and may I add that she is the only Arizona
woman that ever had two sons as Judges in the history of Arizona.
has grown longer than I intended it. The Browns, Crosbys, and
the Mumfords were all hustlers, they were sent out on the frontier
and helped settle Nauvoo, Salt Lake City, Utah Dixie, eastern
Arizona, Canada, and southern Idaho. They had good horses, they
worked hard, they built good homes, they were leaders in the
church life, the civic life, the business life and the social
life of any community in which they lived. Up to the last that
I knew, the family of George H. Crosby and Sarah Brown Crosby,
in sending five missionaries into the field, had the record of
furnishing more missionaries than any other family in the St.
John's Stake, while my brother Jesse and I were the first two
Mormon lawyers, the first two Mormon County Attorneys, and the
first two Mormon judges in the history of Arizona.