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James Loomis Brown[1]

Male 1838 - 1917  (78 years)

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  • Name James Loomis Brown  [2
    Born 27 Aug 1838  Avon, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Gender Male 
    Resided 1850  Angelica, Allegany, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Resided 1860  The Borough Of Brookville, Jefferson, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Resided 1880  Brookville, Jefferson, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Resided 1900  ED 59 Brookville borough, Jefferson, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    FamilySearch ID LZKH-1BB 
    FamilySearch URL 
    Died 8 Aug 1917  Brookville, Jefferson, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Person ID I9276  Main
    Last Modified 11 Jun 2020 

    Father Orlando H Brown,   b. 27 Oct 1800, Swanton, Franklin, Vermont, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Dec 1881, Brookville, Jefferson, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Mother Meribah Loomis,   b. 22 Jan 1804, Perry, Genesee, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Mar 1887, Loupe City, Sherman, Nebraska, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Family ID F3939  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Emma S. Keatley,   b. Nov 1842, Pennsylvania, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Married 1862  [6
    +1. Katherine Meriba Brown, "Kittie",   b. 24 Apr 1864, Brookville, Jefferson, Pennsylvania, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Nov 1891, Allegheny City, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years)
     2. Frank Keatley Brown,   b. 10 Jan 1867,   d. 1942  (Age 74 years)
     3. James E. Brown,   b. 26 Jan 1871,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. Jeanette Emma Brown,   b. 27 Sep 1879,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 25 Mar 2011 
    Family ID F3474  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 27 Aug 1838 - Avon, NY Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • BIO: James L. Brown, Jefferson County, PA

      Contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by Kitty

      Copyright 2008.  All rights reserved.

      Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania, Including
      the Counties of Centre, Clearfield, Jefferson and Clarion, Containing
      Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens.
      Chicago, Ill.: J. H. Beers, 1898, pages 1069-1072.

      JAMES L. BROWN.  The interesting history of the Brown family, and of
      the worthy gentleman whose name opens this sketch, would lose much by
      being given in the third person, and we therefore present the simple
      narrative as, at our request, it was prepared by Mr. Brown:
      "I may not be interesting to a majority of the masses to read the
      genealogy of any particular person, but at the same time it should be a
      subject that all of United States ought to be interested in.  As a
      general thing, in the make-up of our human family, we regard but little
      the blood that flows in our veins, from whence it came, and what will
      be the condition of generations that follow after.  It's an old Scotch
      saying that blood is thicker than water.  I have often seen charts
      giving the pedigree of horses and dogs, and at the same time, those
      that seem to take such an interest in them when asked regarding their
      own genealogy could hardly tell who their grandfathers were and could
      seldom trace their genealogy any further.  Now, why is this so?  Is not
      our blood equal to that of a brute?
      "As a descendant of the pilgrims who landed at Plymouth in 1626, I
      find satisfaction in tracing back the line through intervening
      generations.  Peter Brown came over in the 'Mayflower,' and landed at
      Plymouth, with wife and one or more children, leaving in England a
      brother, John, who followed soon after, landing at Plymouth in 1626. 
      John brought with him his wife, Dorothy, and two sons - James and John
      - and became greatly distinguished.  He died in 1662, April 10, and was
      buried at the head of Bullock's Cove, Bristol Co., Mass.  Shipwright by
      trade, Assistant to the Governor, Commissioner of the United Colonies,
      etc.  Was married in England, December 22, 1611, to Dorothy Beauchamp,
      who was born in 1584, and died at Rehoboth, Mass., January 27, 1674. 
      They had three children - John, James, and Mary, who married Thomas
      Willett, the first English mayor of the city of New York, and from who
      descended the famous Col. Marinus Willett, who fought in the battle of
      New York City, in the army of the Revolution.
      "The subject of this sketch is a descendent from John, the line being
      traced as follows:  John, the first, who landed at Plymouth, John 2 -
      John 3 - John 4 - James 5 - James 6 - Amasa 7 - James 8 - Orlando 9 -
      and James L. Brown 10.
      "John (2) married Lydia Buckland, daughter of William Buckland, and
      had five children - John, born September 2, 1650; Lydia, born August 6,
      1656; Anna, born January 29, 1657, Joseph, born April 8, 1658;
      Nathaniel, born June 9, 1661.  John (2) died November 24, 1709. 
      "John (3), Captain in King Phillips war, married Anna Mason, daughter
      of Maj. John Mason, and had six children:  John (4) born April 28,
      1675, and died April 23, 1752; and the rest of the children were Samuel
      2 - Daniel 3 - Stephen 4 - Joseph 5 - and Anna 6.
        "John (4) married Abigail Cole, July 2, 1696, and had a son, James
      (5), born January  2, 1706, and died May 4, 1777.  John (4), was also a
      captain in the colonial army and served with great distinction.
      "James (5) married Ruth Pierce, daughter of Ephraim Pierce.  She was
      born 1707, and died May 6, 1777.  Four children were born:  James (6),
      September  14, 1732; Aaron, April 6, 1734; David, November 11, 1741;
      Abigail, June 30, 1729.
      "James (6) married at Providence, R.I., Mary Anthony, born December
      22, 1737, died February 24, 1810, and had seven children as follows: 
      Amasa (7), born 1754; Alice, 1756; Anthony, 1758; Stephen, 1761; Ruth,
      1763; Jonathan, 1765; David, 1769.  Amasa above was a noted preacher at
      Hartford, New York; died January 22, 1830, and by his second wife,
      Deborah Carr, had eight children:  James (8); Abigail; Benjamin; John;
      Amasa (II); Stephen; Anthony; and David.  The Rev. Amasa Brown was my
      great-grandfather, and James (8) my grandfather.  I have in my
      possession a cane having a silver head upon it bearing this
      inscription, 'Jacob Cole, 1694,' given to me by him, with the request
      that I hand it down.  Jacob Cole was the father of Abigail, who was the
      wife of Capt. John Brown, and the mother of James (5).  Isaac Cole, the
      father of Jacob, resided in Charleston, Mass.; he and his wife, Joana,
      having come from Sandwich, County of Kent, England, about 1638.  James
      was born July 16, 1641, and married Sarah Lain, and by her had one
      daughter - Abigail, above named.  Jacob was a soldier in Capt.
      Moseley's command in the great Narragansett fight on December 19, 1675. 
      The cane mentioned, being over 200 years old, is highly prized as a
      relic of by-gone days, and when I look upon it it refreshes the
      recollection of my grandfather, as I saw him when he handed me the cane
      at ten years of age.  He was over six feet in height, and of lofty and
      soldier-like bearing, at the age of eighty, I can never forget.  We now
      come to those endearing words 'our father':  Orlanda Brown (9) was born
      at Swanton, Vt., October 27, 1800, and died at Brookville, Penn.,
      December 12, 1881.  He was married in Rushville, N.Y., in 1823, to
      Meriba Loomis, and five children were born of their union:  Amanda
      Sophia; Louise Marie; Orlando Howell; James Loomis (myself); and Carrie
      Adelphia.  My mother died January 3, 1873, at Moravia, N.Y.  Father
      became very lonely after mother's death (as all his children had
      married and left him), and was married a second time, his second wife
      being Edatha Loomis, widow of Hiram Loomis, of Chicago, Ill.  She is
      now living at Brookville in the enjoyment of good health.
      "I was born at Avon, New York, August 27, 1838, and my parents moved
      to Belfast, Allegany Co., N.Y. when I was a babe.  It was in the dead
      of winter.  The house we moved into was made of single boards set up on
      end and not even battened.  Mother has often told me how the snow would
      blow in at the numberless cracks, and what a hard time she had to keep
      me from freezing.  From Belfast we moved to Caneadea, and in 1842 we
      moved to Angelica, the county seat.  There my boyhood days were spent;
      the only education I ever received being at the district schools.  The
      tallow candle was the only light we had to brighten our evenings.  The
      only paper that came to the house, outside of the town paper, was a
      weekly published in Philadelphia, and in the evenings when we would sit
      around the table to listen to father reading the stories to us, it was
      always my business to snuff the two and sometimes three candles we had
      burning.  Camphene was the next great improvement in light for our
      stores, and for our home reading burning fluid took the place of
      candles, but on account of its supposed danger it was a long time
      before it was fairly introduced.  The Drake oil well in 1860, and the
      discovery of oil in Oil Creek, Penn., opened the way for its general
      use, capital poured in and the establishment of refineries gave us our
      present cheap and abundant light.  Inventive minds came into the field
      to utilize the waste products of our wells, and to-day we enjoy the
      blessing of natural gas for heating as well as for light.
      "At the age of sixteen I went into a store at $8.00 per month, which
      kept me in clothes, my board being provided at home.  My sister Amanda
      having married Mr. Charles H. Sturtevant, who was doing a general
      mercantile business at Delevan, Wis., I went there at nineteen to clerk
      for him.  While I was in the West in 1857, political matters were
      consuming the attention of the whole country, and the great debate
      between Lincoln and Douglas was going on in Illinois.  All banking was
      done by state and private banks, and when the panic came, you could not
      tell at night if the various bills you held would be worth anything in
      the morning.  During my stay at Delevan, my father bought out Patrick
      McTaff in the foundry and machine business at Brookville, Penn., and
      moved the family to that place during the winter of 1857-58.  I left
      Wisconsin in the fall of 1858 for our new home, and had to stage it
      from Kittanning, as that was as far as the cars extended up the
      Allegheny Valley.  Coming from the western prairie, staging over the
      frozen stubbles and over our long hills, I thought it a terrible ride. 
      Soon after my arrival I entered the employ of Brown & Wann as
      bookkeeper, at $20 per month.  The spring of 1861 next comes vividly to
      my memory, when news came of the bombardment of Fort Sumter.  Business
      of all kinds was suspended, and it was a year of great anxiety; I
      remember Hon. K. L. Blood (then a State Senator), James E. Long and
      myself having a personal interview with President Buchanan in February,
      1861, at the White House.  In talking over the situation, the President
      cried over the fact that some of his cabinet had proved traitors to
      him.  I cannot remember all that he said, but to see great tears
      running down the cheeks of that kind-hearted man, showing the interest
      he felt in the whole country, while powerless in a measure to stay the
      impending conflict of brother against brother, and father against son,
      left an impression on my mind never to be forgotten.  They were the
      tears of an honest, noble man, who was trying to do his whole duty. 
      During that year almost every able-bodied man was enrolled in the
      three-months' service to crush the Rebellion.
      "In 1862 I was married to Emma S. Keatley, of Strattonville, Penn.,
      daughter of Major John Keatley, who had received an appointment from
      Edwin M. Stanton, as paymaster in the army.  Being still in the employ
      of the firm, I gave Mr. Wann two weeks notice of the date of the
      marriage, and when the appointed time came he handed me $20.  This was
      all I had to celebrate the coming event, and the Rev. J. J. Bentley,
      who married me, got $5 of it.  In 1863 I leased Mr. Wann's interest for
      one year, and at the expiration of that time, father and I bought his
      entire share.  In 1865 we took in John P. Roth as partner, the firm
      continuing as Brown, Son & Co.  Business had already commenced to
      revive.  The first legal act of January, 1862, as reported to the Ways
      and Means Committee, embodied the principle foundation for sustaining
      our National credit, by the issuing of a circulation medium known as
      the greenback of 1863.  Money became plenty, and that saved our
      lumbermen from bankruptcy.  Timber rose from 3c a foot to 28c and 30c,
      and mills started up all over the county.  We really had more than we
      could do, building engines, boilers, gang and  circular mills, and all
      kinds of machinery.  I remember going to Pittsburg, Philadelphia and
      New York for machinists, and coming home without them, for everybody
      was employed at good wages, and you could not get a man from the city
      to go to the country.
      "In 1872 incendiarism destroyed  our plant.  Our loss was heavy, but
      we rebuilt and took in W. H. Jenks as a partner.  In 1877 incendiarism
      again wiped out our earnings for years of toil.  We finally disposed of
      the property and burnt material to Mr. Jenks in 1878, who at the
      present time is in successful operation.
      "The building of the Low Grade railroad in 1873 changed the condition
      of the channels of our trade, as far as Brookville was concerned.  Du
      Bois and Reynoldsville sprang into existence, on account of their great
      coal deposits, cutting off a large amount of trade that generally came
      to us.  Instead of a hundred teams coming in one day loaded with goods

      from Mahoning and Ridgway, the iron horse supplanted all that, and more
      particularly did we feel the effects when the Rochester & Pittsburg R.
      R. Co. extended its line across our eastern boundaries, making
      Punxsutawney an objective point, and building rival places for our
      industries, and we had no minerals worth mentioning, and our lumber was
      fast disappearing.  But notwithstanding the change in the condition of
      our trade, the advent of the iron horse proved a great blessing.  Our
      lumbermen who depended on the spring and June freshets on Sandy and Red
      Bank creeks to market their lumber, and when in market were at the
      mercy of the buyer, could now ship direct by rail, and by receiving
      quick returns, could do business on far less capital.  Brookville,
      after several disastrous fires, moved to the front.  Her old wooden
      structures were supplanted by substantial brick buildings, and go where
      you may, you cannot today find more modern improvements.  Our schools
      and churches, natural gas works, electric light plant, telephone and
      telegraph communications, up-to-date residences, stores and street
      improvements, and a sewer system of the very best, make this one of the
      healthiest and pleasantest locations for a home in Western
      "In 1878 William French and I made the first discovery of fire clay
      at Bells on the line of our road.  We opened it up, and I made the
      first shipment of clay from this section.  I continued in the business
      for ten years, shipping thousands of tons to many of our principal
      cities.  In 1881 I saw that a movement was being made to reach the
      undeveloped coal fields lying south of us, and I interested the Hon. J.
      E. Long, and began taking up leases and options.  At one time we had
      50,000 acres of land for sale.  We sold 2,700 acres of coal lands at
      Punxsutawney  to Herbert P. Brown at $180,000, which insured the people
      there the building of the Rochester & Pittsburg R. R., and brought
      Punxsutawney to the front, as her coal fields proved superior for
      steam, domestic and cokeing purposes.  In 1875 Mr. Cormick and I
      patented a turbine water-wheel, known as the Hercules, and I had it on
      exhibition at the Centennial in 1876.  I went to Holyoke, Mass., the
      same year with a 24-inch wheel to see what results could be obtained at
      Emerson's testing flume, and the records of the test were so far above
      anything that had ever been obtained that Emerson published them
      broadcast and excited the attention of all wheel builders and users
      throughout the United States.  I afterward sold my interest to the
      Holyoke Machine Company, and to-day it is the standard wheel of the
      world.  In 1885 I opened up a limestone quarry at Lawsonham, Clarion
      county, Penn., and after manufacturing lime for a few years, I
      organized a company at Oil City, which was chartered as the Avondale
      Mining and Manufacturing Company, composed of  C. H. Duncan, Barney
      Lowentrett, W. A. Duncan, N. U. Clark and myself for the purpose of
      mining and shipping coal,  The plant is in successful operation to-day. 
      In 1885 I organized a gas company, and obtained a charter for oil and
      gas, putting down the first well on a lot belonging to Sebastian
      Christ.  It proved a very good gasser, and at the present time is being
      utilized by W. H. Jenks for use under the boiler.  The company, after
      reorganization, put down in all five dry holes in this vicinity,
      besides two in Iowa.  It proved to be an expensive job to the
      stockholders.  In 1891 I went to Pittsburgh, and, in company with J. H.
      Mullin, manufactured specialties, one of our leading articles being
      Augite Stove Mat for cooking purposes.  It is the friend of a good
      housewife, and has been exported largely to England, Australia and New
      Zealand.  Last season I moved the plant to Brookville.
      "In January, 1887, I received official notification of my appointment
      by the Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter of Pennsylvania as district Deputy
      Grand High Priest for the counties of Jefferson, Venango and Clarion,
      and I served in that capacity for two years.
      "Four children blessed my home:  Katherine Meriba, born April 24,
      1864; Frank Keatley, January 10, 1867; James E., January  26, 1871, and
      Jeanette Emma, September 27, 1879.  Katherine Meriba was married to
      John M. Hastings, of Pittsburg, Penn., November 16, 1887, and died
      November 29, 1891, leaving a babe, Helen, ten days old, who is to-day
      the sunshine of our household, having been with us since her birth. 
      Frank Keatley married Miss Lula Dickey, of Brookville, June 21, 1894,
      and at present is superintendent for the Watsons Land & Lumber Co., at
      Mayburg, Forest Co., Penn.  James E. is employed with Clark, Kizer &
      Kipp as locomotive engineer."  

  • Sources 
    1. [SAuth] John Spencer Howell, Jr., John Spencer Howell, Jr., (

    2. [S1626] Comm. Bio. Rec. of Cent. PA, J. H. Beers, (Chicago, Ill.: J. H. Beers, 1898), pages 1069-1072.

    3. [S1666] James L. Brown Autobiography, James L. Brown, (,

    4. [S1701] FamilySearch Family Tree (, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ((, accessed 11 Jun 2020), entry for James Loomis Brown, person ID LZKH-1BB.
      ;Contributor: Doug Lawson,

    5. [S1701] FamilySearch Family Tree (, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ((, accessed 27 Aug 2018), entry for James Loomis Brown, person ID LZKH-1BB.
      ;Contributor: Doug Lawson,

    6. [S1479] Philip Spencer, Philip Spencer, (, email to JSH 24 March 2011.