|Birth: ||Feb. 18, 1887|
|Death: ||Jan. 9, 1965|
[This biography was compiled by Kim Schvaneveldt using excerpts from the book Nephi James Brown--His Kindred and His Friends by Nephi James Brown, published in 1963.]
Nephi James Brown was the youngest son of Thomas B. Brown and Eliza White Brown. He had four older brothers and thirteen older sisters--3 older brothers and 3 older sisters in his parents' marriage; 3 half-sisters from his mother's previous marriage; 1 half-brother and 7 half-sisters from his father's previous marriage.
I attended grade school in North Ogden from September 1893 to June 1901 walking almost a mile to school. My diploma was given June 8, 1901 at the commencement exercises and on that occasion I gave the valedictory address.
Commencing in September 1901, I was privileged to attend the Weber Stake Academy in Ogden. The first year I took a normal course which included a wonderful class in theology. Professor David O. McKay, who had quite recently graduated from the University of Utah, was my teacher in grammar and classics. Commencing September 1902, I embarked on a commercial and business course which laid the foundation for my future vocation in life. I graduated from the commercial course and received my diploma June 8, 1904.
I was employed with the Utah Light and Railway Company on June 16, 1904 as a bookkeeper and received a salary of $30.00 a month. I worked for them until November 1908. By then, I had saved almost enough to go to the University of Utah or to go on a mission. A call came to me from President Joseph F. Smith to go on a mission to Great Britain, and on November 19, 1908 I left for my mission. At Liverpool, I was assigned by President Charles W. Penrose to labor in the London Conference. In December 1910, I was released from my mission. January 9, 1911, I arrived home after a most enjoyable journey by sea and by land.
About three or four weeks before leaving London, I was notified by President Thomas B. Evans of the Ogden Stake that I had been chosen as Second Counselor to Bishop James Ward in the North Ogden bishopric.
On June 7, 1911, I was married in the Salt Lake Temple to Miss Nancy Vilate Taylor, a daughter of Patriarch Levi J. Taylor and Flora Bingham Taylor. I had been re-employed by the Utah Light and Railway Co. immediately upon my return from London. Vilate and I made our home in a part of Mother's old home in North Ogden.
During August 1913 we moved to Ogden so as to be nearer my work. During the following six years our three very wonderful daughters, Marian, Florence, and Evelyn were born.
In July 1914, I was appointed Chief Clerk of the Ogden Division of the Utah Power and Light Company, a position I held for twenty-eight years that followed.
During the spring of 1915 we built a new home on the old homestead at North Ogden through an urge to be back amid the scenes of my childhood. The following year, however, we sold the new home to my brother, John, and moved back to Ogden. Vilate and I and our little girls lived in several homes in Ogden. Life was good with many trips and picnics to nearby places.
Dark clouds, however, were soon to arise over our peaceful horizon. Vilate was overtaken by a dreadful malady, the symptoms of which at first were not too frightening, but it developed quite rapidly and persistently as the incurable and fatal Parkinson's disease. She heroically fought this arch demon of physical punishment for more than thirteen years before giving up the battle and passing from this life on August 13, 1933.
We lived in the Eighth Ward in Ogden for almost eleven years which was longer than we lived in any other Ward. For about six years of that time I was Second Counselor to Bishop Joseph F. Barker.
During my entire life I had a keen love for music. I loved symphonies, choirs, choruses, quartettes,--all varieties of good vocal or instrumental music. I was always charmed and fascinated by any kind of good music.
On April 18, 1934, I was married to Alice Annette Boudreau McGinnis. She was the widow of Dr. Ralph W. McGinnis, and had two married daughters, Edna Hull and Ruth Downs. Our dispositions, however, were not compatible. She became restless and dissatisfied with her surroundings and was not happy because my three daughters were living with us. She and I did not at any time quarrel or bicker with each other; however, she had a good automobile and two homes of her own as well as a farm in Monticello, whereas I was quite moderately situated. During the summer of 1936, she unceremoniously got in her car and left my home saying she was leaving for good and going to California to be with her relatives. After awhile, I wrote her in California and persuaded her to come back, which after a few weeks she did. She seemed more contented until the summer of 1937 when she suddenly left our home, taking all of her belongings with her into an apartment which she rented for herself, saying she was really and truly leaving me and my three girls for good. I filed divorce proceedings, and was granted a divorce from her on October 4, 1937. To her everlasting credit she did not ask for alimony and she gave me a quit-claim deed to my home and to all the pieces of land I owned on the Northeast bench of Ogden. I consider all these happenings as Providential, preparing the way for me to meet and marry my beloved Olga. On June 10, 1938, I was granted a Temple divorce.
On December 7, 1937, under most unique circumstances and under the guiding hand of Providence I met Miss Olga Marie Carlson, a most outstanding and accomplished person. She was a member of the national Staff of the Girl Scouts of America. She was here from New York City on a vacation and had given an illustrated lecture on her world travels at the Fifth Ward in Ogden. After the lecture, we attended a party that had been arranged especially for us by our good friends Lamont and A. J. Knapp.
During the winter of 1938, we corresponded very frequently. About April 9th she returned home and on April 10, 1938 we were engaged to be married. Our courtship, though unusually short, was of such a character as to lay the foundation for real happiness both here and forever. Olga returned from New York about June 12th and on June 16, 1938 we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. On the same day we were married, Olga's sister Vera arranged a very fine dinner for us and our relatives at the Lion House, which of course was greatly enjoyed by all who were able to be there.
My two daughters, Florence and Evelyn, lived at home with us and we got along very nicely together. Olga demonstrated herself to be a very considerate and splendid foster mother.
I was a member of the Ogden Tabernacle Choir, also president of that organization, and also a Stake missionary in the Mount Ogden Stake, together with ward duties.
In November 1941, we rented our Monroe Blvd. home and moved to 900 Canyon Road in Mary Freeland's home and helped take care of her. We had an extra room built on her home. It was while here on December 7th that we heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.
In the spring of 1942, I was transferred by the Utah Power & Light Company to their Headquarters in the Kearns Building in Salt Lake City to work in the Personnel Department as Assistant Insurance manager. I commuted to Salt Lake during April, then about May 1st we moved to a very nice nearly new home at 4176 Highland Drive.
Olga and I looked at seventy-five or eighty homes and small apartment houses and finally decided to buy a five unit apartment house at 955 East 1st South Street.
In January 1944, I was accepted as a member of the Salt Lake Tabernacle Choir, and from the first was greatly enthused by this work.
There came to me an irresistible urge to obtain more rental property. We had only lived at 955 East 1st South a little more than six months when an opportunity came along for us to purchase a good four-unit apartment house at a very reasonable figure. This property was at 329 and 331 South 6th East Street. We sold nine acres of land at about 1150 7th Street in Ogden in connection with the purchase of the 6th East place.
In October 1943, we were able to purchase at a real bargain a very fine brick duplex at 881 2nd Ave. We immediately moved from 955 East 1st South to the large downstairs apartment at the 2nd Ave. place. We now had 12 rental units; five at 955 East 1st South, four at 329 South 6th East; two at 2550 Monroe Blvd. in Ogden and the one at the 2nd Ave home.
In October 1948, we purchased a large, old, but well-built home at 933 2nd Ave. We did not live here. We purchased the house as an investment to remodel and sell.
It was during July 1949 that our attention was directed, I believe by the guiding hand of Providence, to the Bonnie Jean Apts. at 379 1st Ave; a beautiful eighteen unit apartment house in a good location. Negotiations were successfully completed by a combination of trades and cash payment. We sold nine and one half acres of land at 7th St. and Harrison Blvd. for the required cash and traded our 6th East apartment house and our 933 2nd Ave. duplex as real substantial payment on the Bonnie Jean Apts. On October 24, we moved from 329 South 6th East into the Bonnie Jean, occupying a very nice five-room apartment on the ground floor. Our apartment house business was on a larger scale and it prospered very well.
I retired from the Utah Power and Light Company on March 1, 1954 with an excellent retirement plan having completed a total of forty-seven years and six-months service with them.
During the latter part of September President David O. McKay met with the Salt Lake Tabernacle Choir and announced that the Choir would go on a tour to Europe commencing the first part of August 1955 and would give concerts in some of the principal cities including cities in the British Isles. He said that we would represent the Church as missionaries. All the members were thrilled and delighted with the news.
On October 20, 1954, Olga and I said goodbye to Apartment 4 in the Bonnie Jean at Salt Lake and moved into our lovely new home at 986 Mountain Road in Ogden.
Olga and I left with the Choir on August 10th and got back home on October 12, 1955. On August 13th we sailed from Montreal on the magnificent new ship the Saxonia. There were about 625 in our Choir company. The ocean voyage was most memorable. From the time we landed at Greenock in Scotland on August 19th until the concert tour ended September 18th in Paris, all our waking hours were packed full of interest, excitement, wonder and memorable experiences. We gave concerts in the following cities: Glasgow, Scotland; Manchester, England; Cardiff, Wales; London, England; Amsterdam, Holland; Schevingen, Holland; Copenhagen, Denmark; West Berlin, East Germany--two concerts; Wiesbaden, West Germany; Bern, Switzerland; Zurich, Switzerland; and Paris, France.
Nephi James Brown died January 9, 1965 in Ogden, Weber, Utah at the age of 77.
Thomas Brown (1824 - 1899)
Eliza Brown White Brown (1847 - 1929)
Nancy Vilate Taylor Brown (1889 - 1933)
Olga Marie Carlson Brown (1894 - 1987)
Ben Lomond Cemetery
Created by: Mawahlquist
Record added: May 29, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52984848