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Ralph H. Brown
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Birth: Feb. 20, 1918
Death: Jun. 11, 1990

Ralph entered the world when the country was recovering from World War I. Then in 1943 he was inducted into World War II and honorably discharged in 1945. Serving overseas as a Medic T5 Corporal Technician for 41 months and 13 days in the Philippines-Samar, Manila, and Leyte. 7/26/1948 Ralph purchased creek frontage at Scotia Bridge. Once more life became surrounded with conflicts. In flood stage the creek covered his entire property. Ralph fought the river. In 1952 he built a house on stilts 14 feet high. He planted willows to maintain property lines, and tied equipment to the trees when the river raged. Finally he quit his job of 2 1/2 years at the small arms plant in St. Louis, Missouri and learned to use the creek. For years Ralph ran a campground charging $1.00 a day per car. 1956, he obtained his first guide's license, worked for Ken Payne and others until he built up his own business. When other guide services dumped their customers, they called Ralph to dive for lost boats and equipment, went as far as the Big Piney and the Upper Meramac. During the off season Ralph cut firewood, made John Boats, trapped, plowed gardens, and trimmed trees. He & Cliff trimmed the trees at Meramac Caverns. Neighbors, strangers, and even competitors relied on Ralph. He cleaned streams & bridges after floods, filled chug holes and removed limbs from roads after storms, and called the light & phone companys, pinpointing out-ages for faster repair. Countless times he supplied stranded motorist with parts, money, towing, and phone service. Sometimes he drove people 100 miles home or provided food & shelter until their families arrived. He reported break-ins & disturbances to the proper officials. Ralphs training as a Medic came in handy. He has treated snake bites, broken appendages, cracked skulls, and rendered artificial respiration when necessary. He also taught kids to swim & rescued numerous individuals from possible drownings. 8/24/1963 Ralph & his brother, Cliff, won the first Onondaga Meramac Canoe Race in 4 hours 19 minutes, and 31 seconds. In 1965 he placed first in poling at Times Beach. He also placed in 1966. Ralph started his first canoe rental in the area. Jim Miller of Huzzah Merrimac Floats Inc. furnished him 8 canoes in 1966. By 1968 Ralph was using 30 of Miller's canoes. Ralph appeared more than once on TV & several times in the papers bringing much publicity & commerce to the area. At one time he had at least 200 canoes in his business. In the fall of 1970 the partnership split. Problems developed. Ralph was shot & paralyzed in the left arm in 1979. Rumors floated that he was dead. Business dwindled. When others sold out Ralph stood his ground & refused to sell to the corps of engineers until environmental protection groups were able to cancel the dam project. He had fought the river and won. Steelville and surrounding communities owe much to their present life & prosperity to this controversial figure.
Family links: 
  Job Richard Brown (1886 - 1957)
  Elva May Murray Brown (1889 - 1969)
  Edith Evelyn Isom Pounds Brown (1923 - 1975)*
  Edith Mae Brown Brand (1911 - 1994)*
  Art Brown (1913 - 1994)*
  Jewel Guy Brown (1915 - 1966)*
  Ralph H. Brown (1918 - 1990)
  Orville Franklin Brown (1921 - 1988)*
  Alice Ruth Brown Taylor (1923 - 2002)*
  Stanley Clifford Brown (1927 - 1970)*
*Calculated relationship
Brown Cemetery
Crawford County
Missouri, USA
Maintained by: racheal1977
Originally Created by: Simmerly3
Record added: Jan 15, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 83476456
Ralph H. Brown
Added by: Carol Kelley
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