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Ryland Thomas Brown
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Birth: Oct. 5, 1807
Lewis County
Kentucky, USA
Death: May 2, 1890
Marion County
Indiana, USA

Gospel preacher.

End of a Long Useful Life -- Dr. Ryland T. Brown passed away -- A brief sketch of his life -- Some good advice to young men --"It is never too late to learn" -- Many friends grieve over his loss. Yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock Dr. Ryland T. Brown, one of the oldest ministers in the state, passed away at his residence on Central Avenue. For several weeks his condition had been precarious, and his advanced years made his chances of recovery slight. His services were valuable to the community in which he lived, and few men were better known throughout the medical fraternity and among the advocates of temperance. His remarkable memory served him well, and he was thoroughly conversant with any subject of general interest. A large portion of his life was devoted to the advocacy of temperance principles, and the organization of the party found him in the front ranks of the new movement. He was an earnest and devout member of the Christian Church, filling the various offices and preaching on many occasions. For nearly sixty years he was one of the elders in the Church. For fifty-six years he preached consecutive Easter sermons, never once allowing ill-health or any other hindrance to deter him from his purpose. His health was remarkable, and on but two occasions was he ill enough to be confined to his bed. He took considerable interest in agricultural pursuits, and was a member of the state board of agriculture during 1856-7. His attendance on the succeeding meetings of the board was regular. Several essays in the annual reports were written by him, and his face has been familiar to the state judges for a number of years. He was born in Mason County, Kentucky, on October 5, 1807. While he was only a year old his parents removed to Clermont County, Ohio, remaining there until 1821. Here he attended the first free school established west of the Allegheny mountains. His family again changed its location, coming to Rush county in this state. Four years afterward he began to study medicine in the Ohio medical college, and began to practice in Connersville in 1832, his father having died seven years previous to that time. His studies were not confined to medicine, for he devoted much of his time to natural history. In 1843 he removed to Crawfordsville. Ten years later he was awarded a silver cup by the state board of agriculture as a premium for the best essay on drainage, and in the following year Gov. Wright appointed him state geologist. The coal fields were traversed by him, resulting in his prediction of great wealth under the crust of the earth. He was familiar with the coal strata. The accuracy of his locations has never been disputed. Wabash college conferred the degree of master of arts upon him. He came to this city in 1850 to accept the chair of natural science in the old Butler university which was then known as the N. W. Christian university. This position he occupied for thirteen years. Other positions which he occupied were chemist-in-chief in the department of agriculture, and professor of physiology in the Indiana medical college. He has published a physiology for use in the common schools and was made president of the judges of the fourth group of food exhibits at the Philadelphia centennial. From 1880 to 1885 he served as assistant state geologist. He had been a regular contributor to the Indiana Farmer for seven years. In an address which he delivered after he had passed his eightieth year he says of himself: "What I have done in the way of scientific attainments is chiefly the result of a careful appropriation of the fragments of time which occur in every active life, and which as a general rule are wasted, and this careful appropriation of time, together with a fixed purpose and an indomitable will to do something and be something more than a cipher in the world, were the secret springs that moved a poor Hoosier orphan without other means to thrust himself forward to the notice of society, and lead to some degree of success in securing this notice, and I say this, not to secure the applause of those who are wont to flatter "self-made men", for the dull ear of four-score is, or ought to be, proof against flattery; but I say it for the benefit of young people who are lamenting the want of means to gratify a laudable ambition to acquire knowledge and achieve an honorable distinction in society, and to such my advice is, economize time and use the means within your reach, and each successful step forward will make the next one easier, and never say 'it is to late to learn'." His funeral will occur form his late residence Monday morning.

Death of Dr. Ryland T. Brown -- An octogenarian's long and varied career as a preacher, scientist and politician.

Dr. Ryland Thomas Brown died yesterday afternoon, at 2:55 o'clock, after suffering for several weeks from the grip, and diseases attending it. He had partially recovered, but two weeks ago came a relapse, and during that time he was unable to leave his room. The immediate cause of death was heart trouble, attended by complete nervous exhaustion. Dr. Brown was a remarkable man, of a wide resource of knowledge and application that gave him a prominence in religious, political and scientific work extending through a period of many years. He was born in Lewis county, Kentucky, October 5, 1807, and came to this State when thirteen years of age with his parents, who made their home in Rush county. When twenty years of age he began the study of medicine, during which he attended lectures at the Medical College of Ohio, in Cincinnati. On his graduation, in 1832, he began the practice of his profession at Connersville. But a knowledge of medicine alone did not satisfy his active mind, for he extended his studies until he became recognized as an authority in physical sciences. In 1844 he went to Crawfordsville, and six years later received the degree of master of arts from Wabash College. In 1858 he came to this city, having accepted the chair of natural science in the Northwestern Christian University, of which he was one of the first trustees. He remained in that institution until 1871, and during the last two years of his connection with it taught chemistry in the Medical College of Indiana. In 1854 he was appointed State Geologist by Governor Willard, and in 1872 he was chemist-in-chief of the Agricultural Department at Washington. In addition to this scientific work he was the author of a book on physiology, which was used in the schools here and elsewhere. In early manhood Dr. Brown became a member of the Church of the Disciples. Before that he was a Baptist, but earnestly espousing the teachings of Alexander Campbell, the Baptists expelled him, and he became one of the first preachers of the Disciples in Indiana. He was not a revivalist or sensational as a preacher, but his sermons were always strong, showing a great command of biblical knowledge and theological study. He was liberal in his views, and was the first preacher of the Disciples to be admitted to a pulpit of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Dr. Brown preached fifty-eight Easter sermons, the last one being given a few weeks ago to the congregation of Disciples at Greensburg. Dr. Brown, while he never held any elective office, was always interested in politics. He was opposed to slavery from the beginning of his career and was among the first active Abolitionists of the West. In 1844 the Doctor cast his fortune with the Abolition candidate for the presidency, Mr. Burney, and took part in the convention that nominated him. In 1854 he wrote the platform of the People's party in Indiana. He had always been a temperance man and about that year took a very prominent part in temperance work, canvassing the State and speaking from the same platform with Samuel F. Carey. In 1856 he assisted in organizing the Republican party in Indiana, and took part in the convention that nominated General Fremont for the presidency. He was on terms of personal acquaintance and friendship with all the prominent Abolitionists of that time. When the Prohibition party was organized he was immediately at the front, and took part in all its movements. He was made a candidate on that ticket for Mayor of this city -- of course, with no show of election. During the later years of his life he had done considerable writing for the Indiana Farmer and Clay-Worker. Upon the former he was for a considerable time associate editor. He was also a regular contributor to a number of agricultural papers at a distance. Dr. Brown was chairman of the committee on inspection of foods at the centennial exhibition, at Philadelphia, and received a bronze medal as a testimonial for his valuable work. Last fall he went to the head-waters of the Missouri river to pursue a geological investigation. This great journey of three thousand miles showed the spirit and energy of this octogenarian. Upon this trip he surveyed some coal-fields and indicated their value. He leaves three daughters, three sons, and a widow. The sons are Theodore D. and Captain George Brown, of Crawfordsville, and Walter S. Brown, of this city. He was a brother of Joseph Brown, of the county clerk's office. The funeral will take place from the family residence, No. 13 Central avenue, Monday at 10 a.m., the services to be conducted by Rev. D. R. Van Buskirk. The burial will be private.
Family links: 
  George Brown (1766 - 1825)
  Hannah John Brown (1783 - 1869)
  Mary VanCleve Reeder Brown (1811 - 1865)*
  Theodore Darwin Brown (1830 - 1916)*
  Caroline VanCleve Brown Krout (1832 - 1873)*
  George Reeder Brown (1835 - 1917)*
  William John Brown (1838 - 1847)*
  Susannah Brown Tingley (1789 - 1872)**
  Elizabeth Brown Donham (1792 - 1878)**
  Sarah Brown Bunner (1798 - 1829)**
  Annie B Brown Elstun (1800 - 1885)**
  William John Brown (1805 - 1857)*
  Ryland Thomas Brown (1807 - 1890)
  George Whitfield Brown (1811 - 1858)*
  Joseph Franklin Brown (1820 - 1905)*
*Calculated relationship
Crown Hill Cemetery
Marion County
Indiana, USA
Plot: LOT 110, SEC. 4
Created by: Tom Childers
Record added: Jun 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53390625
Ryland Thomas Brown
Added by: Tom Childers
Ryland Thomas Brown
Added by: Tom Childers
Ryland Thomas Brown
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Seth Musselman
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Found you at last! You have an honored place in my home, I feel as if you live here with me. Thanks for all you have done for Indiana!
- Tony Stringfellow
 Added: Jul. 16, 2013
Thank you Doc fpr your service to your Community. Son of George Brown and Hannah John. Nephew of wife of 5th Great Grad Uncle.
- Denny Roach
 Added: Feb. 12, 2012

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