|Birth: ||Aug. 19, 1833|
|Death: ||Feb. 7, 1877|
Very few hard facts are available about John Cherry Brown's early life.
He was born August 19, 1833, most likely in York County SC. He appears in the 1850 Monroe County MS census, and in 1860 and 1870 he was living in Lowndes County MS, near Caledonia. On July 16, 1857, he married Margaret M. Dowdle, the eldest child of Sarah Power and John Marion Dowdle. John Marion Dowdle gave John and Margaret Brown the land where they built their home north of Caledonia.
John C. Brown is recorded as having served in Co. K of the 24th Mississippi Infantry during the Civil War, although there also seems to be a record of his having been in Co. D ("The Caledonia Rifles") of the same Regiment. He and Margaret produced a daughter and five sons over the course of the twelve years prior to Margaret's death. All but one lived to adulthood:
• Sarah Jane "Sallie" Brown married John Freeman Hays in 1876 and moved "across the creek" to Sanford County AL, settling in what is now Star Community in Lamar County.
• William Perry "Poker Bill" Brown (14 November 1860-5 October 1914), moved to New Orleans after his father's death, entered the cotton brokerage and married Marguerite Braughn, with whom he had six children. He was eventually joined in the cotton business by three brothers, Sam, John & James. Twice, in May 1903 for the first time in history and again in 1909, the three surviving brothers cornered the world cotton market. William P. Brown built and occupied until his death one of the most magnificent private homes on fabled St. Charles Avenue, No. 4717.
• Robert Samuel "Sam" Brown (25 January 1863-8 April 1940), ran the brokerage in Monroe LA; never married.
• Aleck Brown, born about 1866 & died before 1877.
• John Marion Brown (26 February 1866-c. 1925), ran the brokerage in Minden LA; married Annie Lee Myers, no children.
• James Thomas Brown (5 August 1869-25 March 1900), ran the brokerage in Homer LA until his early death; married Lura E. Fortson, two children.
Margaret Dowdle Brown died of meningitis on April 9, 1870, and on 5 December 1871 John took as his second wife a neighbor spinster, Charlotte Elizabeth Ann "Lotty" Polk. Lotty was the 36-year-old daughter of Fereby [--?--] and Charles T. Polk, a second cousin of former President James Knox Polk. Lotty was still living with her parents until her marriage to John. In the four and a half years of their marriage, they had three sons:
• Charles Lincora Brown (19 December 1872-6 April 1957) married Hosanna A. Henderson c. 1893; eight children.
• Zollicoffer Brown (21 March 1874-27 January 1938) married Minnie Eugenia Honnoll c. 1898; eight children.
• George Washington Brown (16 July 1876-15 March 1912) married Arrie [--?--] c. 1906; two children.
Another child may have been on the way when John was killed by a runaway mule on February 7, 1877. From the records of John's estate, administered by his son-in-law John Freeman Hays, it appears that Lotty had substantial medical bills which were paid for from the estate. She died November 28, 1878, leaving as orphans her three sons and Margaret's three surviving youngest. The three older boys still at home went to live with their sister and brother-in-law, Sallie and John Freeman Hays. Lotty's three sons were taken in by her parents, and after their deaths, by Lotty's spinster sister, Easter Melvina Polk.
John and Lotty Polk Brown are buried together at Egger Cemetery. Some think Margaret Dowdle Brown's grave is at Watts (aka Robinson/Cockerham) Cemetery west of Caledonia, although that cannot be confirmed since that cemetery has been abandoned and not maintained for well over a hundred years. It is also possible that Margaret is buried in an unmarked grave at Egger. A granddaughter related that Margaret was buried at Rowan Cemetery near Caledonia, but that appears to be in error-- all the Dowdles at Rowan appear to be from the family of Margaret's uncle James M. Dowdle and his wife Eleanor Gallagher.
The Bible of daughter-in-law Marguerite Braughn Brown contains the only known relatively-contemporaneous reference to John C. Brown's middle name. According to an inscription inside the cover, the Bible was presented to Marguerite by William Perry Brown during their wedding trip in 1895. Barely legible at the top of one of the pages, in her first family-record entry, Marguerite wrote "Wm. Perry Brown the son of Margaret Dowdle and John Cherry Brown was born in Caledonia Miss. near Columbus on November 14th 1860."
Records of a great-grandson in Texas show John C. Brown born in SC, and say that around 1850 he moved with his parents to Caledonia from Fort Mill, York County, SC. The name of the oldest church in Fort Mill, Unity Presbyterian, was adopted by the original Presbyterian church in Caledonia. Unfortunately, all the records of the Fort Mill church were destroyed by fire in 1865.
In the 1850 Monroe County MS census, just north of where he later lived, a 17-year-old John Brown (born in SC) is recorded as living with Henrietta C. and Samuel Rees. Evidence in a February 1861 letter to John C. Brown from a John Hawkins in Lafayette County, Arkansas, addressed "Dear Cousin," points to Henrietta Rees and John C. Brown probably being first cousins, or perhaps once-removed. Henrietta's parents were Elizabeth Underwood & Henry Hardy, and Elizabeth Underwood Hardy had a sister named Mary whose husband was a John Brown. Perhaps therefore Mary Underwood and John Brown were the parents of John Cherry Brown. A non-contemporaneous note of unknown origin inserted between pages in John C. Brown's family Bible states that he was the son of James Brown. But the writing is so indistinct that it could read that he was the son of John or Jane Brown.
The 1860 Lowndes County, MS, census reports John C.'s place of birth as SC, as does the death certificate of his daughter, Sallie Hays. His entry in the 1870 census says he was born in MS. Among 21 other census entries for his eight children, between 1880 and 1920, thirteen list their father's place of birth as SC, six say MS, and one each say GA and "US."
-- compiled from cited records by Paul Hays, 24 Jun 2011
Charlotte "Lotty" Elizabeth Polk Brown (1835 - 1878)*
Sarah Jane Brown Hays (1858 - 1922)*
Maintained by: Paul Hays
Originally Created by: nut4genealogy
Record added: Feb 27, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34262215