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 Hugh Dewitt Brown

Hugh Dewitt Brown

Birth
Death 19 Aug 1923 (aged 35)
Burial Sylacauga, Talladega County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 5854263 · View Source
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Undated newspaper from Sylacauga, AL – August __, 1923:

Two Prominent Citizens of Sylacauga Are Killed In An Aeroplane Accident – Hugh D. Brown and Shelby Castleman.

Propeller Breaks And The Plane With Its Five Passengers Falls Into Bay Killing All.

A greater shock, or more distinct grief never befell this city than when the wires flashed the sad story about noon Sunday from Camp Walton, Florida, that Mr. Hugh D. Brown and Mr. Shelby Castleman had been instantly killed in the fall of an airplane. Within an hour there was hardly a home in the entire city that had not been given information of the sad tragedy.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown with their babe and little daughter, in company with Mrs. Jud DeBardeleben, left Sylacauga for a week’s vacation at Camp Walton, Mrs. DeBardeleben to join her husband who was already there. Mrs. Brown had not been well and the outing was also for the benefit of her health. Mr. Castleman joined the party as per arrangement Friday evening in Montgomery, and spent the night in Troy. They reached Camp Walton Saturday night.
The following detailed account of the tragedy was given in a special to the daily papers from Pensacola Monday: Pensacola, Florida, August 19 – Five persons were instantly killed today at 11 o’clock when a plane owned and piloted by former Naval Lieut. Albert Whitted, crashed to a depth of 12 feet of water on what is known as the “off side” at Camp Walton.
Those who met their death were: Mrs. Anna Harper, wife of Hubert H. Harper, cartoonist of “The Age-Herald”, Birmingham; Hugh Brown, automobile dealer and agent, Sylacauga, Ala.; S. D. Castleman, businessman, Sylacauga, Ala.; Frazier Patterson, 19-year old son of C. V. Patterson, Pensacola; and former Naval Lieut. Albert Whitted, Pensacola.
The fall of the plane was said to have been due to the breaking of the propeller, portions of which ripped through one of the wings of the flier. The crash was witnessed by hundreds of pleasure seekers who had gathered at the resort for the Sunday and weekend, and immediately boats put out to render aid. The bodies were all recovered. Possibly the most badly broken was that of Lieut. Whitted, the pilot, who received the full force of the impact as the heavily laden plane fell with a terrific splash. All are said to have been dead when rescuers reached the wrecked plane.
The plane was owned by Lieut. Whitted, who had used the same in flights to New Orleans, Tampa, Jacksonville, Mobile, and in fact to all neighboring ports. He was in the aviation branch of the Navy but when he married, obtained his discharge, continuing his interest in aviation. He married Miss Frances Brent, daughter of Pensacola’s wealthiest family. The children survive, one a daughter of nine months.
Relatives met the boats in Santa Rosa Sound, 25 miles from Pensacola. The return was made with the bodies of the five plane victims, each wrapped in sheets or available blankets. The boats arrived at 5:20 o’clock this evening. The bodies were at once transferred to undertaking parlors. The Alabamians were prepared for shipment and will probably leave on the late train.
Mr. Blanchard Brown, brother of deceased, accompanied by Walter Howard and Dr. J. D. Ratchford, left for Pensacola on the afternoon train Sunday, wiring that the bodies be held until their arrival. The bodies reached Sylacauga about 9:00 Monday night, the L&N from Calera awaiting an hour and half for connections.
Possibly the largest crowd of local citizens that ever assembled at the Union Depot were in waiting to pay their respect when the train arrived, estimated from 1,500 to 2,000. And it was a sorrowing body of people not curiosity seekers. The heart of the whole city had been touched. The bodies were carried to the separate homes and steady vigilance kept throughout the night.
Funeral services for Mr. Castleman was held from the residence of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. D. Castleman at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, conducted by Dr. A. H. Nabors, assisted by Rev. Clare Purcell, pastor of the First Methodist Church of Talladega, and former pastor of the local church. The pall bearers were Rex Mathews, Avery Isles, Claud Rogers, Wisehart Peace, Dr. J. D. Ratchford and W. C. Ratchford. At the conclusion of the service the body was taken in charge by the Masons and buried in the Marble City Cemetery with Masonic honors.
The funeral of Mr. Brown was held at his home at 3:45 p.m. conducted by Dr. A. H. Nabors, assistd by Rev. Clare Purcell, pastor of the First Methodist Church of Talladega, and former pastor of the local church. The remains interred in the Marble City Cemetery. Pall bearers were Jack Sailors, Claud Rogers, Dr. W. H. Boozer, Wishart Peace, S. J. Nolan, Dr. J. D. Ratchford, W. C. Ratchford and G. B. Smelley.
No higher tribute could have been paid these young men than the hundreds of sorrowing relatives and friends who assembled at the homes and followed the remains to their last resting place. The most beautiful floral offerings were in evidence estimated to have cost over a thousand dollars, coming not only from the home friends but those from a distance attesting the high esteem in which each was held.

Bio courtesy of Churchwell


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  • Created by: Richard Robinson
  • Added: 18 Oct 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5854263
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Hugh Dewitt Brown (14 Aug 1888–19 Aug 1923), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5854263, citing Marble City Cemetery, Sylacauga, Talladega County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Richard Robinson (contributor 46480518) .