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Martin R. Brown Biography

Donated by Marlene Olson

Source of Information:
Wayne Co, IL Marriages, 1878 -1916 performed by Martin R. Brown,
Elder Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

The original book of marriage records is in the possession of one Martin's great granddaughters,
Waneta (Braddy) Evans. These records are published with her approval and Co-operation.
Library of Congress #85-116863
Compiled and Edited by Albert O. Felchlia , 1983, Second Edition, July 1986

Dedicated to Martin R. Brown, his many descendants, and his mother, Nancy (Stover)
1. Brown and 2. Fenton

Martin R. Brown


pg 1

Martin R. Brown was born March 4, 1840 in Fulton Co, IL, the eldest of three children born to James and Nancy (Stover) Brown. His younger brother, Thaddeus S. Brown, was born ca 1843, his sister Sarah, ca 1853. No record of James Brown's death has been found, however, the birth of Sarah Brown and the marriage of Nancy (Stover) Brown to William Fenton, 25th of Sept 1854 in Bond Co, IL indicates the approximate period.

William Fenton was the father of six children at the time of his marriage to Nancy (Stover) Brown. The name of the eldest, born about 1828, is unknown, Robert Fenton, b. 1833, William D. Fenton, b. 1837, Harriet Fenton, b. 7 Dec 1838, Joseph Fenton, b. 1841, Rebecca Fenton, b. 1844. The marriage of William and Nancy (Stover) Fenton produced three additional sons: James Monroe Fenton, b. 10 July 1855, Marvin Nehemiah Bracestreet Fenton, b. 16 Jan 1857, and Stephen Arnold Douglas Fenton, b. 8 Nov 1858. All three were born in Bond Co, IL., and moved with the family to Wayne Co, IL about 1866, joining Martin R. Brown, who had moved prior to 1860.

Martin R. Brown married Ardena E. Cates 9 Oct 1859. They were the parents of Rhoda Brown (1860-1882) , Martha Ann Brown , (1862-1931), and Mary Jane Brown(1844-1865). Martha Brown married Thomas C. Shreve, 16 Nov 1879. They were the parents of 12 children, including three sets of twins, Bertha May Brown (Silas Talbert), John Edward Brown (Mattie Davis), Benjamin Franklin Brown, (Ethel Legg), Cora Ellen Brown, (Orda Dalton) , Granville Brown,
Mandaville Amanda Brown (Fred D. Meyers), Nellie Edith Brown (1.Clarence Scarbrough & 2. Thomas Braddy ) , Wilbert
Brown, Gilbert Brown (Lydia Gregory), Bertie Brown, Gertie Brown (Lloyd Bosley), and Arthur Brown (Ethel Shoemake). After the death of Ardena (Cates) Brown in 1904, Martin Brown married Mary Jane Gallaspey, 10 Aug 1905. Martin R. Brown was buried beside his first wife Ardena after his death in 1917.

pg. 2

Martin R. Brown was baptized 7 Dec 1867 at Dry Fork,Wayne Co, IL. He was ordained an Elder of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 7 June 1878, at Brush Creek in Wayne Co, IL by G.H. Hillard, J.F.Thomas, and T.P. Morris (Church records at Independence, MO). He was a member of the Dry Fork Congregation.

House of Martin Brown
(Photo of house with a barn in the back.)

This old country home, the scene of more than half of the marriages recorded in this book, was built by Martin R. Brown between 1865 and 1870, and was located on the NE corner of the SE 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 31 of Berry Township, Wayne Co, IL . North East of Wayne City. ( the land is presently owned by Berlin Scarbrough).

By the time this picture was taken in 1940, the ravages of 70 years of family living and the neglect caused by the depression of the '30s, was apparent. The end came in 1943, when it was destroyed by fire. With the exception of faint traces of the drive way, all vestiges of the old homestead have disappeared, and the land has been returned to cultivation.

Waneta (Braddy) Evans supplied the picture, with the following comments:

"Grandfather Martin built the house in the late 1860's, as near as I can figure. My mother, Nellie (Shreve) Braddy, related that Grandmother Martha Shreve said the house was built when she was small, and that she, Martha, climbed up into the rafters, and was spanked for her achievement. Martin was a farmer and country carpenter, as well as an Elder of the church. He built the house and outbuildings himself. The door openings were scaled to his height, which some say was around 5 feet, causing the taller members of my family to duck every time they passed through them. I also have the cane bottom chair Martin made for his own use, the legs of which are very short, another indication of his height .

My family moved into the house in 1927, and, after the fire, remained on the land in another house until 1956.

Descendants included surnames: Fenton, Dalton, Matthews, and Shreves.


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