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Orson Pratt Brown's Daughter-in-law

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Florence May Wilde Brown 1907-1991

Florence May Wilde Brown

Born : May 2, 1907 at Coalville, Summit County, Utah
Died: January 11, 1991 at Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah


I was born May 2, 1907, the daughter of James A. Wilde and Florence F. Hartley. I was the oldest of five children.

I had a very happy childhood and was reared in a wonderful home where the spirit of God was ever present.

1 was born in the líttle town of Coalville, Summit County, Utah, in the rear of my grandmother Hartley's small country store. The building is no longer standing. It was torn down years ago. Now in its place is a brick building being used at the present time as a small dress shop.

I had a very wonderful childhood where the spirit of God was ever present. We lived in a little town eight miles from Coalville called Grass Creek. It was very small, only had a one room school with eight pupils. There was a small branch of the church, my mother and father being very active in church.

We didn't have much in the way of entertainment. It consisted of going to our friends for Sunday dinner and my parents having friends in for house parties.

I remember well the dances they held in our little one-room schoolhouse that also was used for church on Sunday. They didn't have baby sitters in those days. We went along and when we got tired we were put to sleep on two chairs. As we grew older we helped with the smaller children. The music consisted of a piano and violin and best of all, my aunt's father, Brother Pringil could play the accordion. To this day, I just love to hear that musical instrument best of all.

For refreshmants we would have sandwiches made with good whole wheat bread, either chocolate or coconut cake and hot chocolate or punch.

I had a very wonderful start in life. A thing that fortified me for the things that came later.

I remember the morning of November 11, 1918 when World War I ended. It was the first time I ever left our little town without my parents permission.  I went with some older boys and girls to Coalville where they had a big parade and burned the Kaiser in effigy. Well, I remember seeing Aunt Sue and her asking, "Florence, does your mother know where you are?" Then recognizing mother didn't, I was very worried and wanted to get home as fast as possible. At this time, I was eleven and a half years old, my sister, Relia eight, Bill five, Carl four and my sister Myrlia less than one year old. As I look back now that was about the end of our happy family.

We had a very hard winter, my mothers health had always been very poor. She was very small and frail but she had a wonderful spirit and I know they had a hard life. No modern conveniences. We didn't have electric lights, no water in the house. If all had to be carried about a block from a well that served the entire camp. Twice a week the big wash tup was brought in and placed in the kitchen by the stove and we all took our baths. My mother was a great deal like my sister Re. She was a wonderful housekeeper and cook, even with so little to do with. She was very dainty and proud and made our home a wonderful place to be, and a place where everyone loved to visit.

During the winter of 1918-1819 we had a lot of sickness. Myrlia almost died. It was during this time that I saw the power of the Priesthood. One night mother woke me up and said, "Run over and get brother Carreeth to come and administer to the baby. I know she is dying," I got up and ran next door. Brother Carreeth just put his shoes on and came in his night clothes. When we got back dad was kneeling in prayer. When he had finished he said, "We couldn't wait," but our Heavenly Father answered our prayers and she started to improve.

In the spring of 1919 we moved from Grass Creek to Devil's Slide. Mother wanted my father to get away from the coal mines. We moved in March and our friends and neighbors the Will Carreeths moved with us. Also the Jack Redden family. These two families and my parents had been very close, in fact I don't know what we would have done without them. Aunt Lyda [Carreeth] was a second mother to me and such a comfort along with Mrs. Redden when mother passed away.

We had been in Devil's Slide one month. My father became very ill. The doctors didn't know what was wrong with him. Mother, dad, and Myrlia who was one year old at the time, went to Ogden to see a doctor. This was Saturday, April 19, the day before Easter. When mother got home that night, she was ill. By morning she was very bad. Dad called the doctor. He said she had pneumonia. We sent to the hospital in Ogden for a nurse. Dad's cousin Apia came. Just one week later, April 19th, my mother passed away.

As I watched my mother die, it was my first experience with death and the first person I thought of was beloved Aunt Lyda. Her husband had just returned from Coalville where he had attended my Aunt Cora Hartley's funeral. She died April 24th, and was buried April 25th. Aunt Lyda and dear Mrs. Redden were a great help to us for the next six months. Dad wanted to keep us all together but my sister Myrlia was still in need of good care. It was decided that Aunt Mae would take the baby, then Grandma Wilde took Carl who was 3 1/2 years old at that time. The rest of us were in school and we thought we could get by.

I was twelve years old at that time. My twelfth birthday was the day after mother's funeral. It seemed like I was prepared for the role I was to play. Mother's health had always been poor. She had ulcers of the stomach. I had to take over a lot of housework, cooking, baking, and it well prepared me for my role as mothers now, making bread and canning of fruit. I did very well, we got along fine with our good friends and neighbors.

Mother's sister, Susan Hartley came from Coalville every Sunday to see how we were. Mother and Aunt Sue had always been very close to one another. I had a most wonderful friend, my beloved aunt for many, many years. She and Aunt Mae Clark, mother's sister, were my best friends for many years. I can't tell how much I owe them. I never could have lived with out them. You know the Lord taketh and the Lord giveth, and that is how it has been all during my life. I have had the most wonderful friends, always a person to fill the need at the time.

We stayed in Devil's Slide until October, then my Grandparents thought it best if we moved to Clear Creek, Carbon County, Utah, so as to be near them. We had just been in Clear Creek one month, and on November 26, 1919, my father was killed in the Clear Creek mine.

This was a great shock to me. I didn't know what we were going to do. But I had one comforting thing. I knew my father did not want to live. During our stay in Devil's Slide his health was poor. He was always telling me of dreaming of my mother. One day he said to me, "Florence, I want to talk to you. I dreamed of your mother last night and it won't be long until I will be with her." I said, "Dad, please don't talk like that, it upsets me very much. What would we do, I am the oldest of five children. I am twelve, Myrlia one, what would we ever do!" He said, "I know it is God's will. Just remember you will never want for anything. You will all be raised and blesed during your lifetime." Many times after his death when things looked dar, I took comfort in that conversation. Dad's words came true, we were all blessed, had good homes, never wanted for the good things of life and best of all, we have a great love for one another. I son't think you could find a closer knit family.

The fondest things I have in my life was the knowledge of the great love my father and mother had for one another. They were married when my mother was 19 years old. Dad twenty. I don't think any woman had a greater love than my mother. All I can ever remember in our early life was the feeling of that great love that I wish every married couple could have it. If I had one wish that I could have for each one of my daughters, it would be that they could share such a love as this. I have often said I would rather have had my parents for twelve short years than anyone else for a lifetime. Many, many times in my life since, I have felt this great love and known they were near. I know that a love we share as a family unit even death cannot change, it is an eternal love.

I feel like my children didn't have this blessing and it grieves me very much, but I want them to know that no children were ever loved more. I wanted each and every one of them. They were all a great blessing to me and not one of them have ever disappointed me but I have always felt like I failed them.

I know what a wonderful blessing it is to be raised in a home where love abides, where the priesthood of God was ever present.

I never heard my father swear in his live, never saw him angry, never heard him say an unkind thing about anyone. Years after his death, Dad's good friend Jack Redden said to me, "Florence, your dad was the best man I have ever known. I worked with him for five years under all kinds of conditions and never heard him swear or loose his temper." I guess all we children get our tempers from my mother. Dad always called her Irish but she never had any cause to loose her temper with him. Dad's motto was "if you can't say anything good about a person, don't say anything." How I wish I was like him.

I had a very hard time adjusting after dad's death. His people were strange to me. I had always lived near mother's people. How I missed them and our good friends. Right after we got back to Clear Creek after dad's funeral, my brother Carl got scarlet fever. Poor Grandma Wile. She had had twelve children, raised them all, just had Uncle Carl and Nora home. She could start enjoying life. Now she had five orphan children to look after. I stayed with grandma.  Re was with Aunt Girt. Bill was with Aunt Mae. Grandma had had Carl since mother's death. Grandma and I used to look back on that winter and laugh, but at the time it was no laughing matter. We were in quarantine from December until March. Then Grandma and I got the flu and they had to let us out.  While we were in quarantine we used to play 500 for hours on end and Grandma would read to us. Grandma was a very good reader, but it was a long hard winter. The snow was so deep it was up to the top of the front door and windows. First my brother Carl had scarlet fever, then Uncle Carl, then we were almost ready to get out and I got it. During the winter the flu was very bad. One night nine people died; Grandma's best friend, Mrs. Ostler.

Well at last spring arrived and it was decided that I should go to visit Aunt Mae and Myrlia. I missed the baby so much. I went to Provo and stayed all summer and picked fruit for Uncle Tom Berrett. I picked for 10 cents per crate and made $21 during all summer, but best of all with the love and understanding of dear Aunt Mae and Uncle Leo, I could face the future. So in the fall I went back to Grandma, they had moved to Utah Mine and I went to school there that winter. The teacher, Lucille Adams, was a great comfort to me. Carol was always very good to me like a brother and Nora like a big sister. I spent many hours helping to make Nora's hope chest. About a year after dad's death Nora married Floyd and they lived in Clear Creek.

After grade school I wanted to go to high school. I thought of dad's wich (he had never gone to school only to 3rd grade, it was necessary for him to work at a very early age because he was the 3rd child of twelve children. I can remember him saying many times that if he had to live on a crust of bread a day, his children were going to have an education. I wrote to Aunt Sue Ball, mother's sister, to see if I could stay with her and go to high school. She had seven children, but her heart was as big as a mountain and she took me into her home and heart. I was very happy with Aunt Sue, she didn't have much in worldly goods, but she never made me feel like I was an extra burden, but it must of been with so many to feed. I spent three, wonderful, happy years there. Her two daughters, Mary and Virginia, were just like my sisters and we were very happy. We used to sleep three in a bed, taking turns of sleeping in the middle. Years later when I had my three girls, I wondered how we ever did it, because they wold raise heck if they had to sleep two in a bed.

We were real happy, everyone was so kind to me. Most of the people knew my mother and father and they opened up their hearts to me. It was during this time that I met my wonderful friends, the Beards. Vera was my very best friend and I spent half my time with them. Judith and Howard were a very devoted couple and I guess that is what drew me to them. It reminded me of my own happy home.

Each summer I would return to Clear Creek and was very happy. I always had some work. I saved every penny so that I would have it for school. I went to North Summit School for one year Jr. Hight and my Freshman year then I felt like I couldn't impose on Aunt Sue another year. Her family had grown to nine children. So I went to stay with Aunt Mae. I went to Lincoln High School the first year it was completed. I met some wonderful friends and teachers.

While I was with Aunt Mae, it became necessary for them to move to Salt Lake City. So I stayed on at Old farm with a very dear friend Faye Larsen. I had one room and my cousin Darlene had three rooms. It was a very happy winter and I got better acquainted with Aunt Edith and her family. About one month before school was out, I went to stay with Aunt Edith, Millie and Erva. We made the best ice cream and bottled the best raspberries, and my grandmother Hartley made wonderful bread. My cousins were very good to me.

I went back to North Summit when I as a junior. Mary and Verg were married, but Aunt Sue and I had a wonderful winter. I had completed enough high school credits to enter college. Here is where I feel I let my father down. I didn't go on, if I had worked a little harder it would have been possible, but I went to work first at Troy Laundry. Stayed there over a year. They were very good to me. I seemed to make wonderful friends every place I went.

In the spring of 1925 I went to work for Wasserman Wholesale. I had always loved to sew. Dad's sister, Nora, was working there. When I went to ask for the job, Mrs. Wasserman said, "Are you handy with a needle?" I worked there for almost five years. My sister worked there also. Mr Wasserman was very good to us during a slow season, not once did he ever lay us off, but always arranged something for us to do.

In the dall of 1926, Re and I took a small apartment, at first we lived at 242 East South Temple, we had a ver nice landlady. She was like a mother to us. After about a year we bought furniture for a small apartment. This was a big thrill for Re and I at last we had a real homeof our own. We took great pride in our little place, kept it nice and clean and it was a great joy to us to have aplace to have to share with our many friends. My best friend was a Catholic girl by the name of Mercedes Kelkenny. She was older than I but the best friend a person ever had. She never married, kept house for her father who was also a wonderful friend to me. Re used to date a lot more than I and I could always have Merce down or got to visit her. We just lived two blocks apart.

The people that owned the Woodruff Apartments took Re and I into their hearts and just as during every period of my life when I needed a friend. I had a true loyal friend, one to share all my joys and sorrows. Mrs. Malstrom was a devoted friend til the time she passed away. After whe had become almost blind she would walk from her home on 4th South to mine at 268 Westminster Avenue. By this time I was married and had my children. I missed her very much when she was called home.

Re and I lived together for five years. We never made much money, but we had a very deep love for one another. A feeling that has never changed. I have a very special feeling fro Re. She has been more than a sister to me, never once has she ever failed me and only twice in our live can I ever remember having a disagreement with her. Mr. Wasserman said we were the only two sisters that he had ever known that could live together, work together, and find real happiness together.

It was during our stay at Woodruff Apartments that Relia met Sid [Pocock]. Sid was always very good to me. If he and Re went for a ride in his old Model T Ford they always packe me along. If I did not go, he would always bring me a snack back. They were married in 1929 and I lived with them at 8th South and 2nd East for a short time, then I felt that they should be alone, so I went to Provo and stayed with Aunt Mae, mother's sister, who had my sister and two brothers living with her. I got a job at J.C. Penneys. I worked there five months. Mr. Firmage, the manager, was very good to me and I enjoyed the winter very much. It was nice to be with Bill, Carl, and Myrlia.. All during the years since mother's death, Aunt Mae had been a second mother to me. They were poor but she was so good to all of us. SHe had a heart of pure gold and gave of herself and everything she had to raise mother's three children in the best way she could. Uncle George was wonderful and so was her son by adoption to us. Charles and his good wife Lucille still live in Aunt Mae's home. They have a nice family, three boys and one girl and several grandchildren.

In the spring of 1930, I went back to live with Re. We moved to 7th Avenue. Re bought new furniture and had a real home at last. I wnt back to work at Wassermans. In April of that year I met Miles Brown and we were married July 15, 1930. Our first home was at 6th South 9th East, a very nice apartment. We got new furniture and were very comfortable. Miles worked in Salt Lake at Salt Lake Transportation. On March 23, 1931 our first daughter, Shirley Brown, was born. The morning before Shirley was born Dad's sister, Aunt Clara passed away. I felt very badly because Aunt Clara had always been very good to me but she had caner and it was a blessing.

Aunt Jane, Dad's sister went to the hospital with me. She was a wonderful person. She had twelve children, ten living. She went into delivery with me and the first thing I heard about the baby was, "Oh, what small ears she has". When I looked at her I thought I had never seen such an ugly baby. The next morning I told the Doctor that she was ugly and he laughed and said, "I can retire now because I have delivered thousands of babies and some of them have been damn ugly, but you are the first mother to admit it." Well, she was very small and her head looked terrible but in a few weeks time she was the most beautiful baby you ever saw. So fat and healthy, big dark eyes and so good, Grandma Wilde just loved her.

We lived at 6th South 9th East until July of 1931. Then we moved to Provo. We had a nice three room house, but it had a coal stove and it was very hot, but I enjoyed the summer because I could walk down to Aunt Mae's. I used to walk to her house often and visit with Lucille and have lunch. I loved being with Carl, Bill, and Myrlie. We stayed there until fall then Miles quit his job, it was just at the start of the Depression. We moved back to Salt Lake to Kimball apartments. We only stayed there one month and Miles went down to Los Angeles, he found a job there as manager of Continental Store on East First Street in the Spanish section. After he had been there for about a month, I joined him. I took the train. Shirley was just seven months old by this time. SHe was a beauty, everyone on the train wanted to take care of her so the trip was very easy with all the help I had. When I got to Los Angeles, Miles had rented a small furnished apartment on the corner of Delman and Michigan. It was here I met two very wonderful people, an elderly couple that owned the apartment. They belonged to the Pentecostal Church. Grandma Jeans took us to her heart and I truly loved her. We lived in the apartment for about a year. During this time she had a stroke, but she used to sit and hold the baby and I would help Grandpa Jeans with the work. They used to go to church with us. She was a wonderful Christian. We were alwys close friends and she loved all three of my girls and they loved them both.

We bought a little three room house on Helen Drive and had our furniture sent down and I was very happy to have a little place of our own. It wasn't much but it was a start. While we were living at Grandma Jeans we met our good friends John and Margaret Johns. He was a Deputy Sheriff and Margaret was expecting her first child. They moved away just a short time before Johnny was born, as long as we lived in California, they were our closest friends and after twenty-seven years since we move we still have many wonderful hours with them. We also met Rose and Jess Hillard. Rose was very good to me and used to take my girls all over. They had two grown boys.

We liven on Helen Drive for about a year and a half. It was while we were there that our second daughter, Barbara Brown, was born on March 10, 1933. She was born the night of the big earthquake. Miles mother, Martha Diana Romney Brown, had come down to take care of Shirley while I went to the hospital. I had never been in an earthquake but Grandma Brown, living in Mexico had. She was terribly upset and so afraid. Shirley was two years old. The little house shook, the dishes fell out of the cupboard. I had dinner ready. Rose had come down just a short time before to see if I wanted her to take me to the hospital, but I said I could wait for Miles. Miles was late being Miles he had asked the barber to stay late to cut his hair. He knew I was sick but that is just Miles. Well, at last he got home. Grandma and I had dinner ready. I thought he could eat but I decided we did not have time. I went into the bathroom to get ready, Grandma came in, she said I am afraid to stay here with Shirley so I told her to get her coat, we would take her to Dillards. On the way I told Miles he had better take me to the hospital first. We were atill having one shock after another. I had only been in the hospital about two hours and Barbara was born at 9:50 PM. She was a darling baby and I picked out her name. Miles named Shirley so it was my turn.

When Barbara was about a year old we moved into a nice five room house on Granois Avenue. It was just about three blocks from our house on Helen Drive. It seemed so good to have more room. It was here that we met Irene and Ed Thantz. They had two children, Vance and Louise. Louise was about shirley's age and Vance was a little older. Vance is now a prosperous doctor in Anaheim, California. We also had for neighbors, Dave and Jenny Brown, they had one daughter, Darlen Brown.

During this time we were in Depression, but we always had work, didn't make too much money, but we were lucky. I had another good friend, Tami. She had a daughter, Delores. We were all very friendly. We us to take care of each other's children. I use to sew for all the children. We had pot luck lunches and took long walks. Tami would go to the library and get books. When she got a good book she would bring it to me, then the next afternoon she would come down and say I came to help you clean because I know you have had your nose in the book all day, and she would be so right. What wonderful friends I had. My girls have to be on the go, but I was a great person to stay home, I just loved my little home. This little house on Gravois was new, the front yard was in but the back had a big hole and Miles said I didn't need lawn, it would take too much fill, like I said, we didn't make too much money and a yard didn' mean so much to Miles. Well, things haven't always come the easy way to me, but if I just try and do my part it just made things work out.

One day Tami was visiting with me, she always spent a big part of the day with me becaue Delores didn't have anyone to play with. Well we were sitting watching them build a new highway, it was the start of the first freeway in Los Angeles, was only about a half block from our house. I could see these big trucks loading fill dirt and I would dream of some of it to fill our back yard. I said to Tami if I just had some of that dirt. She said well it won't cost us anything to go ask for some. So we took the kids and proceeded to the highway. I asked a colored man where they were dumping the dirt, he said they were just hauling it away. I told him what I wanted and he said, "Lady, I don't see what it would hurt, you want dirt and we want to get rid of it. I will ask my boss and if it is okay I will bring you two load, if you are sure you can use that much, but let me tell you lady, tha is alot of dirt.

Well, Tami and I went back to the house, in no time here came the colored man with a big truck. I ran out, saw how big the truck was and thought our frail cement driveway would just crumble so I told him to dump it into the field that was next to our place. And to dump the dirt as close to the fence as possible. He brought two big loads and it reached over the top of the fence. Oh how happy I was all day. I would look at that big mountain of dirt and I could just see my pretty green lawn. Oh I was as happy as if someone had given me a million dollars.

When Miles came home I just couldn't wait to tell him of my wonderful gold mine. At last he got home, he came in and said what are they going to do with all that dirt next door, are they going to build on that lot? Well, when I told him it was mine he looked at me like I was crazy. He said you have sure got yourself in a mess for I had no right to have dirt dumped on another persons property and just how are you going to get the dirt over the fence and into the gully? Well, I was too happy to let that bother me. I said I will borrow Mr. Maddox's wheelbarrow and you can help me. You may be crazy enough to try it but just count me out. Well, I got supper, put the girls to bed, then went over to look over my wonderful mountain of dirt. It still looked wonderful to me, and I made my mind up right there that I could get the dirt where I wanted it, if I just had enought patience.

The next morning after Miles left for work before seven, I went over to Maddox's and got the wheel barrow. I filled it up about a third full and lo and behold, I couldn't even lift it off the ground let alone push it. Well, I had to think of something else. I climbed on top of the dirt and went to work throwing it over the fence. I worked until it got hot and I was tired and then sent in the house and did the dishes, made beds, and cleaned up the house. Then I went out to work again and this became my pattern for three long weeks.

The first day I got alot moved because I could throw it over the fence. Irene and Tami came and sat in the shade, they, like Miles, thought I was crazy, but they couldn't ruin it for me. After the first day I had gotten down lower than the fence so I had to fill scrub buckets and carry it where I wanted it but as I could see that gap fill up I was happy. Miles never said a word and I didn't say anything. I just kept at my task. All the time I was dreaming of my beautiful green lawn and flowers. I was doing nicely but low one night it rained. Now the dirt became clay packed down and I had to use a pick on it, but I just kept at it and just three weeks after I started, the yard was nice and level. It had taken every bit of dirt to fill in the gully.

Well, when Miles came home, he said, well I didn't think you could do it. Well, to make a long story short, he bought two loads of topsoil and planted our lawn. It taught me a wonderful lesson, that if we want something badly enough and just work and do our part we can move mountains which I literally did and how I loved that nice back yard. You know if things come too easy, we don't appreciate them.

We lived on Gravais for about three years while here our third daughter, Colleen Brown, was born, October 31, 1935. Mrs. Dellard was with me when she was born. Rose was a wonderful friend to me and she dearly loved my girls. Colleen was a beautiful, healthy baby and could have been real spoiled. Everyone was so in love with her. She was so beautiful and so good. She just lived outside. She would sleep in her buggy and everyone that went to the Plaza to shop would take her along. Tami and I did a lot of walking with Delores and my three girls. It was during the Depression , both Miles and Mr. Tami worked long hours. Once a week she would take my girls and then I would keep Deloras and we would take a day off. I would go to East First Street and visit with Rose, Grandma Jeans, and Margaret. She would to downtown. We never thought of a paid sitter, couldn't afford one but it was nice doing and sharing for one another.

It was while that we were living in City Terrace that I met Mrs. Gearding. She was a Seventh-Day Adventist and a very good old lady. She used to visit with me so much when I left she was about eighty. Irene said now that you are moving she will die of malnutrition. I don't think it was that bad but many is the day she had lunch with the children and me.

When Colleen was seventeen months old in April of 1937, we moved back to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Miles bought a little trailer and loaded it so heavy that it broke down in Las Vegas. We had to sit in the car all night to wait for a garage to open. I held Colleen all night. The girls slept in back which was very crowded. But we got to Salt Lake safely. We had a hard time to find a place because they didn't want children, but we found a place on Ramona Avenue after we had been there one month. We bought a home at 268 Westminster Avenue. It was the dirtiest house one ever had to clean up. The old furnace had a cracked fire pot. So for seven long years that old devil and I were battling over soot. It blew it out all over walls and curtains, and me scrubbing kitchen walls almost every month. I just don't know how we ever stood it. Here again we had no back lawn, so I dug that yard up, after I would get it dug and raked, Miles would plant the seed. I was always just like an Indian squaw. I guess Miles knew I would do it that was why he wouldn't do it. But I don't blame him too much, he did keep the grocery store open eleven hours a day six days a week.

During this time we had a store at 13th South State. We had a good living, but that was all, we never had much money, but I canned fruit and never let anything spoil, and I never bought anythng to wear. I made all the girls clothes and when Jim came along, did the same for him. Years after all my children were grown while visiting in El Paso, Texas, my sister-in-law Amy told me she had never seen children so well dressed. But I am sure my children used to long for store bought clothes. But if I do say so, I kept them very clean, they all had beautiful black hair and I used to take great pride in it.  

Shirley was always mad at me because hers was short but could I help it if it just wouldn't grow. But when she got a little older she had the most beautiful hair. I did it in Shirley Temple curls. But that is life, by that time she wanted it short..

Jim was born June 8, 1938, he wasn't as husky as the girls but he was a darling baby..

During this time, I got to know Miles mother, Mattie Romney Brown. She used to come every Sunday to dinner. She liked pot roast and brown gravy. We would have dinner then go for a drive. That is all I did most of the time. But my children were my whole life, it seemed like I never needed anything else. I used to visit with my friend Merce and she would visit with me. I could walk up to Kittie's and Re also go see Aunt Jane if they minded me and my four childen, they never let me know, they would visit me.

1935: Caroline V. Strate Biesinger, Melva Biesinger Brown, Florence Wilde Brown holding Colleen Brown, Orson Juarez Brown.  The other two children are Barbara Brown and Shirley Brown (tallest) .  The picture may have been  taken at Florence's home at 268 Westminster Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT.

We also lived close to Miles' sister, Vera Brown, and we always got along well. I know that my girls couldn't be happy living like that but as I look back it was wonderful.

My good friend Ethel Fletcher and I used to sew. We would sit out under trees in her yard while my children were have their naps. We used to walk to Sugarhouse to shop, took Jim in the buggy. I never had any trouble with my children. They got along well with neighbors and always did very well in school. Never once did I have trouble with them in school. They were all "A" students. Jim could have been but he was a little lazy but he was all right, I never expected the impossible. [Editors note: This is a cute chuckle. Jim went on to be a big success in life and business. His mom, I'm sure, was very proud of how her little acorn became such a big oak.] I just wanted them to do their best and to be able to get along with people and be happy. I wanted every child I had and I loved them dearly.

The happiest time of my life was when I was getting ready for a new baby. I always made them pretty clothes that I had left to Nellie. I liked to make new, especially the little flannel gowns.  When the girls got big enough for dolls I just loved to make doll clothes. And I still do. Funny thing, none of my girls liked to play with dolls. but come Christmas I used to dress dolls and all old dolls got a new dress. If I made new dresses for the girls, quite often I made new dresses for the dolls to match. Now I like to sew for grandchildren, but they don't care for dolls too much. I gues Kathy likes them best.

When Shirley was eleven she got rheumatic fever and was in bed for eight months. It was a very trying winter. Miles' mother passed away [January 16, 1943], my grandmother and Vera's son of twenty years died of a heart attack in an army camp [Gordon Lloyd Ray on January 26, 1943].

Only good thing happened was the old furnace gave up and even though it was war time we got a new furnace and was able to get a stoker, it was just wonderful, but we didn't get to use it too long because in the spring we [sold the house and carried the contract for the buyers then we] moved to 1450 South 4th East and opened up a small store. There Miles was working on the railroad but we ran the store for about a year and a half. All the kids just hated that big old place but it was a very comfy old house.

It was during war years and we couldn't get much to do with. I painted woodwork in the kitchen and the paint never did dry. The dishes always stuck to the shelves just a bit. One day while Miles was working, Sid and I remodeled the livingroom and took down an old lifht fixture and took out the wall between the hall and the livingroom. He said this house is old, the roof will cave in. Sid was on a ladder and he said, "Will I, won't I?", Well I thought a minute and said let's take it out so down it came. When we were finished we were very pleased.  The livingroom looked larger and the hall had a little light in it. With the help of all the family I got cast off drapes and curtains as one couldn't buy them in stores. You couldn't even buy curtain rods.

We stayed here for about 19 months then sold it. Miles was working on the railroad. We moved back to 268 Westminster but the place seemed very small after the big old house. We only stayed there six weeks.

Right Click mouse on image to view enlarged photo

Florence with her children: Shirley, Jim, Barbara, Colleen 

1985: Barbara Brown Silver, James Wilde Brown, Colleen Brown Burt. and Shirley Brown Hadley 
Sitting is Florence May Wilde Brown

.........house but I never liked it there, it was too far from my girls, a toll call to telephone and no car. But we stayed there for three years. I did have good friends there and loved the people. I think I had a wonderful experience. I taught Sunday School, M.I.A., and took charge of quilts. The people in Bountiful 2nd Ward are the salt of the earth.

In May of 1859 we sold the place in Bountiful and moved into our twenty-four foot house trailer. The first winter we went to California for two and a half months then Arizona and to El Paso, Texas. We also went down to Mexico and stayed there seventeen days. We had a good time, Miles just loved it there, walking around and reliving his boyhood days in Mexico.

Florence Wilde Brown 1991 Obituary

Florence May Wilde Brown 1907-1991 Funeral Program


PAF - Archer files = Orson Pratt Brown + (1) Martha Diana Romney > Miles Romney Brown + (2) Florence May Wilde.

Biography, Obituary, Portrait, Funeral Program submitted by James Wilde Brown.

Biography revised October 29, 2005.

Copyright 2001 www.OrsonPrattBrown.org



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... Easter 1986 through October 2005


... Published December 2007:
By Erold C. Wiscombe

... Published March 2009:
(unfortunately the publisher incorrectly changed the photo
and spelling of Phebe Abbott Brown Fife's name
after it was proofed by this author)
Researched and Compiled by
Erold C. Wiscombe

... Published 2012:
"Finding Refuge in El Paso"
By Fred E. Woods [ISBN: 978-1-4621-1153-4]
Includes O.P Brown's activities as Special Church Agent in El Paso
and the Juarez Stake Relief Committee Minutes of 1912.

...Published 2012:
"Colonia Morelos: Un ejemplo de ética mormona
junto al río Bavispe (1900-1912)"
By Irene Ríos Figueroa [ISBN: 978-607-7775-27-0]
Includes O.P. Brown's works as Bishop of Morelos. Written in Spanish.

...Published 2014:
"The Diaries of Anthony W. Ivins 1875 - 1932"
By Elizabeth Oberdick Anderson [ISBN: 978-156085-226-1]
Mentions O.P. Brown more than 30 times as Ivins' companion.

... To be Published Soon:

Send Comments and Information to: 




... Lily Gonzalez Brown 80th Birthday Party-Reunion
July 14, 2007 in American Fork, Utah

...Gustavo Brown Family Reunion in October 2007

Send Additions and Information to:


...... Wives and 35 Children Photo Chart
...... Chronology
...... Photo Gallery of OPB
...... Letters


...... Biographical Sketch of the Life Orson Pratt Brown
...... History of Orson Pratt Brown by Orson P. Brown
...... Journal & Reminiscences of Capt. Orson P. Brown
...... Memories of Orson P. Brown by C. Weiler Brown
...... Orson Pratt Brown by "Hattie" Critchlow Jensen
...... Orson Pratt Brown by Nelle Spilsbury Hatch
...... Orson Pratt Brown by W. Ayrd Macdonald

- Captain James Brown 1801-1863

...... Wives and 29 / 43 Children Photo Chart
...... Captain James Brown's Letters & Journal
...... Brown Family Memorabilia
...... Mormon Battalion 1846-1847
...... Brown's Fort ~ then Brownsville, Utah
...... Chronology of Captain James Brown

- Phebe Abbott Brown Fife 1831-1915

- Colonel William Nicol Fife - Stepfather 1831-1915


- James Brown of Rowan County, N.C. 1757-1823

- Mary Williams of Rowan County, N.C. 1760-1832

- Stephen Joseph Abbott of, PA 1804-1843

- Abigail Smith of Williamson, N.Y. 1806-1889

- John Fife of Tulliallan, Scotland 1807-1874

- Mary Meek Nicol, Carseridge, Scotland 1809-1850 


- Martha "Mattie" Diana Romney Brown 1870-1943

- Jane "Jennie" Bodily Galbraith Brown 1879-1944

- Elizabeth Graham MacDonald Webb Brown 1874-1904

- Eliza Skousen Brown Abbott Burk 1882-1958

- Angela Maria Gavaldón Brown 1919-1967


- (Martha) Carrie Brown (child) 1888-1890

- (Martha) Orson Pratt Brown, Jr. (child) 1890-1892

- (Martha) Ray Romney Brown 1892-1945

- (Martha) Clyde Romney Brown 1893-1948

- (Martha) Miles Romney Brown 1897-1974

- (Martha) Dewey B. Brown 1898-1954

- (Martha) Vera Brown Foster Liddell Ray 1901-1975

- (Martha) Anthony Morelos Brown 1904-1970

- (Martha) Phoebe Brown Chido Gardiner 1906-1973

- (Martha) Orson Juarez Brown 1908-1981

- (Jane) Ronald Galbraith Brown 1898-1969

- (Jane) Grant "Duke" Galbraith Brown 1899-1992

- (Jane) Martha Elizabeth Brown Leach Moore 1901-1972

- (Jane) Pratt Orson Galbraith Brown 1905-1960

- (Jane) William Galbraith Brown (child) 1905-1912

- (Jane) Thomas Patrick Porfirio Diaz Brown 1907-1978

- (Jane) Emma Jean Galbraith Brown Hamilton 1909-1980

- (Elizabeth) (New born female) Webb 1893-1893

- (Elizabeth) Elizabeth Webb Brown Jones 1895-1982

- (Elizabeth) Marguerite Webb Brown Shill 1897-1991

- (Elizabeth) Donald MacDonald Brown 1902-1971

- (Elizabeth) James Duncan Brown 1904-1943

- (Eliza) Gwen Skousen Brown Erickson Klein 1903-1991

- (Eliza) Anna Skousen Brown Petrie Encke 1905-2001

- (Eliza) Otis Pratt Skousen Brown 1907-1987

- (Eliza) Orson Erastus Skousen Brown (infant) 1909-1910

- (Eliza) Francisco Madera Skousen Brown 1911-1912

- (Eliza) Elizabeth Skousen Brown Howell 1914-1999

- (Angela) Silvestre Gustavo Brown 1919-

- (Angela) Bertha Erma Elizabeth Brown 1922-1979

- (Angela) Pauly Gabaldón Brown 1924-1998

- (Angela) Aaron Aron Saul Brown 1925

- (Angela) Mary Angela Brown Hayden Green 1927

- (Angela) Heber Jedediah Brown (infant) 1936-1936

- (Angela) Martha Gabaldón Brown Gardner 1940


- Stephen Abbott Brown 1851-1853

- Phoebe Adelaide Brown Snyder 1855-1930

- Cynthia Abigail Fife Layton 1867-1943

- (New born female) Fife 1870-1870

- (Toddler female) Fife 1871-1872


- (Martha Stephens) John Martin Brown 1824-1888

(Martha Stephens) Alexander Brown 1826-1910

(Martha Stephens) Jesse Stowell Brown 1828-1905

- (Martha Stephens) Nancy Brown Davis Sanford 1830-1895

(Martha Stephens) Daniel Brown 1832-1864

(Martha Stephens) James Moorhead Brown 1834-1924

(Martha Stephens) William Brown 1836-1904

(Martha Stephens) Benjamin Franklin Brown 1838-1863

(Martha Stephens) Moroni Brown 1838-1916

- (Susan Foutz) Alma Foutz Brown (infant) 1842-1842

- (Esther Jones) August Brown (infant) 1843-1843

- (Esther Jones) Augusta Brown (infant) 1843-1843

- (Esther Jones) Amasa Lyman Brown (infant) 1845-1845

- (Esther Jones) Alice D. Brown Leech 1846-1865

- (Esther Jones) Esther Ellen Brown Dee 1849-1893

- (Sarah Steadwell) James Harvey Brown 1846-1912

- (Mary McRee) George David Black 1841-1913

- (Mary McRee) Mary Eliza Brown Critchlow1847-1903

- (Mary McRee) Margaret Brown 1849-1855

- (Mary McRee) Mary Brown Edwards Leonard 1852-1930

- (Mary McRee) Joseph Smith Brown 1856-1903

- (Mary McRee) Josephine Vilate Brown Newman 1858-1917

- (Phebe Abbott) Stephen Abbott Brown (child) 1851-1853

- (Phebe Abbott) Phoebe Adelaide Brown 1855-1930

- (Cecelia Cornu) Charles David Brown 1856-1926

- (Cecelia Cornu) James Fredrick Brown 1859-1923

- (Lavinia Mitchell) Sarah Brown c. 1857-

- (Lavinia Mitchell) Augustus Hezekiah Brown c. 1859


- (Diane Davis) Sarah Jane Fife White 1855-1932

- (Diane Davis) William Wilson Fife 1857-1897

- (Diane Davis) Diana Fife Farr 1859-1904

- (Diane Davis) John Daniel Fife 1863-1944

- (Diane Davis) Walter Thompson Fife 1866-1827

- (Diane Davis) Agnes Ann "Aggie" Fife 1869-1891

- (Diane Davis ) Emma Fife (child) 1871-1874

- (Diane Davis) Robert Nicol Fife (infant) 1873-1874

- (Diane Davis) Barnard Fife (infant) 1881-1881

- (Cynthia Abbott) Mary Lucina Fife Hutchins 1868-1950

- (Cynthia Abbott) Child Fife (infant) 1869-1869

- (Cynthia Abbott) David Nicol Fife 1871-1924

- (Cynthia Abbott) Joseph Stephen Fife (child) 1873-1878

- (Cynthia Abbott) James Abbott Fife (infant) 1877-1878


- (Diana) Caroline Lambourne 18461979

- (Diana)  Miles Park Romney 1843-1904

- (Jane) Emma Sarah Bodily 1858-1935

- (Jane) William Wilkie Galbraith 1838-1898

- (Elizabeth) Alexander F. Macdonald 1825-1903

- (Elizabeth) Elizabeth Atkinson 1841-1922

- (Eliza) Anne Kirstine Hansen 1845-1916

- (Eliza) James Niels Skousen 1828-1912

- (Angela) Maria Durán de Holguin 1876-1955

- (Angela) José Tomás Gabaldón 1874-1915












Contact Us:
Orson Pratt Brown Family Organization
P.O. Box 980111
Park City, Utah 84098-0111