Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Correction, A Thanksgiving Wish, and Another Brown Family

First, a correction from last week’s column. Thanks to Wanda Brown Gibson of Blairsville who knows much more about the many Brown family lines in Union and Towns Counties than I could ever hope to uncover, I have this glaring error to correct from last week’s column (November 19), last paragraph.

I wrote that Smith and Mary Brown’s eighth child, Henry Franklin Brown, became a Baptist minister. Actually, this Henry Brown, son of Smith and Mary, became a deacon at New Liberty Baptist Church—not a minister. The Rev. Henry Brown was a descendent of Ezekiel Brown through Walter Brown. Ezekiel Brown had large holdings along the Hiawassee River in Towns County and before the Emancipation Proclamation, owned a number of slaves. This line of Browns made bricks from clay and Ezekiel Brown built an imposing brick house for his family. Rev. Henry Jud Brown was born February 28, 1880 and died March 20, 1968 at age 88. At age 21, he was the first pastor of West Union Baptist Church in Towns County when it was organized in 1901. Other known pastorates were Mt. Pisgah in North Carolina, and in Georgia Old Brasstown, Old Union, Liberty, Zebulon, Harmony Grove, Ebenezer, Antioch, Blairsville and Choestoe. I’m sorry for any confusion my error caused researchers.

Now for a Thanksgiving wish. Our American holiday which we call Thanksgiving dates back to November 21, 1621 when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony and their neighbors, the Wampanoag Indians with Chief Massasoit as their leader, gathered for a feast of Thanksgiving. The Mayflower Compact governed the Plymouth Colony in those early years. The friendly Indians lent help to the brave band of Pilgrims as they planted their first crops and survived the rigors of their first year in a strange land.

The stories of how they built their government, settled into village life, and made friends with the Indians has inspired generations since 1620. As we gather with families on this Thanksgiving, may we consider the principles upon which America was founded. The Pilgrims made a solemn covenant to treat one another with brotherly love, to seek to supply one another’s needs, to live together in peace and harmony, to share each other’s joys and sorrows, and to work for the greater good of their community. My wish for you is a solemn and grateful Thanksgiving and a return to principles that served our forebears well in the early years of this nation.

Today’s focus on another Brown family will be that of Martha Clementine Brown (05/02/1861-09/05/1933), the eleventh child of twelve born to Harmon and Sarah Brown. On February 12, 1878, Martha Clementine, called “Tina” and John Padgett Souther (09/12/1858 -3/04/1959) spoke their wedding vows. Tina’s husband was the fifth child of ten born to his parents, John Combs Hayes Souther (10/22/1827-01/04/1891) and Nancy Collins Souther (02/13/1829-07/22/1888). Recall, please, from last week’s article that Mary Elizabeth Souther (04/07/1853-01/11/1929), John Padgett’s Souther’s oldest sister, married the Rev. Smith Loransey Brown (01/20;1850-05/16/1932), the sixth child of Harmon and Sarah Brown. The children of these couples, being double-first cousins, would have much in common, living rather close together on farms in the Choestoe District. Rev. Smith Brown and Mary Elizabeth Brown had nine children (see last week’s article for that list). John Padgett Souther and Martha Clementine “Tina” Brown Souther had sixteen children:

1. Jasper Gilliam Souther (11/29/1878-07/24/1943) married first, Nancy Collins (1876-1907) and second, Estella Mae Cole (1888-1978). Gilliam was an ordained Baptist minister. He died in the pulpit while conducting revival meeting at New Liberty Baptist Church. He had expressed a desire to die while preaching, and his wish was fulfilled. He was buried in Clermont, Georgia.

2. Sarah J. Souther (10/18/1880-02/15/1881)
3. Homer H. Souther (12/24/1881-1946) married Lizzie Plott.
4. Oria C. Souther (12/23/1883-12/29/1965) married Edward Collins.
5. Infant (b/d 03/14/1884).
6. Nora E. Souther (10/12/1887-10/17/1919) married LaFayette Jackson.
7. Maria Souther (08/02/1886-05/30/1950).
8. William H. Souther (07/17/1889-?), married twice; spouses’ names unknown.
9. Joseph Thompson Souther (02/22/1893-05/14/1983) married Bertha Pruitt.
10. Martha D. Souther (02/11/1891-07/03/1893)
11. Grady G. Souther (01/05/1895-09/25/1970) married Mary Johnson
12. Mary Souther (08/02/1897-05/30/1950).
13. Lydia Souther (09/22/1899 - ?).
14. Emily Rose Souther (10/26/1901 - ?) married John Rice.
15. Johnnie P. Souther (01/15/1905-01/06/1929).
16. Cora Souther (07/27/1903-11/09/1903).

We can imagine the heartache Martha Clementine “Tina” Brown Souther endured with four of her sixteen children dying as infants and one young son, Johnnie, at age 24. Tina died ten years before her preacher son, Jasper Gilliam, died at New Liberty Church in 1943, but his father, John Padgett Souther, who lived to be 99, was still living when his son, Rev. Gilliam Souther, died at age sixty-seven.

c2009 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Nov. 26, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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