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02 February 2013

Brown Family History: Sherman Lewis Brown

Nearly two years after the close of the Civil War, Sherman Lewis Browna was born on 4 Feb 1867 in Lockbourne, Franklin, Ohio.b,c,d He is the seventh child of Samuel Curtis Brown, 45, and Martha Gordon, 39. (Sherman Lewis Brown is the father of Lewis Sherman Brown who I have blogged about.)

Lockbourne, B, is
south of Columbus, A
Lockbourne is a small village in rural Franklin County, almost 12 miles south of the county seat in Columbus (population around 19,000). It was located on the Ohio & Erie Canal. The canal was constructed between 1825 and 1847 and ran between Cleveland and Portsmouth..e,f The canals were very popular from the 1830s to the early 1860s and helped Ohio become the third most prosperous state in the 1840s. During the Civil War, railroads became the transportation technology of the time which would lead to the decline of the canal usage. When baby Sherman was born in Lockbourne, the canal business was dwindling significantly and would a flood would wipe out the industry in 1879.

Another transportation improvement was seen in the city of Columbus. The city started having horse drawn street cars in 1863. Should young Sherman have traveled to Columbus, this would have been a fascinating sight to see for young Sherman. Trains, canals and street cars were great advances in the 1800s.

At the time of his birth, his sister Mary Catherine Brown was already married to Columbus Huddle (m 1867). One older brother, Wilden Edgar, had died in infancy. This means potentially four children were in his family home to welcome into the world. Their ages ranged from 17 to 3. (Read more about Levi Brown below.)

All while still too young to understand, America was changing. In the south, reconstruction laws were taking effect and began crippling the economy. In 1868, President Andrew Johnson, who became President after Abraham Lincoln was killed in 1865, was impeached, but later acquitted. The southern states were readmitted into the Union. Additionally, War veteran Ulyses S Grant (of Ohio) won the election that year and took office in early 1869. In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution passed which gave black men, but not women, the right to vote. For Sherman, slavery would not be apart of his life, but the after effects of the Civil War would be.

Sherman, 3, appeared in the census in 1870 in Hamilton, Franklin, Ohio. d  Hamilton is 9 miles south of the city of Columbus and 4 miles north of Lockbourne. The Post Office for Hamilton is still Lockbourne. Hamilton is bounded on the east by the Scioto River.

1870 US Census for Samuel Brown
"U.S. Census Population Schedule, 1870" database, FamilySearch; (http:/ Hamilton, Franklin, Ohio,Lockbourne Post Office, Page 6, Household 38, Samuel Brown; NARA microfilm publication M593
1870 US Census for Sherman Lewis Brown
"U.S. Census Population Schedule, 1870" database, FamilySearch; (http:/ Hamilton, Franklin, Ohio, Lockbourne Post Office, Page 7, Household 38, Samuel Brown; NARA microfilm publication M593

Father Samuel is working as a farm laborer and Mother Martha is listed as keeping house. The children in the home are Jane, 20, Ida, 9 and attending school, Elias, 6, and Louis, 3. It appears that another child, Levi, a twin of Elias, has died before this date. It's not known whether Levi welcomed Sherman into the family home or had died previously. Being a farming family, one wonders if they attended or sent produce to the annual Ohio State Fair which attracted farmers and such from all around Ohio to Columbus.

Another wonder is if young Sherman befriended the Brown family, with two deaf gentlemen, living at the property beside his own. Young children of Sherman's age are extremely compassionate towards such individuals. I wonder if the 57 year-old Ferdinand and the 53 year-old Moses enjoyed having young Sherman next door. Their sister Mary was able to communicate in the hearing world, so she may have run interference between Sherman and the deaf men. It's also possible that this family was more than just neighbors with the same last name. It's entirely possible, but not proven conclusively, that these people were Sherman's aunt and uncles.

Shortly after the 1870 Census, Sherman's sister Elizabeth Jane married Jefferson Babcock Ranck (Sept 1870) married. The couple started their family in Lockbourne. Then two sisters joined the family, Hattie Elizabeth in 1871 and Effie A in 1875. When Sherman was 12, his sister Ida Loie married James Monroe Akison in October 1879 and moved to Madison County, Ohio.

a. Ancestry Family Trees (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.), Ancestry Family Trees.
b. Family Search, "Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953" database, (http:/ : Entry for Sherman Lewis Brown, died 6 June 1937 Source Film: 4020847, Reference No: fn 38114.
c. Emma Virginia Brown Family Bible Records, 1826 to 1945, Brown Family Bible, "Births", privately held by Devon Lee
d. "U.S. Census Population Schedule, 1870" database, FamilySearch; (http:/ Hamilton, Franklin, Ohio, Lockbourne Post Office, 6, 38, Samuel Brown, head of household; NARA microfilm publication M593
e. Canal Relics,
f. Ohio and Erie Cana, Wikipedia, 

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