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 History of Trumbull & Mahoning Counties, Ohio
Published:  Cleveland: H. Z. Williams & Bros.

Trumbull County, Ohio

EPHRAIM BROWN.  It is impossible within the limits of a short sketch to give an adequate idea of the character, or to detail particular events in the life of Ephraim Brown.  His father, whose name was also Ephraim, resided at Westmoreland, New Hampshire, and was much esteemed for his many excellent qualities.  His mother was Hannah Howe, a woman of deep religious feeling.  The family consisted of ten children, of whom Ephraim, born Oct. 27, 1775, was the oldest.  Mr. Brown owned a small farm and by adding to its productions the fruits of occasional labor in some mechanical pursuit, his large family was comfortably supported until he lost all his property by going security for a friend, a loss from which he never recovered.  It thus happened that the eldest son, at an early age, became the main support of a large family.  This misfortune of his father offered him a field for the exercise of that indomitable perseverance which was so conspicuous an element of his character.  At this formative period of his life the engrossing labor which circumstances threw upon him was not allowed to interfere with his intellectual culture.  He read the best books obtainable, and sought the society of the best people in his neighborhood and wherever business called him.  It is inferred from letters still in existence that he soon became a young man of some mark, for his advice was sought by elders, and his judgment received with much deference.  Consider able of his correspondence at this early period related to moral, religious, and political subjects.  He shows in these letters habits of earnest and honest thought, always ready to listen to argument, and when convinced of error always ready to renounce it.  For example, when a young man he joined the Masonic fraternity, but years afterwards, when a young man sought his advice on the subject of joining he expressed the opinion that with advanced civilization the need of such societies was past.
     Being a man of broad and tender sympathies
Mr. Brown very early in life conceived a bitter hatred of the system of slavery, then fast growing into a political power, which sixty years it required the whole energy of the nation to suppress.  In a letter written in 1807 to a Southern relative, who had located in the South and was endeavoring to persuade him to follow by arguing the superior facilities for making money in that section, Mr. Brown questioned the method by which wealth might be acquired so rapidly by “commerce in human flesh,” and added, “I have been taught from my cradle to despise slavery, and will never forget to teach my children, if any I should have, the same lesson.”  The same letter contains sentiments thirty years afterwards given public utterance by William Lloyd Garrison and other distinguished abolitionists.
     Mr. Brown inherited from his mother deep religious feeling, which was strengthened by analytic habits of thought and extensive reading.  But he distinguished between real piety and the mere semblance of religion, and his whole life

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was characterized by a high moral tone.  His denunciation of evil was always vigorous and sometimes alarming to the more conservative and temporizing souls about him.  His love of freedom and habits of thought prevented him from being closely associated with societies of any kind, though as an individual he was always industrious and kind.
     As early as 1803 Mr. Brown became engaged in mercantile pursuits in connection with Thomas K. Green, of Putney, Vermont, who had charge of the business at that place, and Mr. Brown managed the branch at Westmoreland, and continued in business until his removal to Ohio in 1815.  In the meantime he had represented his town in the Legislature several times.  He was married on Nov. 9, 1806, to Mary Buchanan, eldest daughter of Gordon and Temperance (Huntington) Buchanan.  She was born at Windham, Connecticut, Aug. 29, 1787; while yet a child her father and mother removed to Walpole, New Hampshire.  She was a woman of talent, which she cultivated during her whole life.  She taught school before her marriage; her attainments were therefore of a solid character.
     In the year 1814 Mr. Brown formed a partnership with his uncle, Thomas Howe, and purchased of Peter C. Brooks, of Boston, township seven, range four, of the Western Reserve, since known as Bloomfield, to which place he removed his family in the summer of 1815.  The journey was accomplished in six weeks and the family reached its future home July 16, some preparations having been previously made for its comfort and support.  The two partners, Messrs. Brown & Howe, were in business temperament and character the antipodes of each other.  The former was energetic, pushing, and fearless; the latter slow, hesitating and doubting.  It is not strange that two such men should soon dissolve business relations.  Mr. Howe after a short time retired from the partnership, and Mr. Brown assumed the burden of the debt, which in a few years, by the most scrupulous economy, unresting industry, and fortunate thriftiness was fully discharged.
     A few years after Mr. Brown's settlement in Bloomfield (in 1819) the Ashtabula & Trumbull Turnpike company was formed and chartered under the laws of Ohio.  Mr. Brown took an active part in pushing this enterprise, which at that time looked like an enormous undertaking, to a successful completion.  For many years he maintained a ceaseless care for the interests of the company and the preservation of the road.  The post-office at Bloomfield was secured through his influence.  Within seven years after the first settlement of Bloomfield daily four-horse mail coaches passed through the place on their route between the lake and the Ohio river.  Land rapidly advanced in value, and the more thrifty settlers were soon able to improve their homes.
     Mr. Brown was several times a member of the General Assembly, and always gave his potent influence to measures looking toward material improvement and educational advancement.  His love of freedom was active, and influenced his whole conduct.  The effort of a prominent religious sect in 1822 to dominate in politics, was condemned and resisted as strongly as the effort of the slave power to rule the country in after years.  In his younger years. he was a Jeffersonian Republican, and an avowed abolitionist always.  He always offered assistance and protection to fugitive slaves, as is shown by instances elsewhere narrated.
     The title of colonel was conferred upon Mr. Brown in New Hampshire, not, however, on account of any military service.  He was captain of a company of militia, and promoted Governor's aid with the rank of colonel.
     It has been said of Mr. Brown that he never sought or desired fame, but in a certain sense he won what was better than fame—the perfect respect and confidence of all who were capable of appreciating such a character.  An intimate friend at the time of his death said in a letter, “In his social relations he was distinguished for his kindness, benevolence, and hospitality; in his business transactions for prudence, promptness, and integrity.  Throughout a long and active life he eminently sustained the character of a patriot, philanthropist, and an honest man.” He died of paralysis after a short illness, Apr. 17, 1845, being in the seventieth year of his age.
     Mrs. Brown was a woman of great excellence as wife, mother, neighbor, and friend.  A life of well directed study gave her broad culture; a knowledge of the world widened her sympathies, and tenderness of feeling made her charitable.  In her family she was gentle, loving, and interesting.  In the social circle her influence was

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elevating and refining.  Her death occurred Jan. 26, 1862.
     The family consisted of nine children: Alexander, born in 1807, lives in Bloomfield; George W., born in 1810, engaged in business in Pittsburg and died in Bloomfield in 1841; Mary, born in 1812, married to Joseph K. Wing and resides in Bloomfield; Charles, born in 1814, died in South Carolina in 1880; Elizabeth, born in 1816, resides in Bloomfield; James Monroe, born in 1818, died 1867 in Massillon; Marvin Huntington, born in 1820, resides in Painesville, Ohio; Fayette, born in 1823, resides in Cleveland, Ohio; Anne Frances, born in 1826, resides in Bloomfield.

HENRY CROWELL was born in Grafton, Vermont, in the year 1802.  His father, Mayhew Crowell, emigrated from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, residing in Grafton for a term of years and finally removed with his family to Bloomfield, Trumbull county, Ohio.  His maternal relative, Mahitable Crowell, was the sister of Major Howe, formerly of Bloomfield, and cousin of Ephraim Brown, Esq., of the same township.
     The subject of this biographical sketch removed with his parents from his Vermont home to Bloomfield in the year 1815.  The journey was accomplished by means of ox teams and was necessarily slow and tedious, six weeks being consumed before they reached its termination, a distance which can now be overcome in less than twenty-four hours.  For miles in many places they had to cut their way through dense forests, where the settler's axe had never before swung, bridging streams and camping out nights.
This journey proved no pleasure excursion.  Few in these days of good roads and easy locomotion can appreciate the trials, privations, and suffering incident to pioneer life in those times when these little bands, severing the ties of old associations, poor in purse but strong in will, went forth in the early twilight of our Nation's history sowing the seeds of empire and breaking the way for future generations in the great West.
Arriving at Bloomfield, which at that time was a dense wilderness broken here and there only by small clearings, few and far between, his father located a tract of land, a portion of which he ultimately sold to his son Henry, who, with characteristic industry, proceeded to clear and prepare it for cultivation, erecting a dwelling thereon.  In the year 1832 he was united in marriage with Miss Almena Saunders, the result of which union was five sons and two daughters; five of these seven children are still living.
In the year 1865 he removed to Cleveland, Ohio.  Here he afterwards resided until his death, which occurred Sept. 20, 1881, in the eightieth year of his age, he being the last member of a family of twelve.  His temperate, orderly life, combined with habits of well regulated industry, prolonged his years far beyond the average span of existence.
He was a man of sterling integrity, most eminently just in all his dealings, never having a quarrel or case of litigation in the entire course of his life.  So sweetly ordered were all his ways that in the beaten path of his daily walk and conversation he never made an enemy or lost a friend.  Peaceful, quiet, and unostentatious; firmly grounded in his religious convictions, beneath a calm exterior flowed the tides of kindly thought and feeling with scarce a surface ripple, but strong, resistless, pure, and holy.  He lived a noble example of the possibilities of a religious culture which rounds into symmetrical beauty the best types of an exalted Christian manhood.
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