|Mabel Brown Hibbard Collection
George Washington Brown
Born 05 Apr 1859 in Lewiston, IL
Married Mary Elizabeth Hazen 15 Jun 1885 in Coldwater, KS
Died 07 Jun 1935 Seminole, OK
Buried at South Heights Cemetery in Sapulpa, OK
George Washington Brown was born 05 Apr 1859 in Lewiston, IL, to Joseph Brown (b. 24 Feb 1829 in OH, d. 1862 in
Lewiston, IL) and Esther Clark (b. 21 Feb 1834 in OH, d. 03 Dec 1860 in IL). He had three siblings: Turner Brown, John
S. Brown and Anna A. Brown. Joseph and Esther both died when the children were young, so the children lived with
various members of their family. George lived with his maternal grandparents, Benjamin Clark and Anna Smith, in
As a young man, George's spirit of adventure was strong. He worked on a farm in Kansas and saved his money until he
could buy a farm of his own. He then leased his farm to a friend and headed west. He went to the Yukon in search of
gold and spent some time in the Pacific Northwest as a lumberjack.
George returned to Kansas and married Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Hazen 15 June 1885 in Coldwater, KS, at the home of
Mollie's mother, Clarinda Freeman-Hazen-Wishard.
George was a bona fide Sooner. He had taken a job with the survey crew in Oklahoma to prepare for the Land Rush of
1889. Like many others in the survey crew, George took a claim early. He did not keep the land. In 1893, he ran the
treacherous Cherokee Strip Land Run and secured a claim in Cleveland, Pawnee County, OK. The family lived very
near the Osage Indian Reservation and had a good relationship with the Native Americans. Mabel spoke of them with
respect and talked about her family going to the Reservation for herbs and medicines.
George was an expert horseman and skilled with a gun. It was said he could shoot the eye out of a snake - from a
horse. He drove cattle on the rugged Chisholm Trail from Texas to Abilene, KS. Mabel said she remembered her father
being gone for long periods of time then coming home with bags of money. Mollie would put a blanket in the floor, and
George would dump the money on the blanket so the children could count it.
The Browns suffered challenges in Oklahoma that proved to much to keep George and Mary together. Having already
lost one child in Fort Smith, AR, a five-month old son named Clarence, the family would suffer a shocking, traumatic loss
in Kiefer, OK. One of their twins, Ella, was brutally assaulted and murdered in January of 1913 at the age of 9. The
trials wore on for two years and ended with no justice for Ella. George was a drover, or teamster, hauling supplies in the
oil fields. The need to relocate, possibly coupled with the stress of coping with the loss of Ella, tore the family apart. We
do not know the date or location, but George and Mary divorced between 1915 and 1918.
Despite being the epitome of the frontier cowboy, it was said George W. Brown never drank or chased women. After his
divorce, he never remarried. He set out in search of his siblings. In this collection are documents showing his search
took him to Dodge City, KS, Denver, CO, and Tombstone, AZ.
He knew his sister, Anna, had married Samuel Eggleston and died in poverty in California.
Turner went to Mexico to work in the silver mines. The family lost touch with him and assumed he died there, but we now
know he made his way to Great Falls, MT, where he died in 1927.
At one point, George knew his brother, John, was living in Denver, and he knew details of his life. John eventually
moved to Washington then Idaho, where he had a wheat farm.
|George with daughter, Eva
|George and Mary Brown
|George with twins, Nellie and Ella
|George with son, Turner, and
grandson, Turner Brown, Jr.,
|Last known photo of
George. Date unknown.
|George, Mabel, Eva (front),
Turner, Mary, Maud Brown
Documents relating to George Washington Brown: