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The Life of

Lillian KingBrown

Compiled by Alannah Autrey

The Life of

Lillian King Brown Compiled by Alannah Autrey


Copyright Š 2013 Alannah Autrey All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in review, without permission in writing from the author/publisher. Printed in the United States of America ii

Table of Contents Life though Her Eyes Life though Virginia’s Eyes

1 4


Life through Her Eyes The following was written by Lillian King Brown, about 1930. Her daughter, Virginia, said she wrote it “when she was active in the Genealogy class of the old American Fork First Ward. If she ever completed the story of her life, the record has been lost.”


was baptized at the age of 8 years in the mill race of Orza Adam’s flour mill, and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That was nearly 50 years ago, but I remember it quite distinctly. Mother took me to Mrs. James Adamson’s home, her name being Martha, after whom my youngest sister, a baby then, was named. She lived close by the mill race, and her husband was James, the miller. I was undressed and dressed at their home, then we had supper. I remember eating mine on the window sill, as there was not enough room at the table. I remember our first Sunday Schools with Willam Paxman as superintendent. Issac Able was chorister, and we received tickets at the


door for punctuality. These we turned-in for prizes at the end of the year. I had some very kind teachers and learned to love them dearly, and I feel that some of their teachings have helped to make me stronger in my faith in God, and in meeting the trials and problems in life. I can recall my childish impressions of events and people of those days. A few of them are still alive, but most of the officers and teachers are gone. I can’t think of any of my classmates but what have made good women and mothers in Israel, serving in all capacities for the good of mankind. I recall sister Alvira Cromptom Steele, who was a day teacher and Sunday School teacher until moving to Idaho. I

years and was married to Joseph Webb Brown of Salt Lake City, Utah. We celebrated Christmas, New Year’s day, May day, the 4th of July, 24th of July and Sunday School or Timber day in Sept., when the whole town went on a picnic, and they surely had a good time together. Children now days The only surviving photo of Joesph would laugh at Webb Brown our crude merrygo-round compared with today’s Ferris Wheels, giant racers, and fun houses. I don’t remember my older brothers so distinctly as they were away to work a large part of their

W e a ll had to wo rk i n tho se

d a ys. T h e re wa s li ttle ti m e fo r b o o k s o r a m us ements. also attended school under Minnie Hindley, Martha Nelson, Joseph B. Forbes and Edward W. Robinson. There was much difference in school then. We started any time our parents could spare us, and was taken out when needed, so that we often took some of our studies over more than once. A fifth grade student was ranked high, and as a rule was never a very large class. I quit school at 17 2

time until marriage, helping to support the family. We all had to work in those days, there was little time for books or amusements. There were no public entertainments except what was provided by the people themselves. My father was a violinist and played for dances. He also played roles in dramatics. I thought he, Mrs. Evans, Emma Featherstone, John Peters and others were wonderful actors.

Marriage Certificate for Lillian King Brown and Joesph Webb Brown

Joseph Webb Brown was the son of Benjamin Pearce Brown and Rebecca Webb Brown of Salt Lake City, Utah. They owned a 160 acre farm in American Fork. Joseph and I were married on Christmas Day, 25 Dec. 1891, at noon, at my mother’s home.

Children grown, pictured left to right. Top row: Frank, Milt John. Bottom Row: Virginia, Prudy, Lillian.

We lived on the Brown farm 6 years, and 3 sons were born to us, Joseph King Brown, Robert Milton Brown and Harold King Brown. Then the farm was divided in 3 sections. John Snider, husband of Joe’s sister Annie getting the lower 30 acres, Joe the middle 40 acres, and his younger brother Ben (Benjamin) the balance on the North end. We built us a small rustic house of 3 rooms, 1 closet pantry. We worked very hard here, breaking the wild hay sod, planting grain, vegetables and an orchard. Here 1 daughter and 3 more sons were born, Lillian, Benjamin Kenneth, Webb King and Frank William Brown.


Life through Virginia’s Eyes


t is difficult to write the story of my mother, because her virtues were so many, and her life full and rich. I wish it was possible to record it all here. Deep abiding faith, respect for Church Authorities, humility, selfless service, self-sacrifice, love and sympathy are a few of the lovely things

Lillian King Brown

I remember as a part of her character. She was efficient and hard-working though reserved and refined of manner. She loved 4

The following was written by Lillian’s daughter, Virginia.

dramatic readings and the music of the military band always set her feet tapping. She endured many trials and sorrows while raising her family of 10 children to adulthood, but talked very little of these things. An observer had to look deeply beneath the surface to see the anguish and fear and heart-ache which for many years was her lot. Grandfather King had 3 wives and 26 children, so with that many mouths to feed, it was necessary for the children at an early age to assist in earning a livelihood. Mother often helped in gathering farm produce, for a small share, and she assisted in the gathering of wild berries for canning. She hired-out as a mother’s helper at the tender age of 10 years. Like all her sisters, mother was a good housekeeper and cook, washer and ironer, and her employers were very complimentary, and often wondered that so small a child could do her work so well. Although mother did not have much book education, going only to the 7ty grade, she had a keen mind and was truly intellectual. Her children have all received

more schooling, but she could to fill mother’s days. Her Father out-spell, write more beautifully, played the violin for all the dances and was a better reader than most round-a-bout, and he always took of us. The school she attended his girls with him. Then there was a one room stone building. were candy-pulls, parties, horse All the grades met together and and buggy rides etc. At the age of their lessons were given in rota17 years mother was married to tion. The school was a mile from Joseph Webb Brown. The wedher home and she often ding was held on Christmas day in reached school or home her parents home. They lthough wet to the waist from went to live on Father’s m o the r di d farm, which was a walking (wadding) through the deep snow no t have mile South of her pardrifts. The school was ents home. located at 3rd East and m uch boo k Much of the farm e ducati on, 1st North-American produce was hauled Fork, Utah. goi ng o nl y 30 miles to Salt Lake An amusing inciCity in the wagon for to the 7th sale. This was a 3 day dent mother told grade , she trip then . . . one day to me . . . One day after school, mother and a had a ke e n go . . . a second day to group of her friends sell the produce and m i nd and went into Chipman’s do necessary purchaswas truly big red store, and ing . . . then a third day while the others waited i nte l le ctual. to return home. Many snickering in the backtimes, especially after the groung, mother approached the birth of her children, mother had clerk in the grocery dept. Careout to remain on the farm alone while 1 lb. sugar, a little salt, some beans, father made these trips. Being flour and several other items. alone in itself was not so bad, but Then when they all lay on the there were no close neighbors and counter neatly sacked, she yelled, her house was near the D&RG “April Fool”, and bolted for the railroad tracks, along which tramps door, the other kids running after and transients used to walk, there her. Needless to say it was many being no paved highways between days before she wanted to go to cities. For this reason my parents the store for grandma King. tried to always have a good watchAs she grew older there were dog. Mother also had a pistol of many friendships and good times which she was more afraid than



any one else would have been. Though never harmed, she had several bad scares. The following one I remember hearing her tell: One day, when alone, she was washing clothes. Her first baby was sleeping in the house and she was returning from the spring with a pail of water. To her consternation she saw a big, burley, mean-looking negro waiting for her on the path between her and the house. What to do! She could not run and leave her baby, and there was no use to cry out for no one lived near enough to hear her voice. The negro said nothing, just stood staring and leering, waiting for her to move. She began to pray in her heart, and as she felt she could stand the tension no longer, the quiet was broken by angry snarling, and Nig the dog, came tearing from the direction of the barn. The negro took one look at this big black beast, and ran like 40 demons were after him. Mother dropped the water, dashed into the house and bolted the door. After that father always arranged form someone to stay with her when he had to be away. One day some 4 or 5 years later, mother was walking to town. A sister-in-law was with her and they were pushing the baby in a buggy, while the two older little boys ran on ahead playing they were horses. The eldest boy Joe 6

was clad in a beautiful velvet suit, his grandmother Brown had sent him from Salt Lake City. He pranced along neighing and going through all the motions he had witnessed the horses use. When they came to a big dust pile, he forgetful of his clothes, gave a neigh of delight and rolled over and over in the dust as he had seen the horses do. It was some time later before they made it to town. About this time my parents sold some of the farm land and moved to a second farm home. They lived here several years. Then after the birth of Frank William, their 7th child, they moved into town (American Fork), where they lived in an adobe house while a fine brick house was built. This home was across the street from grandmother King’s log house on South 1st East Street. Now Lillian could visit with her mother and

Pictured left to right. Top row: Virgina, John, Prudy. Bottom row: Milt, Lillian, Webb.

members of the family on a daily basis. The last 3 of mother’s children were born in this house. When the youngest John was about 10 months old, a period of great trial began for my young 40 year old mother. The year was 1913 and father became very ill. After some weeks of intense suffering, he died of a heart ailment, leaving mother with 10 children under 20 years of age. To add to her burden there was a large mortgage on the farm, which was to be the means of making

a livelihood. My older brothers deserve much credit at this time, for they pitched in bravely, and with their help mother got along fairly well. The 2 youngest children, Virginia and John, suffered illnesses, at this time, which nearly claimed their lives. One happy event broke the sequence of trouble, when in 1914 mother went to the Salt Lake Temple, receive her higher endowments, and had her family sealed for Time and Eternity. The next tragic occurrence for mother was the death of the oldest son. He had gone to California


Joesph King Brown

to work on a large ranch/farm. He was killed in an automobile accident, while riding in a morning fog with his employer. A few nights prior to the accident mother had a dream which gave her some comfort as she felt Joe’s death was the will of the Lord. In 1916, the United States entered the 1st World War. Harold, 3rd son, was immediately drafted, and sent to Camp Kerney, and then to France, where he served almost continually in the front trenches. Robert Milton, 2nd son, was drafted a little later, and mother went through anxious weeks, with Harold at the front and daily fearing that Milton her last remaining help, in the support of 6 young children, would be taken. However the Lord blessed 8

her and heard her prayers for the safe return of Harold. And the armistice was signed just a week or so before Milton was assigned to leave for a training camp. Thus the Lord blessed my mother and although we never had luxuries, we had all the necessities and many of the comforts of life. In 1925 when the youngest children were in their teens, mother began to do practical nursing. She worked for many months in the small American Fork Hospital started by Dr. Guy Richards. She did the cooking and assisted the nurses. From the nurses, she gained much knowledge to add to the experience she had gained in nursing her family. When the Hospital closed, some 3 years later, mother took ‘Home Cases’ where she took care of new mothers or waited on sick children, did the cooking

Thu s th e

L o r d b le sse d my m oth e r a n d al tho u g h w e n e ve r had lu xu r ie s, w e h a d a ll th e ne ce ssitie s a n d m an y o f th e co mf o r ts o f lif e .

A ll we chi ldre n wi l l do we ll

to e mu la te h e r exa mple o f fai th, he r p a yin g o f t it hes a nd offe ri ngs, and h e r u n stin te d h o u rs of labo r to ai d oth e r s. and housework and everything in general. She was dearly loved by all her patients because of her faithfulness, sympathetic kindness and skill. The Doctors with whom she worked always had the highest praise for her labors. Many visited later at Christmas time with gifts and thanks, feeling that they owed the lives of themselves or their children to her patient, tender nursing. In our own family when anyone was ill, the first request was always, “Send for Mother.” The deep love and sincere affection felt by the spouses of her children for ‘Mother Brown’ is a testimony of the character of Lillian King Brown. Mother was a very religious woman and was devoted to our Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). All we children will do well to emulate her example of faith, her paying of tithes and offerings, and her unstinted hours of labor to aid others. For many years she worked in the Primary, teaching first, then serving in the Primary Presidency. She believe with all her soul in the Divinity of genealogical and Temple work, and did all

that her limited means, strength and time permitted. For ten years mother was a member of the Relief Society Presidency of the Old American Fork First Ward. She served first as a counselor, then as President. She was much loved and respected in these callings. Mother was made very happy in 1935 when John was called to be a Missionary. He served in Germany, Switzerland and England. Lillian King Brown was 68 years of age when she died, 5 Oct 1941, as a result of a Cerebral Hemorrhage. A fitting close to her life story would be these words which she wrote during her life: “The prize I am seeking is that of Eternal Life for myself and my posterity after me. I feel this was the prize or goal God implanted in our Souls, and is the Divine spark that lives in our hearts. Eternal Life is the greatest gift ever offered. I feel I must not fail but ever strive and live for more wisdom, faith, strength and knowledge to keep His commandments, so I can again be worthy of entering into Our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom.” 9

The Life of

LillianKing Brown


The Life of Lillian King Brown