Grapeland Texas

Queen City Of The Sand Flats

Grandfather, Mose Henry Brown, was born and raised in Meriwether County near Woodberry, Georgia. He was married to my grandmother, Polly Ann Brazzell, who was from the same area in Georgia


Grapeland Texas

Mose Henry Brown

 

  Mose Henry Brown and wife Polly Ann Basselle Brown

Grandfather, Mose Henry Brown, was born and raised in Meriwether County near Woodberry, Georgia. He was married to my grandmother, Polly Ann Brazzell, who was from the same area in Georgia. Their homes are still standing. They were made from logs brought in from the forest by their fathers. Some of the undercoating of the houses is made of logs that were hewn and some of the planks that were used in the houses were from trees that were so large that they could get 16 inch boards from the trees. These boards are still in the houses. The cove where my grandfather's home was built was beautiful. The river that formed the cove was in a horseshoe shape that ran along the base of the mountain. There are fertile river valleys in this area. The river contained many flat stones. These stones were used to cover the graves of the Brown Ancestors. The graves are all built up about four feet high and then a Hugh stone was placed on the top. This way the graves were never disturbed by wild animals. The cemetery was family owned by the Browns. It has been cared for and maintained by the relatives of those buried there. The Brown home was two-storied. It had a large upper room where the boys slept and two rooms downstairs where the mother and father and the girls slept. The house is still in good order. Underneath the house is a cellar. In this cellar, fruit and vegetables raised in the fertile valley were stored for the winter. The meat from the animals raised on the farm was cured in the smokehouse behind the house. It is still standing. They also cured wild animal’s meat such As deer in the smokehouse. My grand- father also built an ice house and cut blocks of ice from the river in the winter and stored it in the icehouse. This Ice lasted through most of the summer months. I am told that my grandfather's home was across the river from my grandmother's home and to get from one to the other over the roads was many miles, but my grandfather used a short cut. He either swam across the river or rode across it on horseback to go to court my grandmother. When he got to her home on the other side of the river, he would sit on one end of the porch while she sat on the other and back in those days the porches were long. Her parents sat on the porch between them. Back in those days, that was the way they courted; but they fell in love, got married and moved to beautiful east Texas. This area of Texas resembled the area of Georgia in which they were raised. It had the same rolling hills and pine trees and reminded them Of home. My grandmother, Polly Ann Brazzell's home is still standing. It was also a two-story home with two bedrooms upstairs and the kitchen and other rooms downstairs. It had four fireplaces to heat the home. One of these fireplaces was in the kitchen and was used to cook the family meal. The food was cooked in large black pots that hung above the fire. The house was made of logs brought in from the forest and there is a large Magnolia tree that stands in the front yard of the home. It is so large that a man cannot reach Around it. It is the largest Magnolia still standing in the state of Georgia. Mose Henry and Polly Ann Brown raised a large family in the Grapeland area. They were Oscar Brown, Tom Brown, N.B. (Bud) Brown, (who was my father); Lillie Brown, Ida Brown, Lellia Brown, and Lum Brown were the children. There were several other children who either died at birth or as children. My father, Napoleon Bonaparte Brown who married Delores Ann Parker. She was the daughter of Frank Parker and Ann Overstreet. They lived in the area of the New Prospect area and their children were Clifton, Carlton, Calvin, Conroe (who died before he was a year old), Elmo, Elaine and James Brown. Mose Henry Brown was a tall, slender man who wore a goatee. Grandmother Polly Ann Brazzell Brown was small, short and dark because she mile from French descendants. Our earliest memories of them are when they lived in a house near Grapeland. They had a shiny buggy and a white horse named Dick. The grandchildren always looked forward to their visits. We could see them coming from away down the road with old Dick pulling their buggy at a trot. All work stopped and the whole family would go to the house for a big meal and visit. Old Dick was fed corn and hay in the lot. Grandmother loved jewelry and she would either talk you out of yours or buy it. We had a supper of vegetables. Then we children loved to sit around and listen to grandfather talk about the Civil War. He was a water boy in the war and could give the rebel yell.

                                                              Bud Brown in his Woodman of the World uniform with his son Elmo

The children loved to hear him give the yell, but grandmother did not like it. They sold their home in Grapeland and moved to the veteran’s home in Austin, Texas. There all the veterans of the Civil War that wanted to could go and live. They enjoyed their lives there because they enjoyed living with people their own age. They still came to visit from time to time in Grapeland. Grandfather Brown passed away in the home in Austin and Grandmother Brown went to live with her daughter in Louisiana. She died about six months later. They are both buried in the Guiceland Cemetery. Their horse, Dick, was not sold, but kept by Oscar Brown until his death. Oscar Brown married Julia Parker and their children were Chester, and Burlus. Julia died when the sons were very young and Oscar married Minnie Clewis. Oscar and Minnie had two sons, Travis and Leoniadas Brown. Leoniadas Brown lives on the old family farm and Travis lives nearby on his wife's people's farm (the Bean Farm). Tom Brown married a Houston County girl named Clemmie and they lived in the New Prospect Community most of their lives. They had three children, two of whom are still living in Houston County-Eldridge and Loye Brown. One other son, Ferrell, is deceased. Mose Henry's daughter, Lillie married Leonard Parker. They had two sons Seburn and Nelson who reside near Madisonville. They also had a daughter named Reba. Mose Henry Brown's daughter, Ida married Ezra Garrett. They both died in Louisiana. Her children still reside in Louisiana. LiIla Brown passed away shortly after Ida and Ezra. She had no children. My father, N.B.

                                                             Bud and Delores Brown

(Bud) Brown married Delores Parker who was a sister to Julia Parker. They resided in and around Grapeland and Elkhart most of their married life. They had a son, Clifton, who married Goldy Posey. Clifton and Goldie's children were Harold, W. M., Margie and Betty. Clifton is deceased and his wife Go (die still lives in Blessing, Texas. Carlton Brown married Alpha Brumley. Their children were Charles, Donald and Nancy. J.C. died as an infant. Carlton Brown had another son, Newborn, by his first wife Rita. This son is deceased. Carlton is deceased, but his wife still lives near Grapeland. Calvin Brown married Ruby Finch. Their children were Marie, Jeanette, and Charles (who died at a year's age). Calvin is deceased, but his wife still lives near Elkhart. Conroe Brown died before he was a year old. Elmo Brown married Geneva Leslie. Their children were Buddy, N.B., and Dennis 0. Anita, and Pat Brown. They live in different states. Elmo Brown is still alive and lives in Missouri near Raymond. Elaine Brown was married to James Clifford Tyer. They have one daughter named Adele who married Joseph E. Willis. Adele and Joseph Willis have three children, Michelle, Lynette and James Daniel Willis. J. C. Tyer is deceased. Elaine still lives near Grapeland. James Odell Brown, the youngest of Bud Brown and Delores Brown lives near Casa Grande, Arizona. He has been a missionary to the Pima Indians for twenty-six years. He married Ruby Ashley and they have four daughters, Ann, Sandra, Elaine, Ellen, and one son. Randall Brown. They also have four foster sons from the Pima Reservation that they raised. They are Elmer, Delmar (deceased), Owen and Joey. During the years in which I was growing up the people of each area took care of all the needs of the family. The men worked their farms from sunup to sundown and also kept up the roads in their vicinity. Because the roads were unpaved, travel on them during the winters was hard. The hills were slippery during the rain, ice and snow. The children walked to school in all kinds of weather. Everything the family needed was raised on the farm and the food was preserved and cured as it was in my grandparent's time. My mother made our clothes, our bed linens, and mattresses from the cotton we raised. She braided our rugs from old clothes, and crocheted beautiful bed spreads and cloths for the furniture. Soap was made from hog fat. I graduated from high school in Grapeland and was married to James Tyer on September 17, 1932 by Bro. Simpson who was the First Baptist Church at Grapeland and part-time minister of the San Pedro Church. We farmed in the Grapeland area during the 1930's and later moved to Houston. My husband made gears for the ships and tanks during World War II and the company he worked for was awarded the Army-Navy E Award. This award was presented by Admiral Percy Lightfoot. My husband died on September 28, 1984 and I was blinded in an automobile accident in Austin, Texas in 1971. I now live alone in my home three miles from Grapeland and take care of all my needs. My daughter, Adele and her family live on my farm here in Grapeland. Joe Willis, Adele's husband was Grapeland's first law enforcement officer to have the title "Police Chief". My other grandparents, Frank Parker and Ann Overstreet, lived in the Grapeland area from the time they were married until their death. He came to east Texas from North Carolina and wrote home asking his family to join him. Frank Parker's family history is included under the Parker name. My husband's family came here from Ireland several generations ago. Lonzie Tyer was married to Berta Wall. The Walls came to east Texas in the 1830's. Lonzie Tyer's parents were James Tyer and Bell Grounds. James Tyer ran a store in the Jones Schoolhouse Community. He also ran a sawmill. He acquired several large tracts of land for timber for the sawmill. He gave each of his son's one hundred acres of land when they married. The Lonzie and Sampson Tyer families still own two tracts of that land. Thisland of Lonzie and Sampson joins in the San Pedro Community. Sampson Tyer married Ella Whitaker and their children were Elmer Lee, Truman and Ike (deceased). The land is still owned by Elmer Lee Tyer. The children of Lonzie Tyer and Bertie Wall are Chester Tyer who married Helen Falo and their children are Dorinda and Jerry Lynn, Cleavie Bell who married Bricker Rials and their children are Betty Jo and Gwendolyn, James Clifford Tyer who married Elaine Brown and their daughter is Adele. 

 

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