Categories: Westward Ho Project.
Hugh Leeper Brown was born January 24, 1810, in Knox county, Tennessee, where he lived until 1838. Hugh and his wife, Clarrissa Browning, and three children traveled West to Platte county, Missouri.  In the Spring of 1846, with eight children in their family, they fell in with a stream of pioneers and crossed the plains with an ox-team for a six month journey to the Oregon Territory. (Hugh and Clarrisa were both 36 years of age when they arrived, and two more children were born in Oregon) 
The party arrived in Linn County, Oregon in the fall of 1846. Among the party were Hugh, James Blakely, Jonathan Keeney and R.C. Finley. Alexander Kirk and his son, Riley Kirk arrived the following Spring. Hugh took up a claim one mile east of the present Brownsville, Oregon, named in his honor. 
Hugh and his nephew, James Blakely established the first mercantile store, which operated for years near Alexander Kirk's cabin, along with a post office. Hugh was instrumental in organizing the first Presbyterian Church in Brownsville. In 1847, he and his nephew convinced Reverend H.H. Spalding to move from Oregon City to serve as the local minister. Reverend Spalding had recently survived the Whitman Massacre at Lapwai, Idaho. In 1879, Hugh and Clarissa Brown celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, in Brownsville. 
Hugh died in 1888 and is buried in the Brownsville Pioneer Cemetery, in Brownsville, Linn County, Oregon.  There is a portrait of Hugh and a photograph of his headstone on his Find A Grave memorial.
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