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Hugh Leeper Brown (1810 - 1888)

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Hugh Leeper Brown
Born in Knox county, Tennesseemap
Brother of
Husband of — married in Knox Co., TNmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Linn county, Oregonmap
Profile last modified | Created 2 Feb 2018
This page has been accessed 48 times.

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. [1] 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) [2]

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. [3]Hugh took up a claim one mile east of the present Brownsville, Oregon, named in his honor. [4]

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. [5]

Hugh died in 1888 and is buried in the Brownsville Pioneer Cemetery, in Brownsville, Linn County, Oregon. [6] There is a portrait of Hugh and a photograph of his headstone on his Find A Grave memorial.


  1. "United States Census, 1840," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 7 September 2017), Hugh L Brown, Platte, Missouri, United States; citing p. 105, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 228; FHL microfilm 14,857
  5. The Times Newspaper, Brownsville, Oregon, June 18, 2014, digitized here:

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Hugh by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Hugh:

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Hugh is 20 degrees from Robin Helstrom, 21 degrees from Katy Jurado and 18 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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