b. 12/15/1885 - d. 3/8/1959
Biography[edit | edit source]
Henry Lee Brown, the second child of Virgil and Mallie Brown, was born on December 15, 1885 at Tarleton in Grundy County, Tennessee. As a young man he learned the building trade. He established a successful contracting business in Beersheba Springs, building many homes, schools and churches. He married Anna Medley (born December 10, 1885 in Warren County, Tennessee) in 1909.
After their marriage, Henry and Anna moved to Chattanooga where Henry built a home in the Red Bank community. The family, however, returned to Beersheba each summer to escape the heat. Annie would take the children to the mountain by train, while Henry walked and led the milk cow up the old stage road through Savage Gulf to Beersheba. He carried food on the cow's back and camped out at night. In 1916 their son, Henry Lee, Jr., referred to by the family as "Little Son," died in Chattanooga during a diphtheria epidemic.
Henry built many buildings on the mountain including the Palmer Methodist Church in 1920, the Palmer School in 1927, the Beersheba Springs Library and Coalmont Methodist Church. He also build the Coalmont School with his own money, but the county never paid him for it because of the Depression. That broke him and he never recovered financially. As a result, the home in Chattanooga had to be sold and the family returned to the mountain. Afterwards, he built a number of homes for the Seventh Day Adventists and came under the influence of the Adventist religion, devoting much of his time to their causes.
Annie and the children refused to accept Henry's new religion, remaining loyal to the Methodist Church. Henry eventually left his family. Later, he built a large, two-story home at Beersheba for Annie, but, she would not accept it, choosing instead to live in the modest home she had inherited from her mother. Years later, Henry's children joked that they all enjoyed ham and bacon too much to become Adventists. Surely, this humorous explanation was a way of dealing with what must have been an extremely painful situation.
Henry's oldest granddaughter, Sylvia Brown Flowers, remembers him this way, "Strangely I don't have a large number of personal memories of Henry (we always called him Grand-Daddy), except that he almost always wore a suit coat, tie and hat. Sometimes he gave us a piece of candy - always a treat. He and my Dad often argued about religious doctrines, but, their attitude toward each other seemed to soften somewhat during Henry's older years."
Henry Brown died in March of 1959 and is buried at Fall Creek Cemetery in Palmer, Tennessee. Anna Medley Brown died September 25, 1974 and was buried near her mother (Malvina "Viney" Medley Brown) and Henry's mother (Malvina "Mallie" Cornelison Brown) at Grace Chapel Methodist Church in Beersheba Springs, Tennessee.
Parents[edit | edit source]
Spouse[edit | edit source]
Children[edit | edit source]
- Margaret Louise Brown (1910-2001)
- Henry Lee Brown (1911-1916)
- Carlos Wayne Brown (1917-1999)
- James Fate Brown (1919-2003)
Contributors[edit | edit source]