The photograph, above, was the home of Jasper Pascal Brown, Pike County, MS.
Jasper Pascal Brown, son of Allen Moses Brown and Emmaline Smith (Brown), was born 15 May 1865 in Pike County, Mississippi.[i]In 1870 he lived with his parents and two sisters in Osyka, Pike Co., Mississippi.[ii]In 1878 he was 13 years old and attending school with his sisters.[iii]By 1880 his father had died and Jasper was the only male in the family, living with his mother and sisters and attending school.[iv]
In 1880 much of Pike County “seemed much as it had twenty or thirty years before.”[v]Most of the population still lived on farms, worked in agriculture and worshipped in Baptist or Methodist churches. The four largest communities were McComb, Summit, Magnolia and Osyka. There were also “smaller settlements, crossroads communities and piney woods hamlets”.[vi]
On 21 December 1887 Jasper married Rose Ella Brumfield, daughter of Jessie Alexander Brumfield and Martha Elizabeth (Alford) Brumfield in Pike County.[vii],[viii]Jasper, 21, and Rose, 18, were married by Reverend W. J. Fortenberry.[ix]William John Fortenberry was the great uncle of Jasper. [William John Fortenberry was the son of William Jasper Fortenberry and Violette (Kennington) Fortenberry who were Jasper’s great grandparents.]
Jasper and Rose had nine children: Lucy Viola (Brown) Fortenberry, Ina Lucille (Brown) Alford, Junius Earl Brown, Hubert Allen Brown, Mavis Marie (Brown) Smith, Lyda Mearl (Brown) Pierce, Roy Jesse Brown, Mildred Olga (Brown) Ball and Thelma Lady Brown.
Family stories say Jasper was a farmer and ran a sawmill. Faye Seward Smith said Jasper, “was a mill wright in a paper mill.”[x]Jasper was certainly not the only farmer in the Piney Woods area of Mississippi who needed to have a supplemental income to sustain the family.
The Piney Woods is large in land but small in population. The soil is sandy and poor, too poor in most places for farmers to make a good living from cotton or any other crop. Historically, the Piney Woods was settled by a few hardy pioneers, who made a living through a combination of lumbering, small farms, and commerce. These independent families came to Mississippi with little money and could not afford to buy the richer lands of the prairies or the Delta. Land in the Piney Woods was cheap.[xi]
In 1900 Jasper and Rose had six children at home: Lucy, Ina, Junius, Hubert, Mavis and ‘Baby’. Jasper was a farmer.[xii]Several of their neighbors were relatives of Jasper. His first cousin, Monroe Ellzey and wife Elizabeth (Fortenberry) Ellzey lived nearby. Jasper’s first cousin William J. Smith and wife Martha (Alford) Smith were also nearby. Other relatives who lived close by included Walker Fortenberry, Felder H. Fortenberry and William and Clarenda (McElveen) Fortenberry.[xiii]
In the early 1900s education in Mississippi was “inadequate.” High schools were established in towns but less than 10 percent of the children lived in towns.[xiv]Fortunately Jasper’s children had a school nearby. School records show Lucy, age 11; Ina, age 9; Junius, age 6; and Hubert, age 5 attending school in 1900.[xv]
Mississippi suffered from difficult financial times at the beginning of the new century. The 1907 boll weevil invasion was just one component of those difficulties. The boll weevil, a beetle which feeds on cotton buds and flowers, invaded the state. “Farmers in the area between the Piney Woods and the Natchez Bluffs turned to beans, tomatoes, and cabbages.” Lumber had been a great resource in the state but the forests were being cut down.[xvi]
Industry did not provide an answer to Mississippi’s farm problems. Since the state was poor, it provided a poor market for finished products. And since it was rural, it could not attract urban industrial managers. Finally, since its people were not educated, it could not offer skilled workers for industry to rely upon.[xvii]
In 1910 Jasper, 44 years old, owned his farm in Pike County. Rose was the mother of nine children, all living, and eight of them were still at home: Ina, Junius, Hubert, Mavis, Lyda, Roy, Mildred and Thelma.[xviii] Oldest daughter, Lucy, had married Tate Edward Fortenberry on 17 December 1908. In 1910 Lucy and Tate also lived in Pike County with their son, Jasper and Rose’s first grandson, Shirley Fortenberry.[xix]
Despite the faults of the educational system, Jasper’s children continued to attend school. In 1912 school records show Hubert, age 17; Mavis, age 15; Lyda, age 13; Roy, age 11, Mildred, age 8; and Thelma, age 5 attending school.[xx] In 1920 three of their children were in school: Roy, age 17; Mildred, age 14; and Thelma, age 12.[xxi]
In 1920 Jasper was still farming and his sons, Hubert and Roy, were helping with the farm work. Daughters, Mildred and Thelma, who were also still at home most likely helped their mother with many household chores.[xxii]
Tragedy struck the family when their daughter, Mavis Marie (Brown) Smith died 28 June 1928. Mavis was just 30 years old. [xxiii]She was married to Denny Herbert Smith, son of Elvin and Nancy Smith, and had three children, Nathalee, Faye and Wilma. Denny would later marry Mary Thelma Ellzey whose first husband was Roy Jessie Brown, the brother of his first wife.[xxiv]
In 1930 Jasper and Rose were in Louisiana, rather than Mississippi. Both in their sixties, they had two of their grandsons, Bernard Brown [son of Thelma Lady Brown] and Joseph Brown [son of Junius Earl Brown] with them. Next door was their son, Junius Earl Brown with his wife, Armetha, and their youngest son Everett Brown. Both Jasper and Junius were farmers.[xxv]
In 1940 Jasper and Rose were back on Walker’s Bridge Road in Pike County. Jasper, 74 years old, was still farming. Rose was 72 years old. Their grandson, Bernarr Brown [son of Thelma Lady Brown; sometimes shown as Bernard Reynolds] who was 14 years old was living with them.[xxvi]
In July 1945 Jasper and Rose had a visit from their grandson, Bernard Reynolds, son of Thelma Lady Brown.
Mrs. Rosa E. Brown Passes at Pike Home; Time of Services to be Set after Daughter Arrives From California. Funeral services for Mrs. Rosa Ella Brown, beloved native and lifelong resident of Pike County, have not been completely arranged pending the time of arrival of a daughter who lives in California. Mrs. Brown passed away at her home in the Progress community at 11:30 Saturday morning, Oct. 2. She was born July 18, 1867 in that community and had lived there during a lifetime known for its sterling Christian character, respected by all who knew her. Last rites will be said from Silver Creek Baptist Church with the pastor, Reverend Moore, officiating. She leaves her husband, Jasper Brown, Progress; four daughters, Mrs. Ina Alford, Bogalusa, La; Mrs. Lydia Pierce, of Walthall County; Mrs. Mildred Ball, Angie, La.; and Mrs. Thelma Mitzell, Montgomery, Calf.; three sons, Junius and Hubert Brown, both of Magnolia, and Roy Brown, Hudson, N.Y.; a brother, Fletcher Brumfield, McComb, RFD, and three sisters, Mrs. Lillie Alford, Angie, La.; Mrs. Daisy Alford and Mrs. Sally Brumfield, and many other relatives. Catchings’ Magnolia Funeral Home will be in charge of services.[xxx]
Jasper Pascal Brown died 8 June 1950, when he was 85 years old. He died at his home in Pike County, Mississippi home from Bronchial Pneumonia. He is buried in Silver Creek Cemetery. [xxxi]Jasper’s wife and sons Roy Jesse Brown and Hubert Allen Brown are also buried there.
Progress Community was saddened last week by the death of one of it’s oldest residents, J. P. (Jap) Brown. Funeral services were held at the home of a son, June Brown [Junius Earl Brown].Burial was in the Silver Creek Cemetery Saturday morning.[xxxii]
[vii]Index to Marriage Record, White, Volume I; 1882-1942; Pike County Court House, Mississippi; Family History Center Microfilm #0907286; Brown, Jasper P. 14 Dec 1887. Brumfield, Rosa E. Book P Page 354.
[xviii]1910 US Census, Pike Co., Mississippi; 1910; ED95, Sheet 11; Line 15; Federal Archives, Pittsfield, Mass., T1269 Roll 13 (Soundex) T624 Roll 756 (Report); NOTES: Jasper Brown & family in Pike county.
[xxvii]Brown Family Papers; 1700’s to 1900’s; Gathered by Rayleen Hall Brown from Various Family Members; in possession of author; Includes Alford, Brown, Dillon, Fortenberry, Kennington, Ott & Smith.
….. 1 Jasper Pascal Brown b: 15 May 1865 in Pike, MS, d: 8 June 1950 McComb, Pike, MS
….. + Rose Ella Brumfield b: 18 July 1867 in MS, m: 21 Dec 1887 in Pike, MS, d: 02 Oct 1948 in Magnolia, Pike, MS
……….. 2 Lucy Viola Brown b: 16 October 1888 in MS, d: 23 March 1942
……….. + Tate E Fortenberry b: 14 Jan 1885 in MS, m: 17 Dec 1908 in Pike, MS
……….. 2 Ina Lucille Brown b: 29 Dec 1890 in MS, d: 25 July 1972
……….. + Dewitt W Alford b: 29 Oct 1874 LA, m: 8 Dec 1910 LA, d: 24 May 1942
……….. 2 Junius Earl Brown b: 12 May 1892 in MS, d: Jan 1956
……….. + Armetha Brown
……….. 2 Hubert A Brown b: 01 Oct 1894 MS, d: 25 Nov 1971 Hinds, MS
……….. + Freddie Smith b: 19 Nov 1899, m: 10 Jan 1920 MS, d: 21 April 1988 MS
……….. 2 Mavis Marie Brown b: 18 Aug 1897 in MS d: 28 June 1928 in MS
……….. + Denny H. Smith b: 3 March 1892 Walthall, MS d: 18 March 1966 MS
……….. 2 Lyda Mearl Brown b: 24 Dec 1900 in Pike, MS, d: 06 Dec 1979 in MS
……….. + Arlie Pierce b: 27 Jan 1898 in Walthall, MS, d: 1993
……….. 2 Roy Jesse Brown b: 8 March 1902 Pike, MS, d: 12 May 1956 Pike, MS
……….. + Ivy Regina Mark b: 8 June 1908 Medina, OH m: 2 Aug 1927 Medina, Ohio, d: 18 Sept 2003 Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, NY
……….. 2 Mildred Olga Brown b: 23 June 1904 in MS
……….. + James Alton Ball b: 22 March 1902Washington, LA, m: 24 Dec 1921 LA
……….. 2 Thelma Lady Brown b: 27 Feb 1908 in MS, d: 15 Nov 1979
- Abstract History of the Fortinberry Family. by G. K. Fortinberry, 1942. Family History Center Microfilm #1036152. Page 39
- 1860 US Census, Amite, MS Mary Brown & family
- 1870 US Census, Pike Co, MS Allen M Brown family
- 1880 US Census, Pike Co, MS Emmeline Brown family
- 1900 US Census, Beat 1, Pike Co., MS. Roll T623 825 Page 14B, ED104. Jasper P. Brown.
- 1910 U.S. Census, Pike Co., MS; 1910; ED95, Sheet 11; Line 15; Federal Archives, Pittsfield, Mass., T1269 Roll 13 (Soundex) T624 Roll 756 (Report); NOTES: Jasper Brown & family in Pike county.
- 1920 U.S. Census, Pike Co., MS; 1920; Vol 48, ED 99, Sheet 6; Line 61; National Archives, Pittsfield, Mass., M1570 Roll 14 (Soundex) T625 Roll 891 (Report). Jap P. Brown.
- 1930 US Census. Washington Co, LA. Willaims Rd. Jasper P. Brown
- 1940 US census, Pike, MS. Jap P Brown on Walker Bridge Rd.
- Certificate of Death; 1950; Mississippi State Dept. of Health,
Vital Records; 9908; Jasper P. Brown, died 8 June 1950 in Pike Co., Mississippi.
- Haymon, Serena Abbess. Pike County, Mississippi School Census, 1900.
- Haymon, Serena Abbess. Pike County, Mississippi School Census, 1912.
- Haymon, Serena Abbess. Pike County, Mississippi School Census, 1920.
- Family papers, charts, interviews, etc.
- Marriage Bond; 1887; The State of Mississippi, Pike County; Page 354; Copy in poss of Colleen G. Pasquale, Averill PArk, NY; NOTES: Jasper P. Brown and Rosa E. Brumfield, Married 21 December 1887. Jasper. age 21 and Rosa age 18. Married on 21 December 1887 by J. W. Fortinberry, Minister.
- McComb Enterprise-Journal. (15 June 1950 Retrieved February 4, 2017, from newspapers.com; page 3.
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