Genealogical Records of
Alfred Brown and Annabelle Higgins Families
 

CAMBRIDGE        Written August 5, 1990

     The site for Cambridge was plotted on May 3, 1880. The north half of the land on which the town was built was preempted by Soloman Hisler and the south half by M. V. Gardenhire. The Cambridge Town Company was comprised of Joseph P. Craft, Benjamin H. Clover, O. B. Gunn, S. M. Fall, Joe Clover, McDonald Stapleton, S. B. Sherman, and Henry F. Hicks. Officers were: Benjamin H. Clover, president; McDonald Stapleton, secretary; Joseph P. Craft, treasurer. Mrs. Benjamin Clover named the town. Most of the buildings and residents of Lazette relocated in Cambridge to be near the railroad. The first train service began in February 1880. The Cambridge business men in 1880 were: merchandise,  McDonald Stapleton, C. W. Jones, and F. Henrion; drugs, P. G. Rule; Hotel and livery stable Joseph P. Craft; lumber, P. T. Walton; flour mill, Benjamin H. Clover; blacksmith, Cass Patterson; physician, J. H. Pleasants; newspaper, Henry F. Hicks and  R. E. Hicks. The first postmaster was D. A. Dale who resigned in a few months. A. J. Pickering succeeded him, serving until his death in 1881.   R. E. Hicks resigned after serving a few months and was succeeded by Henry F. Hicks who served for four years

     A schoolhouse was built out of native stone which was replaced in 1917 with the high school building. It served as grade and high school until the grade school building was erected on the west side of main street in 1927. The high school gymnasium was completed in 1936. The high school building has been razed, but the gymnasium remains and is used for meetings and civic functions.  The grade school houses the Senior Citizens Center and the Library. Mrs. Marian Rowe is Librarian.

     The Cambridge Presbyterian Church was constructed in 1837 by the Evangelical Denomination. B. H. Clover furnished lumber for the building. The church enrolled in the Emporia Presbytery on September 20, 1906 with fifteen members.  The annex was added by local labor between 1952-1956. Frances Broadhurst is pastor. The Centennial Celebration Day was observed on July 26, 1987.

     The Cambridge Church of Christ was built in 1398 and was moved to its present site in 1905. The church is still active today.

     The Cambridge Southern Baptist Church was organized on October 16, 1946 with Keith Hamm, pastor. The first annex increasing the auditorium size and adding two classrooms was constructed in 1963. The second annex constructing a baptistry, pastor's study, kitchen, and two restrooms was added in 1980.   Dennis Fowler is the pastor.

     Fires have played a prominent role in Cambridge history. A hotel on south main street was destroyed by fire in 1923. The Mary Miller grocery, a restaurant and the I. O. O. F. Lodge Hall on the east side of main street was destroyed by fire in 1927. Then, in 1933, a fire destroyed all of the west side of south main street. A garage, barber shop, lumber yard and two residences were destroyed by the 1933 fire. Mary Miller's grocery and notions store was replaced with a brick building, which now houses the post office. The I. O. O. F. building was replaced with a two story native stone building. The I. O. O. F. Hall was on the top floor. Wilbur Overman operated a drug store and Cecil Hendrickson a Skelly filling station on the lower floor of the building. After Wilbur Overman retired, a succession of restaurants have occupied the building.  At present, Harry and Gladys Groom operate the Stockman's Cafe.

     Today Cambridge has a very active community club supporting civic projects and the annual Cambridge opossum Run held in August. The Cambridge High School Alumni Association holds its annual dinner meeting the Saturday preceding Memorial Day. Many of the early pioneers and their descendents are buried in the beautiful and well kept Cambridge cemetery.

 

Submitted by

 

Sam Lewis Pickens Jr.

 


     The following items were taken from The Burden Times issue of Nov. 16, 1922. Submitted by Joann Butler

OUR OPPORTUNITY...
 

     The good people of Cambridge and "city dads" have decided that one of the first things that a growing town needs to attract the average home-seeker and to start it on the right road to success is electric lights and these progressive people are making plans to have electric juice as soon as possible. They have already decided that to connect onto a high line would be the most practical and economical. method of obtaining electric juice, therefore they have been conferring with the proper officials of the Winfield plant in regard to connecting onto the Dexter-Winfield line six miles south of Burden. Burden will probably never have a better opportunity to have electric juice from a real high line at such a reasonable cost than at this particular time as the two towns can split the expenses of the line from the six mile corner which would be a great saving to both towns and both have twenty four hour service. With practically no limit as to the amount of juice.
     The Cambridge people know a good thing when they see it and fully realize the need of this great convenience in order to make a town inviting to the home seeker as well as for their own good and safety. Of course Cambridge does not have to connect onto the Dexter-Winfield line as they can connect with the Kansas Gas and Electric line that runs from Independence to Grenola, supplying all the towns between with real twenty-four hour service but would rather go in with Burden and tie onto the Dexter-Winfield line on account of the expense being split between the two towns.
     Can Burden afford to let this opportunity pass? Let's talk it up and get busy, we need electric juice and will probably never have such an opportunity to get it at such reasonable rates.

 


SHORT HISTORY OF ALF AND ANNABELLE BROWN

 By Bobbie Ledgerwood

     Alfred Raymond Brown, Sr. was born July 5, 1888, in Cambridge, Cowley County, Kansas, to William and Barbara Brown. His grandparents were Valentine and Anna Margaretha Laier Brown.  Valentine came to the United States in 1939. He was an itinerant preacher of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. He served in Pennsylvania and Ohio, settling in Fremont, Ohio. Val and Anna M. had 4 children, but two died in infancy. Their children, William and Emma grew to adulthood. Val's parents were Gustav and Anna Elizabeth Schmitt.

     Alfred was the youngest son of the family. Other children were Otto, '. Henry, Harvey, Elizabeth (died early), Ida, Florence, Esther and Willis.

     AIf was born and raised to his 12th year in a large log house 2 miles north of Cambridge, Ks., and went to school in Cambridge through the 8th grade. He did not speak English when he entered the first grade. He lost his German accent fast, and could hardly say more than a few words and songs by the time I knew him. The log house burned, and William and family bought a farm 1/2 mile north, later called Uncle Henry's place.

     Alf was popular in the community and attended dances, parties and church functions. (I have a postcard or two that invite young people to their house for an occasion). He went to Grand Prairie Church near Burden with some friends one Sunday. There was a pretty, black headed girl of 17 singing in the choir and wearing a big, red hat. He said he knew then that she was the one for him. Her brothers weren't so sure, but they went together off and on until she was 18.

ANNABELLE HIGGINS

     Annabelle was born April 5, 1892, in a dugout between Burden and Atlanta. Her parents were Josiah and Joanna Thorpe. There is a lot of genealogy pertaining to this family, concerning Civil War, Judges, Justices of the Peace, Revolutionary War, Indian Wars, etc.

     In 1850, a wagon train left Bucannon County, Missouri, for the West.  On this train was Josiah. Joanna was expecting a baby, so between them, they decided she should not make the journey. It was 7 years before he saw his little daughter, Joanna. Joanna called him "that man" for a long time. Josiah came home with none of the gold, but older and wiser.

     The bushwhackings and terrors of war were getting closer, so the Thorpe family left their home, livestock, and most of their belongings, and crossed the flooding Missouri River on a frail raft. The trip to safe and secure Kansas was frightening and dangerous, but they persevered, as those people did at that time.

      William and Wallace Higgins and Joanna Thorpe got together in the usual, unusual way. The Thorpes had evidently gone back to Missouri, and William W. had been mustered out of the army from Co. A 6th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. His horse shied away from a crow's squawking, WW fell off and the horse, hit a split rail fence, severely injuring his leg. He was put up in the Thorpe household for several days, and in 1867, they were married in a home wedding.

     Alf and Annabelle Higgins were married April 6, 1910, one day after she turned 18. Then it was back to Cambridge, where they set up housekeeping in the "weanin" house. A building that sat over the big Rock cellar next to William and Barbara's house. It sounds rather romantic, getting to live in that house that several of the boys had been "weaned" from. I am sure they were happy there, among people like the Browns, and all the boys helped on William's farm, as well as each others' after they got married and had farms of their own.

     Eventually, 1/2 of the main house was moved 1/2 mile west, down a gravel road, to make a house for Alf and Annabelle. It had been given to Alf, and it had a mortgage on it. They drilled a well, set the house on a rock foundation. Alf and Annabelle had lived in Wichita, where he was a meat cutter, along with W. E., and they had some money to get started.  They moved to other places, rented out the farm several times, but settled there in about 1922. The first four children were born before they left Wichita. The other four were born in Windsor Twp. In Cowley County, before 1933.

     They did well on the farm until the Great Depression wore them down, and they sold the farm for $14,000 (400 acres), to Harvey and Roxie Moore. They moved to Cambridge in 1938, and I believe Mama was happier those few years then she had ever been. She had electricity, which she had never had before, and she had neighbors and friends close at hand.

     From oldest to youngest, their children were Margie Alene, Lamar Clifton, Flossie Marie, Alfred, Jr., Wallace E., Barbara Joanne, Mary Lou, and Lynn Higgins. All graduated from Cambridge High School.

     The three kids left home while we were on the farm. They found jobs, and they were very good to their parents and younger kids. They bought sheets, towels, a couch and chair, which replaced the iron cot in the dining room. And I benefited from second-hand clothes.

     I loved my parents very much, even though Papa was angry, even mean at times. My mother told me at one time that while in Wichita, she had decided to divorce Papa, even went so far as to look for a job at Coleman Lamp and Stove Company, but on the way home, she reneged on her decision. She also talked to a lawyer friend about a divorce while they lived on the farm, but he began by telling how hard it would be on her and the kids, so again, she didn't do it.

     In later years, she told me that she really loved Papa, and she said, "Don't hate him too much. He always has been ambitious, but when things didn't come together, due to weather, finances, trying to come back after the depression and kids to care for, he just felt beaten down at times. His temper still gets the best of him sometimes."

     I am older now, and realize the sacrifices both parents suffered; they started life happy and were well off, went down to the depths, and at the end, they were warm, safe, and happy in their cozy home in Cambridge.  Social Security was a lifesaver, giving them the needed security.   God Bless You, Mom and Dad.     Love, Bobbie

 
 

FROM THEM TO US

By Aunt Bobbie

I want to bring to your mind
some things you cannot know.
About your Brown ancestors;
What nurtured them and made them grow.
 
The German Brauns came to America
In the mid-eighteen-hundreds.
For strength in numbers and understanding,
They settled near those of like kindred.
 
O'Higgins was the name found
On our Coat of Arms in Ireland.
There's a long line of fighting men
From the French Huegonots to the New Land.
 
When the Higgins' and Browns' united
To form a family,
They used the strength in numbers
And the need for unity.
 
Nobody could have made it alone
through those times of "try and fail."
One hand held another
and the strongest helped the frail.

 

You think you have problems
keeping two in fashion jeans?
Well, just try keeping 8 kids
in shoes alone hard by any means.
 
I always loved the hand-me-downs
From Flossie, Phyllis and friends.
Mom could sew just so much,
considering time, energy and expense.
 
The boys, hair slicked back, P&G soap smell
Clinging to their garden-fence-dried overalls,
didn't seem to mind the 2-mile walk to school.
All were clean, as I recall.
 
All of us had a stint at chopping' wood,
Gathering' eggs and milking' cows.
Boys and girls alike learned to catch their horse,
go get the cows, slop the pigs and water the sows.
 
So just remember this, my friend,
when discouraged and defeated:
Your Brown and Higgins ancestors left you
the fighting will and the courage you needed.
 
Lift up your hand and someone will take it
to help you toward that Dream.
Then be that friend that reaches down;
Hold fast and pull remembering.
 
Together we will stand forever,
But our children must know our prayers,
So that the Brown clan's determination
to stay close and helpful-will be theirs.
 
 

Descendants of Alf Brown

 

Alfred R. Brown and Annabelle Higgins Brown

60th Wedding Anniversary
 

      ALFRED WENT TO THIS SCHOOL, ALSO, BUT ONLY TO THE 8th GRADE, AS DID EVERYONE ELSE. IN THOSE DAYS A HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION WAS LIKE US GETTING A COLLEGE EDUCATION NOW. ALL THE KIDS HAD 8m GRADE EDUCATION AND COULD SPELL AND FIGURE VERY WELL.

  

    THIS IS A PICTURE IN FRONT OF THE FIRST SCHOOLHOUSE IN WINDSOR TOWNSHIP. IT SAT JUST NORTH OF THE PRESENT GYMNASIUM OF THE 1917 BRICK SCHOOLHOUSE. AUNT MAY BROWN (HENRY) WAS THE TEACHER, ESTHER IS IN WHITE BLOUSE, SECOND ROW. I THINK THE ONE WITH THE "BIG" HAIR IS FLORENCE. ALSO THE BOY IN THE PLAID SHIRT IS WILLIS, WHO WAS KILLED AT AGE 15 IN A FARM ACCIDENT.

 
 
Margaret Alene Brown
 
Lamar Clifton Brown
 
Flossie Marie Brown
 
Alfred R. Brown, Jr.
 
Wallace Everett Brown
 
Barbara Joanne Brown
 
Mary Lou Brown
 
Lynn Higgins Brown
 
Alfred Brown's family on their Cambridge farm
 
LYNN, MARY, BOBBIE, WALLY, JUNIE, FLOSSIE, BUS, MARGIE
ANNABELLE, ALF BROWN, 1950

 

BACK ROW:JUNIE, WALLY, BILL L., LYNN, JIM A.,TOM W., BUS
 2 ROW; MARGIE, MARION, DARRY, MAXENE, BOBBIE, NANCY, MARGIE, ANNABELLE, ALF, MARY LOU, KATHY, FLOSSIE, BETTY.
SEATED: JUDY, TOMMY, WALLY, BILLY, BUZZIE, JULIE 1950
 
Alf and Annabelle Brown, 1950
 
Lynn, Mary Lou, Bobbie, Wally, Junior, Flossie, Lamar (Bus), and Margie
Alf and Annabelle Brown, 1960
50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration
 
Alfred Brown
California, 1927
 
Mabel Craft and Annabelle Brown
Rebecca Installation
 
Margie Alene Brown
1950
 
Lamar (Bus) and wife Betty and Bill Harlan and wife Vickie
After World War II
 
Lamar (Bus), Flossie, Margie (back row)
Bobbie and Mary Lou Brown (front row)
1928 at Baum House
 
Some of the Browns, 1945
Annabelle, Lynn, Alf, Maxene (Wally's wife), Bobbie, Junie and Marion, Margie
Bobbie's husband Bill Ledgerwood and Maxene's husband Wally were not back from the war (WWII)
 
Alfred R. Brown, Sr. and Annabelle Higgins Brown marriage license
April 6, 1910
 
Flossie Brown, 1989
 
Alfred Brown, Jr.
 
Alfred Brown, Jr., 14 months, Wichita, KS
 
Bill Ledgerwood, Jr. and Wally E. Brown, Sr.
Roaring River, 1960
 
Barbara (Bobbie) Brown Ledgerwood and Bill L. Ledgerwood, Sr.
about 1972
 
James Templar Ashcraft and Mary Lou Brown Ashcraft
1995
 
Bunny Hendrickson Brown and Lynn Brown
1991
 
Alf and Annabelle Brown
1968
 
North side of Alf Brown, Sr. farm house
 
Alfred Brown, Sr. Farm House
 
3 - holer outhouse in the alley of the log before it was moved to N. side of city residence in Cambridge, 1968
 
Wash house, Chicken house Alf Brown, Cambridge
 
Cambridge High School 1942
 
Mary Lou Brown Ashcraft, 1968
 
Annabelle and Alfred Brown, Sr.
Television was a Christmas gift from their children, about 1950
 
Mary Lou Ashcraft Brown and Flossie Walker Brown
at a Cambridge High School reunion
 
Flossie Walker Brown, Mary Lou Ashcraft Brown, Bobbie Ledgerwood Brown
Cambridge alumni banquet
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The apartment attached to the garage at the Cambridge residence where
Alfred and Annabelle lived.
 
Alf and Annabelle Brown's Cambridge residence
 
The Rebecah Lodge members, about 1927-1930
Taken at the Odd Fellows Hall, located above the old drug store in Cambridge, KS
May Brown is center wearing long black scarf; Annabelle is to May's left (your right).
 
Florence Brown Redd and Ida Brown Batt, 1960
Performing "When the Leaves Come Tumbling Down" at Alf and Annabelle's 50th wedding anniversary.
 
Head stone placed at Cambridge cemetery
 
Cambridge cemetery
 
Cambridge cemetery
 
Tom Brown, only child of Henry and May Brown; head stone at the Cambridge cemetery
 
These pictures are of the remains of an unidentified structure east of Cambridge.  It remains a mystery.
 
East side of the mysterious structure.
 
Inside view of the smoke hole.
 
Entrance steps on the west side of the structure.
 
Cambridge Town Team, about 1939-40
Back row:  Paul Brunton, Bill Ledgerwood, Sr., Ward Booth
Middle Row:  Clayton Lundy?, Clay Smith, Wally Brown, Sr., John Harrington, John Hillier, Forrester Beamer
Front Row:  Dale Hendrickson, "Whitey" France, Lyle Henrickson, Harland Whiteman, Maurice Cllumber,
and Clay J. Smith, Jr.
 
This co-toilet was built about 1930 at the same time the IOOF lodge building was built.
It was preserved to show the dressed rock.  The roof and doors had to be refurbished.
 
Annabelle Higgins Brown and Alfred R. Brown, Sr., about 1910, the year they were married.