About Bette I. Brown

Augusta Cemetery, Augusta, Carroll County, Ohio

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Bette Brown and her companion,
Andy, at the gravesite of her
Grandparents Brown

My daughters tell me this portion of the site is about me.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  If that is true, I am Bette Ina Brown, born April 1, 1936 in Molly Stark, the TB hospital in Stark County, Ohio.  My tombstone is already set on Section D, Quadrant II, Lot 136 in the cemetery.

I never lived in Carroll County, Ohio, until August 2004.  At that time I moved with a purpose from Casper, Wyoming to a home built by Embert Leatherberry on Kensington Road in Augusta, Ohio.  That purpose was to help preserve the history found in the Augusta Cemetery that was instilled in me by my father, Paul E. Brown.  Thus, this page is, in truth, about my father.

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Bette Brown's tombstone

On every trip to Augusta my father would give the family a tour of the Cemetery.  He would tell us about the wonderful friends and family he loved who are buried here.  In fact, shortly before he died in 1999, I gave him a copy of CARROLL COUNTY OHIO CEMETERIES, VOLUME I and asked him to write what he remembered about those listed there.

In the summer of 2000 I came to Augusta for a visit.  I took his notes to my “personal review panel” for advice.  That panel consisted of the surviving sisters of my mother, Pauline Kinsey Brown.  They were:  Christina Ossler, Dorothy Locke, Emma Rhodes and Evelyn Kinsey.  Also on the panel were my mother's sister-in-law, Naomi Kinsey and my mother's niece, Mary Lou Turnipseed Garrett.  The panel had a great evening reading over his notes and reminiscing.

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Bette Brown with her father,
Paul E. Brown

When I returned home from this visit, my life changed drastically on several fronts.  The briefcase that contained Dad’s notes and the comments offered by my “review panel” have remained locked in the briefcase since 2000.  It has now been six years since my dad died and I am now ready to open his memories and use them in this web site.

My father was born in Stark County in 1909.  He moved to Augusta in 1916.  After high school he taught at Eureka, the one-room school in Augusta Township.  He was forever close to his fellow teacher, Pearle Cameron Pieren.

In the 1930’s he moved to Summit and Stark Counties to teach, and during that time he also attended and graduated from Kent State University.  In 1932 my mother, who had tuberculosis and been confined to the Molly Stark Sanatorium for some years, was threatened with eviction because she was not a resident of Stark County.  She had been my father's next-door neighbor in Augusta, but she needed to be a Stark County resident to stay in the hospital.  Thus they were married in 1932.  After the marriage she returned to the hospital. Several years later she returned to live with us in Massillon, Ohio.

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Childhood home of
Pauline Kinsey Brown.
On the far left, next door,
is the childhood home of Paul Brown.

During the ensuing years, my father attended William McKinley School of Law while continuing to teach school.  He taught a total of eighteen years before he began his law practice part time.  During those lean years, I was the best secretary he could afford.  He took me to the Stark County Courthouse and taught me to do abstracting.  He taught me much that was useful in my working career.

But most especially I had the opportunity to observe his devotion to his childhood friends.  It is my hope when I open my briefcase, his words will come to life on the pages of this web site.  I must warn you:  he was not “politically correct” by today’s standards.  I had some concern about “editing” his comments.  My review panel was horrified by that idea.  So, please remember he was born in a different era.  That generation may not have been as enlightened as we are today about political correctness, but they possessed a love and devotion to one another that may be disappearing from sight today.

This web site is not “About Bette I. Brown"; it is “Because Of” my wonderful father, Paul Edgar Brown.

Bette Ina Brown

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The Story Tellers.....

We are the chosen.  In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors.  To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before.  We are the story tellers of the tribe.  All tribes have one.  We have been called, as it were, by our genes.  Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story.  So, we do.

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Bette Brown and her companion,
Andy, at the gravesite of her
Grandparents Kinsey

In finding them, we somehow find ourselves.  How many graves have I stood before now and cried?  I have lost count.  How many times have I told the ancestors you have a wonderful family you would be proud of us?  How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me?  I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts.  It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do.  It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen.  The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh.  It goes to doing something about it.  It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish.

How they contributed to what we are today.  It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. 

It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation.  It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us.

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Back of Bette Brown's tombstone

It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth, without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach.

That we might be born who we are.  That we might remember them.  So we do.  With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are.

So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family.  It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers.

(Unknown Author)

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