Saturday, June 30, 2012

Getting Grandpa Out of Prison

I am sorry to say, but in my last blog post about my grandfather, Edwin D. Brown, I transcribed his prison entry record, and left him there while I went off to investigate all the interesting facts that were brought to light. With the dates and place given, I was able to find several accounts of the burglary, arrest, and conviction in the Gladwin County Record newspaper at the Library of Michigan. The first article was published in the January 10, 1896 edition and was titled "Bold Burglars". It gave full details of the crime, arrest, and evidence of several previous burglaries by Edward (sic) Brown and Charles Stockford.

In the next weekly newspaper another article titled "Robbers Roost" told of late developments in the case including new depredations committed by Brown and Stockford, but the most interesting part of this article for me was the following; "Mrs. Clark, of Vassar, mother of Brown, was in Gladwin Saturday, and took Brown's two children to her home. Brown's mother is a minister of the gospel, and is connected with the Free Will Baptist church, having charge of a circuit in Sanilac county."

My next step was to revisit the Tuscola county records. I did find death certificates for Grandpa's first wife, Clara (Mosher) Brown and his mother, Wealthy Ann (Whitmore) (Brown) Clark. Both of them died in 1897 while he was still in prison. Clara would have been 21 years old, but as she was an inmate of the county home, there was no one to speak for her and the rest of the record was marked "unknown". Her parents names were on the marriage certificate so I looked at their Death certificates and both had already died of T.B. I suspect that was also the cause of Clara's death.Until I can get into the birth records of Tuscola County I cannot find the children of Edwin and Clara. The only one that I know about is Curtis who, according to the records I have,was born about 1893. If Edwin's mother picked up his two children, one of them disappeared before Grandpa was released from prison.

Yes, he was paroled and I have his parole certificate signed by Governor Hazen S.Pingree. My next post will explain what I learned from the certificate that solved the big problem I had about how my grandfather from southern Michigan met and married my grandmother from West Prussia in who immigrated to the Houghton-Hancock area in the Upper Peninsula.

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