Sally Eugenia Brown (PEO.7)
Biography and photos of Sally Eugenia Brown from Atlanta, GA., a summer resident in the 1920s who did much genealogical research on local families
Sally Eugenia Brown
One of the women “From Away” who was involved in community affairs in the 1920s was Sally Eugenia Brown, a native of Atlanta, Georgia.
Martha “Pat” Simmons Garroway who was born and grew up in Sargentville, related the following to her daughter Susan, “Miss Brown was a summer resident of Sargentville when I was a child (Pat was born in 1914). Miss Brown’s father was governor of Georgia during the Civil War and she told of standing on the balcony of the governor’s mansion as a little girl, watching General Sherman’s troops march through Atlanta. She had the “House By the Side of the Road” at the end of Caterpillar Hill Road where it intersects with Reach Road (Maybe those names have changed, that’s how I remember them). She arrived each summer with two servants. One was a black man named Oscar and a woman who cooked. I don’t remember any details about the cook. Oscar was a chauffeur.
Miss Brown liked to join the community, inviting the people to tea and to dinner, especially for “beaten biscuits”, a southern specialty. She was active in the Chapel and Sunday School and the children helped her support a mission in China. She employed Frank Billings as a gardener and had elaborate gardens that were full of flowers. Frank’s granddaughter, Evelyn Hooper, was about my age. Miss Brown had done a genealogy for her niece and decided to do one for Evelyn. Once she did that she had lots of information on several families that were “founders” of other families in town so she did one for me and probably for others too.
I don’t recall that Miss Brown had any family connection to Sargentville and I don’t know how she landed here for summers. Miss Brown traveled by train and Oscar drove the car to and from Atlanta. I am amazed that Miss Brown was able to find so much information at the time she did, when travel and communications were so much more difficult than today. She must have spent hours in musty town halls poring through old records.”
Some of the detailed family genealogies done by Sally are still in the possession of family descendants.
Additional information about Sally and her family:
In a 2006 email discussion about Miss Brown, David Anderson of Sargentville found the following information on-line: “Sally Eugenia Brown was born on June 11, 1862 in Canton, Georgia, the 7th of 8 children of Joseph Emerson Brown and his wife Elizabeth (Grisham). Sally died on January 17, 1942 in Atlanta, Georgia at 79 years of age.
Joseph Emerson Brown, a Senator from Georgia; born in the Pickens District of South Carolina April 15, 1821; moved to Georgia; attended Calhoun Academy in South Carolina; taught school; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1845 and later graduated from the Yale Law School; returned to Georgia and commenced practice in 1846; member, State Senate 1849; judge of the Superior Court of the Blue Ridge District in 1855; Governor of Georgia 1855-1865, when he resigned; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia 1865-1870, when he resigned and accepted the presidency of the Western Atlantic Railroad Co.; appointed and subsequently elected in 1880 as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John B. Gordon; reelected in 1885 and served from May 26, 1880 until March 3, 1891; not a candidate for reelection; died in Atlanta, GA., November 30, 1894; buried in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia. “
David Anderson continues: “I find the story of Governor Brown’s tenure during the Civil War most interesting. Some of his policy disagreements with Jefferson Davis were a surprise to me and not what one would naturally expect of a governor of a Confederate State. But I will not go into that here, as it is off topic, and easy to find out about on the internet if interested.
Joseph was a self-made man who left a huge estate, so Sally was independently wealthy. In 1910 she lived in Atlanta with four servants and a lodger. The servants were the “coachman” Oscar Murray who was age 43 and single; a housekeeper, Agnes Neil, age 52; a chambermaid Stella Brown age 23, who had been married 5 years and had one child not in evidence in the household; and a cook named Mary Moore age 35. The lodger was James Moore, Mary’s husband age 28 years. He was a watchman on the railroad. He and Mary had been married for four years, no children. Agnes was the only white servant.
In 1920 Sally still had Oscar to drive her around, but she had a different cook and no other live-in servants. If I can trust the tree on the internet (a dicey proposition), she was Scots-Irish on her father’s side and English on her mother’s. Her Irish Ancestors came over from Ireland in the 1700s wave of migration to the south.”