Robert Edward Brown

Robert E Brown was born 5 years after the end of the civil war in Mandarin, FLA (by Jacksonville). According to Jean Weiss, Robert was named after the famous Confederate General Robert E Lee (though there is no indication his genealogy can be traced back to Robert E Lee.) The youngest of 8 children, Robert had 2 brothers and 5 sisters. Four of his siblings were born right smack in the middle of the Civil War.

Jean Weiss says that the family Robert came from was “as Southern as Southern gets.” At about age 14, Robert ran away from home to come to the north. He traveled across the entire country by freight train visiting every state via the hobo route and finally settling in New York.

Robert was of very moderate financial means. He was employed for a period as a General Manager (bookkeeper) of the New York, W. J. Lachner Plumbing & Heating (steam fitting & gas fitting plumbing). Will Lachner was the husband of Matthilda Kersheiner.

After working for 13 years as a circulating manager \ bookkeeper with the N.Y. Herald Tribune Newspaper, Robert lost his job due to an alcohol problem. After this event, Robert never found a job that he connected with – though he did overcome his drinking problem. According to Jean, every payday Robert and his fellow employees would go out for drinks. However, Robert was not able to handle his liquor and he could get very violent when he drank. Jean attributes the early drinking of Robert Brown as a contributing factor to Mildred (Nana) & Kaye’s being very fearful, timid individuals.
Jean believes Kaye clung to her mother because of her father’s early drinking disorder.

Robert was politically liberal – a Socialist Democrat! Jean says a picture of Theodore Roosevelt hung on his wall. (Jean also used to hear TWD I refer to Roosevelt as the old cripple.) Jean believes the “origin” of Robert E Brown’s socialism was his early memories of a noticeable class structure and the inequalities which existed in his day. Grampa Brown remembered how the wealthy in carriages would ride through the muddy streets and splash the less fortunate who were walking and not able to ride in carriages.

Called Grampa Brown by the family, Jean describes Robert as being very frugal. Nothing was ever wasted or excessive. Robert never asked for anything or assumed that anyone should give him anything.
He provided for his family in the best way he could.

Jean says Robert’s hobby was gardening. He would read seeds catalogs & meticulously
plan his gardens behind his 270 Garden Ave., Mount Vernon, NY residence. He also loved woodworking & made garden ornaments, salt boxes & breadboards. Robert also enjoyed reading the WSJ & recording the prices of stocks in a leather-bound loose leaf book, though he
did not have the money to actually invest. Jean also describes her Grampa Brown as being self-taught, organized, and very sensitive.

Ted & Mildred Dunham and their children lived with their extended family – Robert & Anna Brown – at 270 Garden Ave. in Mt. Vernon, NY for about 9 years (1933-1942). Within that household lived TWD Jr., Nana, Jean, TWD III., Don, Grandfather & Grandmother Brown (Robert & Anna Amelia), & Catherine A. Brown. Jean remembers her brother Ted getting into his grandfathers tools (which he was not supposed to do).

Robert became critically ill with a cardiac disorder, namely aneurysm. This was recorded in a physician’s statement dated Aug. 11, 1949.

Robert is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY. His social security number was 130-12-0359.