Woodward Patterson Brown

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WOODWARD PATTERSON BROWN, of Kittanning, though one of the younger business men of that borough associated with important interest, has had responsible connection with the Brown Drug, Book and Music Store for many years, the untimely death of his father having forced its management upon him when he was little more than a boy. He has measured up to the requirements of the business and its steady expansion forms part of the commercial history of Armstrong county. For several generations Mr. Brown's ancestors, both paternal and maternal, have figured in public and business life in Kittanning.

The Browns are descendants of such superior families as the Pattersons, Reynolds, Rohrers and Woodwards, and others of like distinction. Griffin Brown, grandfather of Woodward Patterson Brown, though he died when a comparatively young man had attained high position in Warren county, Pa. He was a prominent oil producer and served as associate judge at the time of his death. He married Elizabeth Rohrer, daughter of Frederick and Mariamne (Stevenson) Rohrer. Frederick Rohrer served as treasurer of Armstrong county, and owned the first newspaper in the county. To Griffin Brown and his wife Elizabeth (Rohrer) eight children were born: Charles, deceased, married Adelaide Leonard, was an employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company for many years; Frank, who married Mrs. Ida Jones, is in the oil business in Independence, Kans.; Amnie married Howard M. Clarke, of Fredonia, N. Y.; Carrie, never married, lives in Tidioute; Asa, deceased, was a druggist in Kittanning; Carl, married to Gertrude Sturgeon, of Virginia, is a real estate dealer in Philadelphia; John Rohrer is a manufacturer of Memphis, Tenn.; and George Rohrer Brown was the father of Woodward Patterson Brown.

George Rohrer Brown was born in Tidioute (near Warren), Warren county, Pa. He was reared principally in the home of his uncle, John W. Rohrer, by whom he was adopted when ten years old, his father having been accidentally killed. His education was received in the borough schools and he learned the drug business with another uncle, George Stevenson Rohrer. In 1880 he founded the Brown Drug, Book and Music Store, now owned by his widow and managed by his son, and conducted it ably until the time of his death in 1899. George Rohrer Brown married Isabel Patterson, daughter of David Patterson and his wife Eliza (Reynolds) Patterson.

The Patterson family orginated in County Donegal, Ireland, James Patterson, the great-great-grandfather of Woodward Patterson Brown, being a native of that county and a prosperous landowner. His son John Patterson, the great-grandfather, was born in what is now West Virginia and was a prosperous farmer; he married Jane Scott, of Ohio. Their son, David Patterson, was born in West Virginia. As a young man he came to Rural Village (now Rural Valley), where he was a merchant and postmaster for several years. Moving to Kittanning he built the Patterson building on Jefferson street, and became one of the most respected and highly esteemed business men of the town. He married Eliza Reynolds, daughter of David Reynolds and his wife Mary (Woodward) Reynolds, granddaughter of George Reynolds and Margaretta (Stoop) Reynolds and of Absalom Woodward. To David Patterson and Eliza (Reynolds) Patterson three children were born: Francis Elliotte married Kate Reynolds, daughter of William Reynolds, and they live in San Diego, Cal.; Woodward Patterson, deceased, married Rebecca M. Truby; Isabel Patterson became the wife of George Rohrer Brown.

Four children were born to George Rohrer Brown and his wife Isabel (Patterson) Brown: Woodward Patterson; Elizabeth Roher; Georgia Isabel, married to Peter Graff 3d of Worthington, and Gladys Elliotte - all of whom were born in the Patterson homestead on Jefferson street, where their mother was born and where they still live.

Woodward Patterson Brown was born May 1, 1882, in Kittanning. He was reared and educated in the borough, attending public school. When but seventeen years old, on account of his father's death, he took charge of Brown's Drug, Book and Music Store, and has managed it ever since, the development of the business being the substantial reward of a progressive policy that has stamped him one of the most capable merchants of the borough. Personally he is held in no less esteem than in business associations, as shown by the public duties he has been asked to assume.

At present he is serving as treasurer of Applewold borough, which office he has held for several years. He is a director in the Kittanning Plate Glass Company, and a vestryman in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, of which his family have been members for several generations. He is a Knight Templar Mason, belonging to the chapter and blue lodge at Kittanning.

Mr. Brown married Margaret Reese, daughter of George W. and Mary M. (Donnelly) Reese, and granddaughter of Isaac Reese, a prominent manufacturer of Pittsburgh. George W. Reese, Mrs. Brown's father, is very prominent in the business and manufacturing affairs of Armstrong county.

On the maternal side Woodward Patterson Brown's great-great-grandfather was George Reynolds, a soldier in the French and Indian war; a considerable account of his family appears in the sketch of Ross Reynolds, in this work. David Reynolds, son of George, was one of the most prominent citizens of Kittanning and Armstrong county in his time. He was a member of the first board of county commissioners, postmaster, one of the trustees of the old Kittanning Academy, one of the first hotelkeepers, and one of the early merchants. His wife was a daughter of Absalom Woodward, whose public spirit and progressive disposition led him into various activities in the early days of the county, especially to the encouragement of such movements as his foresight judged to be of permanent value in furthering the general welfare. Religion and education had one of their most influential supporters in this good citizen. He was a pioneer promoter of the Bible Society in this region. Of his large family eight survived him. A fuller sketch of him appears in this work.

Source: Pages 961-962, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Joyce Sherry for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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