Joshua Wood Brown
14 February 1832 - 6 December 1903

      In Preston, Lancashire, England on February 14, 1832, Joshua Brown came as little baby to bless the home of Joseph Brown and Mary Wood Watt Brown. He being the youngest and last child was the pride and joy of the family, which consisted of father, Joseph, and his two sons, Robert and James, from his first marriage; mother Mary, with her two children, George Darling Watt and Margaret Watt, from her first marriage; and now the three children from union of Joseph and Mary, Jane Brown, Joseph Wood Brown and Joshua Wood Brown. His father had lost his first wife, Ann, and they had had 12 children before he married Mary Ann.

      Not much of interest is reported for Joshua of this sketch until he was five years old. At that time in 1837 a momentous occurrence came into the life of this family, with the introduction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the British Isles. It happened thus: George, Joshua's half brother, lay musing on his bed in the hush of night. As he dozed he was accosted by a strange man who introduced himself as a Mormon elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, telling him he would arrive in the docks at Liverpool the following day. Curious, indeed, was this message of the night to him and so strong did it take root within him that he could not eradicate it from his mind, so he followed the injunction, to be at the docks on the arrival of the ship, and there indeed did he see as he emerged there from the very man of his night's introduction. He walked directly to him, took him by the hand. The man repeated the sentences of the night before, and told him his name was Heber C. Kimball, also of his mission in coming to Preston. A friendship between him and the family was at once formed, and continued to grow stronger.      

      The missionary work commenced and with it the conversion and acceptance of its divine principles by all the members of this family. George was the first candidate and the first baptized on the July 30, 1837 after winning a foot race to the river Ribble. Mother, Mary Ann, was the second woman baptized that day, in the British Isles. The rest of the Brown family followed in close succession. In 1838, Joseph Jr. was the first child baptized in the British Isles. Joshua was the first child blessed, all done under the authority of Heber C. Kimball at the age of five years. At the age of eight years, Joshua was baptized by his older half-brother, Robert Brown in 1840.

      Joshua grew to young manhood in the city of Preston and possessed of a somewhat roving nature. As many youths before him had done, he too loved the sea with its ever changing moods, the vital activity of its ships, and the promise of lusty adventure in distant ports and waters. As he watched the great vessels plying about, he became imbued with a desire to go to sea. At the age of fourteen or fifteen, ignoring the contrary wishes of his parents, he heeded the call of his importunate mistress, left home and became a seaman by joining the navy first and finally as midshipman on a whaling vessel touching South American ports.

      After the pangs of homesickness had subsided, he took kindly to his training and the work that was expected of him and his mates. For several years the sea was his life. His experiences were numerous and varied, and his voyages carried him around the world several times and into many countries. Being of slight build he became an active and fearless climber of the great rigging's in calm or stormy weather. He could climb high in the air without any trouble. He was always chosen to raise the flag on the high liberty pole in Wellsville, Utah, where he lived for so many years, and could climb with perfect ease.
      At one time, in a most terrible gale with waves rolling mountains high, he was sent up to the topmost mast to set sails. Working at a great height, he lost his hold and fell to what he thought would be sure death on the forks of the ship's anchor or in the shark infested waters, but for the timely interposition of the ship's butler, a large husky man. When he saw Joshua's danger and saw him fall, he braced himself. With outstretched arms caught him firmly and the two fell backward into the open door of a cabin. So again his life was spared as it had been on other occasions from man-eating sharks and perils from drowning, although he became an expert swimmer.

      Many such adventures befell him in his life, fulfilling to the letter the saying in his Patriarchal Blessing. It reads as follows: "The all seeing eye of the Lord has watched over thee since thou carne into the world. He has preserved thy life from danger on land and on the sea. Thou wouldest not now have been numbered with the living, if it had not been for the special care He has had over thee."
      Joshua saw much of the world, and a great part of the time was spent in Australia, often visiting the gold fields. He often told his children, half in truth, half in jest, that he once found a gold nugget weighing 150 pounds, while exploring in these rich fields. His children's ears never tired of hearing his stories and experiences.

          Joshua had followed the sea for seven years when word from home told him of the plans of his family to immigrate to America. Just as he felt the urge to run away to sea as a boy, so now at the age of twenty-one he as strongly desired to return home and go into the new land with his family. Although he was signed to remain with the ship some months longer, he deserted. He made his escape as spectacularly as he had done many other things in his life. As his narrative runs and as he loved to tell it he waited until he saw at a safe distance a foreign ship quite out of hailing distance of the vessel he was on. (I say safe distance because he was an exceptional swimmer, and his great love of water led him often to take plunges in the creek that ran through the pasture of his home in Wellsville, Utah, in both summer and winter.) Under the pretense of taking a customary swim, he dived into the sea and swam leisurely toward the strange craft. If it is remembered that the ships of that day were the old wind jammers, it can be understood how he was able to swim with in hailing distance of it. Fortunately for our record his signals were noted by the ship's watch it slowed down and Joshua was picked up. Thus he made his way back to England under the assumed name of Dick.

      Upon his arrival in Preston he found that most of his family had already departed, so he visited with his half-sister, Margaret Watt Brandreth, until such a time as he was able to embark for the United States. A record at the Church Historian's office in Salt Lake City gave the date of Joshua Brown's immigration as February 21, 1855. He took passage on the Ship Siddens.
      One day the ship began to fill with water. All were praying that something could be done, when Joshua offered his life if necessary to repair the trouble. For his help he was highly commended by the captain who offered him a permanent job on the ship. They arrived safe and sound and eventually planted on the shores of America.

      The Siddens docked at New Orleans, which was then the important gateway into America's vast interior. Leaving the ship the immigrants boarded Mississippi River boats and moved up stream to St. Louis, Missouri, and thence on to the outfitting post at Mormon Grove (near Atchison), Kansas to prepare themselves for the three month's trek across the plains.

            He left with the John Hindley Company on June 7, 1855. There were 206 individuals and 46 wagons in the company when it began its journey. The great hardships common to pioneer life and prairie travel at first proved very hard to people who had only been accustomed to sea life. Joshua worked his way across the plains as a teamster, and, never having managed one before, it was a little awkward at first. Needless to say the culmination of such a journey was marked with thanksgiving and the joy of again mingling with loved ones and friends. The company arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September 3, 1855. Click here to learn more about his journey.

      Sarah Robbins Bailey (1837-1902), his future wife, came with her family with the Richard Ballantyne Company which departed July 1, 1855, just after Joshua had left. There were 402 individuals and 45 wagons in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Mormon Grove, Kansas. Joshua must have met Sarah there. Both of them arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on September 25, 1855. Their acquaintance grew into love, and they were married on April 9, 1856 in Salt Lake City.



      They made their home first in Farmington, Davis County, Utah and after four years moved into Wellsville, Cache County, Utah permanently where their children were born and raised with the exception of the first two. Their posterity numbers in all eleven children, eighty-three grandchildren, one hundred and thirty-seven great-grandchildren, more than five great-great-grandchildren . . .

Wellsville Home 2006

      Joshua was ordained a Seventy by Albert P. Rockwood on September 13, 1857. He and his wife, Sarah, attended the spring conference of the Church in 1867. Their main purpose was to go through the Endowment house, there to receive the ordinances pertaining to their exaltation, and on April 2, 1867, were sealed together for all eternity. Their children born to them previous to that date were sealed to them later in the Logan Temple.


Joshua and Sarah had 11 children:
  Mary Jane Brown
      Birth 1 Sep 1857 Farmington, Davis, Utah, USA
      Died Feb 1862 at 4 years old
Charles Bailey Brown
      Birth 1 Jun 1859 Farmington, Davis, Utah, USA
      Died 29 Mar 1950 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
      Buried 1950 Wellsville Cemetery
Sarah Ann Brown
      Birth 28 Sep 1861 Wellsville, Cache, Utah, USA
      Married Charles Edwards Gunnell on 23 Feb 1882 in Salt Lake City
      Died 11 Jul 1937 Wellsville, Cache, Utah, USA
      Buried 14 Jul 1937 Wellsville Cemetery
Joshua Bailey Brown
      Birth 1 Apr 1863 Wellsville, Cache, Utah, USA
      Married Mary Jane Archibald on 27 Jan 1887 in the Logan Temple
      Died 3 Jul 1944 Ogden, Weber, Utah, USA
      Buried 6 Jul 1944 Ogden, Weber, Utah, USA
Margaret Ellen Brown
      Birth 17 Oct 1865 Wellsville, Cache, Utah, USA
      Married Alfred S. Smurthwaite on 25 Jun 1890 in the Logan Temple
      Died 26 Oct 1956 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
      Buried Oct 1956 Wellsville Cemetery
Kate Ethelinda Brown
      Birth 20 Feb 1866 Wellsville, Cache, Utah, USA
      Married Lewis Peter Watkins on 27 Dec 1889 in the Logan Temple
      Died 30 Mar 1948 Logan, Cache, Utah, USA
      Buried 2 Apr 1948 Wellsville Cemetery
Susan Bailey Brown
      Birth 12 Nov 1867 Wellsville, Cache, Utah, USA
      Married John Love Baxter on 8 Dec 1892 in Salt Lake City
      Died 8 Jan 1955 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
      Buried 12 Jan 1955 Wellsville Cemetery
Roselia Bailey Brown
      Birth 19 Nov 1869 Wellsville, Cache, Utah, USA
      Married Willard White Pitkin on 29 Sep 1897 in the Logan Temple
      Died 9 Nov 1952 Millville, Cache, Utah, USA
      Buried 12 Nov 1952 Millville Nibley Cemetery
Joseph Bailey Brown
      Birth 7 Dec 1871 Wellsville, Cache, Utah, USA
      Married Eleanor Barnes Baxter on 8 Dec 1897 in the Logan Temple
      Died 29 Nov 1918 Ogden, Weber, Utah, USA
      Buried 2 Dec 1918 Wellsville Cemetery
John Arnold Brown
     Birth 4 Dec 1873 Wellsville, Cache, Utah, USA
     Married Caroline Maughan Jones on 26 Jun 1907 in Salt Lake City
     Died 26 Dec 1962 Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, USA
     Buried 28 Dec 1962 Salt Lake City Cemetery

Agnes Mathilda Brown
      Birth 13 Jan 1876 Wellsville, Cache, Utah, USA
      Married Joseph Henry England Abt 1893
      Died 27 Jul 1954 Springville, Utah, Utah, USA
      Buried 31 Jul 1954 Springville Evergreen Cemetery

      During the presidency of John Henry Smith over the European Mission, Joshua was called and set apart to fill a mission to his native land, working mostly in the Sheffield Conference from April 1882 to May 3, 1884. He labored diligently and accomplished a good work and while there realized some of the promises made to him in his Patriarchal Blessing. His Patriarchal Blessing was bestowed upon him by O. N. Lilinquist on January 13, 1890.

      At the close of an active and very eventful life, the end came after a lingering illness attended with intense suffering surrounded by his children on December 6, 1903. He died, in full faith of a glorious resurrection and was interred on Wednesday, December 9, 1903 in the Wellsville City Cemetery, 400 North 200 East, Wellsville in grave A-21-9-1.

Written by Margaret Brown Smurthwaite and Arvilla B. Robbins
Edited by Deborah Holtzendorff

Family Photos

Back row: Sarah Ann (Saran), Kate Ethlinda (Kate) and Matilda (Tillie)
F ront row: Susan (Susie), Margaret (Maggie), Rosella (Rose)

1944 Brown Brothers and Sisters
Maggie, Kate, Charles, Rose, Tillie, John, Susie, Josh