Cyrus O. Brown, formerly a well-known schoolmaster and now a prosperous farmer of Epsom, was born in Kensington, N.H., August 15, 1834, son of Abel and Ruth (Fellows) Brown. On the paternal side he is a lineal descendant of John Brown, who, born in England in 1589, is said to have been of Scotch origin. It is believed that this ancestor was reared in a seaport town, as he was a ship-carpenter by trade. It is recorded that he was concerned in the building of many vessels for the king. He emigrated to New England, and became one of the first settlers of Hampton, N.H. He was married in that town in 1640 or 1641; and Benjamin, the second of his three sons, was born in Seabrook, N.H. From John Brown, born in England in 1589, the line of descent comes by Benjamin Brown, born in Seabrook, in 1647; Benjamin Brown, Jr., born in South Hampton in 1684; Jonathan Brown, born in Kensington in 1718; Abel Brown, born in Kensington in 1760; and Abel Brown, Jr., born in Kensington in 1797.
Abel Brown, Sr., the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a school teacher in his younger days. Taking an active part in public affairs, he served as a Selectman, and was employed to settle many estates. He lived to the age of eighty-six years. In politics he was a Whig. He married Sally Paige, a native of Kensington, and a daughter of Stephen Paige, who was a Deacon of the Congregational church. Mrs. Abel Brown, first, lived to be eighty-two years old. She reared five children-Abel, Stephen, Lewis, Jonathan, and Eliza. Abel Brown, Jr., was reared upon a farm. When a young man he went to Boston, where he learned the trade of a bolt and screw maker, and subsequently worked as a journeyman for a year. With this exception the active period of his life was devoted to tilling the soil in his native State. In politics he was a Whig, and he took a leading part in local affairs. For a number of years he served upon the Board of Selectmen, and was a member of the legislature for two terms. At his death he was seventy-two years old. His wife, Ruth Fellows Brown, became the mother of five children, of whom Edgar A. and Cyrus O. are living. The others were: Quincy A., Charles W., and Luetta M. Edgar A. Brown, who was born in Kensington, January 29, 1828, married Eunice Rowe, of Kensington, and her children are: Harvey E., Foster H., Freeman A., and Quincy A. Quincy A. died in infancy. Cyrus O. Brown’s mother died at the age of fifty-eight years. In their last years both parents were Adventists.
Cyrus O. Brown was educated at Hampton Academy and at Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts, taking a classical course in the class of 1857. When nearly prepared to enter college, his eyes became inflamed, and his physician urged him to give up all study and go more frequently into the open air. Yielding to this advice reluctantly, he abandoned his hopes of a collegiate career and accepted the position of assistant teacher in Hampton Academy. Subsequently he followed teaching as a profession in Merrimack and Rockingham Counties for thirty-five years, in the course of which he won a high reputation and had over three thousand pupils under his instruction. Since then he has resided on his farm. This property contains two hundred
On October 6, 1858, Mr. Brown wedded Mary E. Brown, a daughter of Newell and Mary T. Brown, of Epsom. Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus O. Brown have had five children, of whom the only survivor is M. Evangeline, born May 29, 1875, now engaged in teaching. The others were: Cora E., born July 4, 1859, who died January 20, 1880; Ruth E., born July 15, 1863, who died November 20, 1871; Augusta T., born April 14, 1867, who died on the same day as Ruth; and Mamie T., born November 15, 1872, who died May 10, 1879.
In politics Mr. Brown acts independently, and votes for the candidates whom he considers best qualified to hold office. For several years he was a member of the School Board of Epsom, and his knowledge of educational affairs made him especially valuable to that department. Mr. and Mrs. Brown are members of the Free Will Baptist church. A very pleasant interruption in Mr. Brown’s quiet life on his farm was the fortieth anniversary of the class of ’57, held at Andover, June 24, 1897, when all the living members were invited to Phillips ‘ graduating exercises of ’97 and held a grand alumni meeting, and when those present partook of a dinner in the spacious hall of the institution, which was followed by interesting speeches recalling old times.