Family Chart For Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown, 5th child of John and Dianthe Brown, was born February 18, 1829, in New Richmond, Pennsylvania. She was the first daughter and shared a special closeness with Brown until his death. She married Henry Thompson September 26, 1950 in North Elba, New York. at 21 years old.
Ruth was barely 3 years old when her mother, Dianthe, died from complications of childbirth. Ruth considered Mary, Brown’s second wife, as her mother. She learned the “womanly arts” of keeping house, cooking, and laundry at Mary’s side and assisted with the rearing of the younger children.
Ruth saw more than her share of death during her teenage years. In 1843. when she was 14 years old, 4 of her half siblings died in a two week period of September. Most of the household, including Ruth, were also sick with dysentery. In 1845 seventeen year old Ruth was responsible for an accident that took the life yet another of the young Brown children. Ruth was doing laundry, a massive day long process for a family, when Amelia Brown, fourteen months old, was scalded with the boiling wash water and died.
Brown moved his family to North Elba in 1849. The family rented a home and left just 2 years later. Ruth and Henry remained in North Elba, NY until the mid 1860s. Ruth gave birth to 5 of her 6 children in North Elba. Life was hard, but the Thompson’s made a good life there in the middle of nowhere, where roads, visitors, and warm weather were few and far between. The Brown family moved back to North Elba in 1854. Ruth must have welcomed the return of family living nearby.
Henry Thompson accompanied Brown to Kansas in 1855 and participated in the “Bleeding Kansas” events aimed at making Kansas a Non Slavery State. He did not go to Harpers Ferry with Brown in 1859, Ruth telling her father that Henry was needed at home.
A few years after the Harpers Ferry affair, Ruth, Henry and children moved to be near her eldest brother, John Brown, Jr., in Put-In-Bay, Ohio. The last of 6 children was born there.
Thanksgiving day 1884 Ruth and Henry arrived in the Los Angeles area of California. They moved to be near daughter Grace and her family lived. Ruth was well respected in the Altadena/Pasadena area of Southern California. Ruth passed away on January 18, 1904 surrounded by her family. She is buried in the Mr. View Cemetery in Pasadena, CA. Pasadena is proud of its association with the eldest of John Brown’s daughters, and holds talking cemetery presentations where Ruth tells her story.