Rufus L. and Catharine Riordan Brown
Rufus L. and Catharine Riordan Brown

Rufus L. and Catharine Riordan Brown

Rufus Lorenzo Brown born March 3, 1860 – died April/5, 1929, was the son of Lemuel and Sarah Brown. He was born, married and spent many years of his life in Dade. In his latter life he lived with his youngest son, Milton, in Chattanooga where he died. Rufus was married January 24, 1884, to a lovely Dade born lady, Catharine Riordan, born August 26, 1858 – died February 23, 1918. “Kate” was the daughter of Jeremiah and, Julia Riordan. “Rufe” and “Kate” were parents to eight children: William Henry Brown (1885-1966) married Katie Knowlin in 1914 and lived and worked in Chattanooga. He worked many years for Coca-Cola Bottling Company. He had one son, Earl who died while in the Army. Their next three children; Mamie, Maggie and Julia, died as infants at twenty-four hour intervals. Then came Annie Jane (1892-1958) who married Henry Rowell and parented seven children, losing two as infants from hives. After Henry died Annie married his brother, Oliver, and moved her family to his home in Mobile, Alabama. Her oldest daughter had married by this time and stayed in Tennessee. She still has two granddaughters and several greats and great greats in Hamilton County, Tennessee. Annie and Oliver had one son born in Mobile. The second daughter was my mother, Josie Hanna Louvenia Brown (1893-1985) who was married in 1915 to Trushell C. “Troop” Castleberry (1891-1976). They were parents to nine girls, losing the first at birth. Troop was proud of his “Brood” and often commented that had they all lived he could have a baseball team.  John Michael Brown (1896-1965) married Daisy Castleberry (1900), Troop’s sister. John was a Nazarene preacher and worked as a furniture maker. A son and daughter was born to them. That gave me two double cousins to love and admire. Daisy lived with her daughter in South Carolina. Uncle John used to make us unusual doll furniture. The baby of the family, Milton Thomas (1900-1977) first married Lily Mae Williams of Sand Mountain, who died at child birth. She and the infant are buried in Long’s Cemetery on Highway 11 just north of Rising Fawn. Milton’s second wife was Mary Susan Phillips (1909-1985). They had six daughters and five sons. Many of their offspring still live in and around Chattanooga or Northwest Georgia. Milt also worked as a furniture maker. Grandpa Rufe was a man small in stature but a wonderful giant with an humble spirit, a soft voice and always a good word for everyone. He was a real “special guy” to his host of grandchildren who loved him deeply. He always had time to listen, to advise, to play, to entertain or to meet whatever need we might have at any time. He lived with his youngest son. We always visited them during the summer. I can remember getting very home sick when we were old enough to visit without our parents. Grandpa could usually get our mind on something interesting and make us feel bigger than we really were. Grandfather Rufe died in March, 1929, a few weeks after I lost two baby sisters the same day when I was eleven years old. Death had taken three important people from us and I can still remember the deep, deep void in my life. He was a great example and influence in my life. One of his sage words of advice was; “If you can’t say something nice about people, don’t say anything”. I never knew either of my grandmothers, but I know grandpas are a blessing. I am now the oldest living descendant of Rufus and Catharine Brown. Written by Margaret C. Bradford Fawn, GA 30738

  1. John Guy

    Kate’s brother was Patrick Henry Riordan. I’m descended from him. He married Flora Margaret Ansley. Their daughter, Julia Ann Riordan is my grandmother. Do you have any information on Jeremiah and Julia?

    Thank you,

    John Guy

  2. Hello ,I am Milton Brown grandaughter . Live in Soddy Daisy Tn … There is a lot of family history out there and would to no more . Thanks ………

  3. verenicehawkins

    Dion Bradford who lives here in Rising Fawn Georgia is the son of Margaret Bradford who wrote this article. He could tell you lots about the family.

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