Ladies and gentlemen, when my great-great-great grandfather Joshua Brown, the patriarch of the Brown-Roush Ohio Sesquicentennial Farm owned by Ken and Judy Roush of Highland County, was born May 6, 1807, Thomas Jefferson was president of the United States and Ohio had been a state for two whopping years.

As we detailed last time, he was the son of Joel Brown (1765-1845) and Rachel Inskeep Brown (1768-1842), and Joshua Brown had an older brother, Elgar, who was born in 1797.

Elgar, my fourth great-uncle, married Mary Huff (1802-1874) in 1816 in Highland County and they had the following children: Sarah Huff Brown (1824-1869), Joel Brown (1825-1828), James Brown (1828-1908), Clinton Brown (1834-1873), Elgar Brown, Jr. (1835-1889), David Inskeep Brown (1837-1902) and Mary Jane Brown (1840-1869).

Elgar resided near Rainsboro and lived a long life, passing away in March of 1880 at the age of 82 and is buried in the Friends Meeting House Cemetery, which you may recall that’s the graveyard where Elgar and Joshua Brown’s parents are buried, as well.

Elgar Brown Sr.’s obituary that appeared in the (New Vienna) Christian Worker read, “BROWN – Third month 27, 1880, at his residence near Rainsboro, Highland County Ohio, Elgar Brown, Sr., a member and minister of Hopewell Monthly Meeting of Friends. He was born in Virginia on the 27th of Eighth month, 1797, and came to Ohio when a boy with his parents, who settled in Highland County, where he has ever since resided until his death.

“He was unusually active and energetic for one of his age until about a year previous to his last sickness. His disease after a few months affected his mind. During the early part of his sickness he was greatly concerned that he might leave nothing undone that was required at his hands; he felt that his time to labor was nearly over and often said in looking back over his life that, although he had in his feeble way tried to serve his Master faithfully, yet he felt that he had done nothing to merit salvation. Before he lost his ability to think and speak rationally of spiritual things, he told his children who were with him that he had given himself and all his interests into the Lord’s hands and he knew he would do all things right; and while reason remained unclouded he rejoiced in the prospect of a home in heaven. His last months were those of much suffering and although his reason did not revive again yet we feel that he is at rest at last in the Father’s house.”

Of note before we move on, we should mention that Elgar Brown Jr. only lived to be 44 and died in Henry County, Indiana, in 1889, but he was a school teacher by profession and Gov. Joseph B. Foraker (1846-1917) of Hillsboro was one of his students when Elgar Jr. was still in Highland County. Elgar Jr., my first cousin four times removed, moved to New Castle, Ind. in 1880 and according to his obituary, had “since been intimately connected with the financial, religious and social interests of the place. He was a valuable citizen and a good man. He was a lifelong member of the Friends church and an active worker therein. The funeral was held Monday forenoon at the Friends church, the house being well filled. He leaves four daughters, his wife having died in 1886.”

Getting back to Joshua Brown, he married Jeannette Inskeep, who was born Jan. 5, 1815 in Brown County, on March 10, 1836. He would have been 29 and she would have been 21 when they were wed. Jeannette was the daughter of James Inskeep (1766-1824) and Eleanor Glendenning Inskeep (1783-1861).

Let’s pause for now, and we’ll continue next time with more on Joshua and Jeannette Brown.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at