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The road to the Sesquicentennial: Inskeeps and Browns

Lead Summary
Steve Roush-
Ladies and gentlemen, 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, married Jeannette Inskeep 183 years ago.

In 1836 when the Browns were wed, Andrew Jackson was president of the United States, the Battle of the Alamo occurred and Arkansas was admitted as the 25th U.S. state. I’m not sure if a father walking the bride down the aisle was a custom in those days, but that wouldn’t have happened with Jeannette as her father, James Inskeep, met with a tragic end more than a decade earlier.

James Inskeep was born in New Jersey in 1766 of English parents. His father, James Inskeep (1734-1802), was a Revolutionary War patriot. James later moved to Virginia and there married Delilah Delaney, who died leaving two children, and two preceded her to the grave.

In 1805, James Inskeep immigrated to Ohio and settled in what is now Jackson Township in Brown County, where he remained until his death. Shortly after settling there, he married Eleanor, daughter of John Glendening. By this marriage he had 11 children. He was the father of Susan Inskeep, Lee Ann Inskeep, Elizabeth Inskeep and then James Inskeep, Hope Inskeep, John G. Inskeep, Joshua Inskeep, Joseph Inskeep, Jeanette Inskeep, Lena Inskeep, Elita “Light” Inskeep Rhoten, Job Inskeep, Eleanor Inskeep and Fountain Inskeep.

I find Fountain to be a rather unique name, and Fountain Inskeep (1822-1897) and his wife, Eleanor West Inskeep (1825-1909) had at least 11 children and had two sons they named Origin and Reason. Reason Inskeep (1863-1933) named his first-born son Fountain, who was born in 1889 and sadly passed away April 5, 1892 around the age of 2 or 3.

According to the book “History of Brown County,” James Inskeep died in 1824 under the following circumstances: On the 24th of May, while returning from West Union, where he had been attending court, he attempted on horseback to ford Eagle Creek, which at that time was swollen by recent rains, but by some accident he was thrown from his horse and drowned. His widow died in 1861.

With that bit of history out of the way, let’s get back to Joshua and Jeanette Brown. Joshua was a farmer and bought land west of Hillsboro. He built the home my parents live in today in the 1840s as he and Jeannette had nine children: Rachel Ellen, born in 1837; Arminda, born in 1839; Joel, born in 1840; James, born in 1842; Susannah Elizabeth, born in 1844; William Elgar, born in 1845; Sarah, born in 1847; Mary, born in 1849; and John, born in 1851.

Two of the Brown daughters married Brittons. Rachel married Jonah Britton, and Susannah married Jonah’s brother, Marion DeCalb Britton. Three of the Brown sons, Joel, James and William, served in the Civil War, and James and William served time in two of the worst prison camps, Andersonville and Libby. According to family tales, in later years they used to argue at Sunday repasts over which prison camp was worse.

Arminda married Civil War veteran and newspaper owner and publisher George Washington Barrere. Barrere actually married Mary Jane Brown first, whom was the daughter of Joshua Brown’s brother, Elgar, who we chatted about earlier. Mary died June 13, 1869 at the age of 28, leaving behind her husband and two children, Bebee and Elgar. George later married Mary’s first cousin, Arminda Brown, and they had four children together, George, Mary, John Mills and Granville.

Speaking of the Civil War, three of George Washington Barrere’s brothers, Thomas, William and Bebee, died in the Civil War, and his father, John Mills Barrere, lost an arm at Harpers Ferry.

Joel Brown came home from the Civil War and became a farmer but died at the age of 40 on Christmas Eve 1880 at the Athens asylum after being sent there a month earlier. A single sentence in a Nov. 4, 1880 newspaper edition stated that “Mr. Joel H. Brown, of Paint Township, was adjudged insane by the Probate Judge last Saturday and ordered sent to the asylum in Athens.”

A story in a Dec. 30, 1880 newspaper edition announced, “Mr. Joel Brown, a prominent citizen of Paint Township, died last Friday at the Athens Asylum, where he was sent by our Probate Court last October. He died of some brain disease, and his remains arrived in this city on Saturday. The funeral services were held at the residence of his brother-in-law, Mr. George W. Barrere on Sunday afternoon, Rev. Kendall officiating, and the remains were interred in the Hillsboro Cemetery. Mr. Brown leaves a wife and several children to mourn his loss, who have the sympathy of the community.”

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

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

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