Ohio Biographies

Sarah Ledlie Brown

The revered Mrs. Sarah Brown was born long before Bonaparte ad reached the zenith of his fame, when, where now stand many rich and busy marts, was in all the rugged and sublime beauty of nature, and in the era when Patrick Henry's marvelous eloquence was yet electrifying our infant Republic, she having made her advent upon the earth September, 1793, and has lived under the administration of all its Presidents. She was born a few miles from Steubenville, Ohio, in Hancock County. Her father, Wm. Ledlie, was a native of the Emerald Isle, and nine miles from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, near the banks of the Susquehanna, her maternal ancestor was born. Her education was such as that early era afforded, and April 10th., 1817, she was led to the nuptial altar by Robert Brown, Rev. Robert Buchanan, a minister of the Associated Reform Church, having united their hearts in marital joy, and in 1821, the twain moved to Washington Township, Richland County. A few Indians then remained in the solitude of the forests and wolves and other wild beasts disputed fiercely with the brave pioneers for the sovereignty of the beautiful realm, and where now stands our village, was almost in the primitive beauty and grandeur of nature; that quaint structure, the old mill, which has stood the blasts of more than seventy years, and the house of Emanuel Watson which was the first to delve in the virgin soil of Troy, and a few log cabins only were seen through the dense foliage of the forest. Her husband, who was four years her senior, died sixteen years ago. She is the ideal type of the pioneer, having force of character, strong of nerve, athletic and in her pristine days weighed 208 pounds and wielded the ax with vigor and zest in subduing the forest for her cabin home. She did not wear glasses until she attained the age of seventy years, and her eyes had rare luster. This loved relic of the last century viewed with awe and admiration the marvelous march of civilization from rock-ribbed New England to the Pacific golden strand, since her birth in the haze of fleeting time, ninety-two years ago, and she dwells in glering rapture on the days when she and her dauntless co-pioneers James and Samuel McClure, Charles Lawrence, James Gass, Col. Cook were engaged in subduing the wilderness of nature, and blazing the way of our present civilization. But the skeleton hand of death has laid his chilling grasp upon all these gallant pioneers except Col. Cook. She loves to worship at natures shrine and God's vernal lined carpet and the silver toned cadences of the winged songstress are no more attractive to her than the most enchanting instrumental notes, and her whole character is built up in faultless symmetry which all the elements of a noble womanhood and she loves the inspired volume whose precepts she practices, and the bright star of hope will illumine her passage over the dark river of death. Of her eight children four were boys and four were girls. Two are dead, and the living are Wm. L., John, James, Sarah, Mary and Robert C., of whom William is the oldest and Robert C. the youngest. She lived at the homestead, two miles east of Lexington, from the time she located there, in 1821, except an interim of seven years at the scene of her birth, and two years in Lexington, where she resides with Col. R.C. Brown, one of the most intelligent and exemplary citizens of Troy, and his wife, nee Mary Gaily, a lady of rare intelligence and generous impulses, and all their generous hearts can prompt is done to lighten the burdens incident to the sere of life. The subtle principle of life is yet strong and her vigorous intellect is yet keen for one whose head has been silvered by the ravages of more than nine decades and it is hoped the presence of the stern reaper may be averted several years yet.


From THE MANSFIELD HERALD: April 16, 1885, Vol. 35, No. 22