A HISTORICAL SKETCH OF BROWN'S CEMETERY
by Louise A. Gaiser, deceased, January 2, 1963
There are a few people still living today who have or have had relatives laid away in Brown's cemetery, an old cemetery long since abandoned, which is located in Lee Township, Platte county, Missouri, on what is known to this day as the Brown's place, now owned by Charles Renz. The cemetery lays a quarter of a mile or so directly east of the house in which the Renz family lives.
Charles Renz's great grandmother and great grandfather are buried at Brown's.
Mr. and Mrs. Mathew Knope came to this country from Germany, bringing some of their children with them. Mathew's wife, Elizabeth, was born in November 1802 and lived until April 20, 1892, lacking a few months of attaining the age of 90 years. She was a widow 25 years. Her husband, Mathew, was born February 24, 1803 and passed away July 11, 1867, at the age of 63 years, 5 months, and 17 days.
Mathew and Elizabeth Knope's daughter, V. Frances, married George J. Hettich, who was born in Germany also. They settled on a farm joining the Brown's place and had 10 children, two of whom are living now. Six reached adulthood: Carrie Hettich Robeson, Betty H. Ode, Rose H. Renz, George Hettich, Alma H. Cannon and Lena H. Alexander. The others died very young. They were: Pauline, born 1873, died February 16, 1881; Josephine, died March 20, 1876, one day old; also Mollie and Charles who died in childhood. The father, George J., died in the early 1900s, perhaps in 1905 some time after Orlando Humphrey who passed away February 6, 1904.
I attended the funerals of each of these men, both of whom seemingly were very old men with flowing white beards. George J. Hettich's wife, V. Frances, lived many years after her husband, and had a longer life than her mother, Elizabeth Knope. V. Frances Knope Hettich had the remains of her husband and children moved from Brown's cemetery a short time after he died to the Platte city cemetery where she later was laid to rest.
It is interesting to note that the land whereon lies the Brown's Cemetery was pre-empted by the Gordon family. The Gordons, William and Lucretia, are represented to this day in Platte county by their great, great, great grandchildren; in fact, three generations: Goldie Alexander Fankhanek, Howard and Lawrence Alexander, and their sister, Helen Alexander Potter, and the latter's children. No doubt William Gordon was laid beside his wife, Lucretia, at Brown's, but the old monument records Lurcretia's passing only. She was born in 1795 and died January 25, 1864, at the age of 69 years, 6 months.
Some of the descendants of William and Lucretia Gordon have been mentioned. Others are: Mary Alice (Daniel) Alexander, wife of Dudley Alexander, was a granddaughter on her mother's side of Lucretia Gordon. Mary Alice was born March 28, 1852, and died at the age of thirty-six, October 21, 1888. Her husband preceded her one year. They had four children, three reaching adulthood: Perry, Goldie and May Alexander. Goldie is the wife of Herman Fankhanel, deceased, of the Eldorado community. The others have gone to their reward.
A very unique monument "In Loving Memory of Dudley and Mary Alice Alexander" once marked their resting place at Brown's , being twin pillars on a single base of stone, joined by an arch of stone at the top. We were unable to obtain any data from Dudley's pillar because it lay buried face down in the ground.
You would perhaps like to know more about the Browns for whom the cemetery was named. The monument, "Sacred to the Memory of William Brown, who was born in Greenbriar County, West Virginia, February 5, 1805," still stands erect except for the decorative obelisk meant to be on top of the monument. We found it lying on the ground, but I felt certain satisfaction upon finding William Brown's tombstone, the only one, standing upright. It seemed to add stability to his character. He obtained the property, preempted by the Gordons, from the Gordons. He died January 10, 1883, being nearly 78 years of age. His son, Clark, following his father into the Great Beyond five years later, February 17, 1888, at the age of 52 years.
Clark and Susan Brown had a son, Willie, born December 5, 1878, who preceded his grandfather, William, eleven days, having died December 30, 1882, at the age of four. After this, the Brown property was rented for remuneration from the Brown heirs until sold to the father of the present owner, Charles Renz.
In conclusion, there are several names of neighbors and relatives that should be mentioned whose mortal remains are at rest at Brown's. There was Shelby Daniel, born February 20, 1808, and died December 10, 1862 (during the Civil War). Shelby Daniel was the father of William E. (Estridge) Daniel. Shelby was married to Cynthis Ann Gordon, daughter of William and Lucretia Muir Gordon. William E. Daniel was married to Allie Jane (Wright) Daniel, passed from this life April 22, 1888, at the age of 50 years, 10 months, born June 22, 1837. She was the daughter of Meredith and Sarah Calbraith Wright of Montgomery county, KY, where all of these folks, with the exception of Meredith Wright, were born. Inscription on her tombstone reads:
"Farewell, my husband and children all.
From you a mother Christ doth call.
Mourn not for me, it is in vain
To call me to your sight again."
Peter Klein died November 3, 1877, at the age of 48 years, 1 month.
John Alexander, born September 24, 1809, and died March 4, 1854, at the age of 45 years. He was the father of three sons: Dudley; Andrew W., born July 11, 1842, died July 22, 1860, at the age of 18 years; and John M. born October 20, 1854, died November 22, 1880. Now, for Dudley whose record lies buried face down on his stone, resisting the efforts to find out more about him.
Mrs. Louise A. Gaiser
Mrs. Nora Lee Baker
Brown Cemtery, located in Leo Township on what is still known as "Brown's Place", many descendants by Charles Ronz. It was preempted by the Gordon Family, many descendants of which still live in Platte county.
Knope, Matthew, b: in Germany, 2/24/1803, d: 7/11/1867 Knope, Elizabeth, wife of Matthew Knope, b: in Germany, 11/1802, d: 4/29/1892
Gordon, Lucretia, b: 1795, d: 1/25/1864, age 69 years, 6 months
Gordon, William (no record on tombstone)
Alexander, Mary Alice Daniel, wife of Dudley Alexander, a grand-daughter of Lucretia Gordon, b: 3/29/1852, d: 10/21/1888
Alexander, Dudley, d: in 1887
Brown, William, b: Greenbriar county, West VA., 2/5/1805, d: 1/10/1883
Brown, Clark, son of William Brown, d: 2/17/1888, age 52 years
Brown, Willie, son of Clark and Susan Brown, b: 12/5/1878, d: 12/30/1882
Daniel, Selby, b: 2/20/1808, d: 12/10/1862
Daniel, William E., probably son of Selby, no data
Daniel, Allie J. Gordon, wife of William E. Daniel, b: 6/22/1837, d: 4/22/1888
Klein, Peter, d: 11/3/1877, age 48 years, 1 month
Alexander, John, b: 9/24/1909, d: 3/4/1854
Alexander, Andrew W., b: 7/11/1842, d: 7/22/1860