Joe P. Brown, a pioneer of Crosby County, was born in Collin County in June 14, 1847. His father, Samuel P. Brown, married Miss Mary Russell in Missouri, moved overland in covered wagons and settled in Collin County, Texas, locating there when Texas was a Republic. Joe P. came west, where he worked on the famous Matador Ranch for four years. His headquarters were at Ballard Springs. He worked on the prairie as a cowboy for many years. He figured in the organization of Crosby County, serving as one of its first commissioners. Later he was elected to the office of tax assessor, holding that office for six years. He married Mary Catherine Ellis, who was born in Wright City, Missouri, and came to Texas in 1876. Her parents were Charles R. and Katerine Bryan Ellis. Her father was a native of Missouri. C.R. Ellis landed in Collin County and assumed management of the Jim Harris ranch, the best known in that section. Kitty, as she was called, came with her parents to Estacado in 1887, where she met and married Joe P. Brown, February 18, 1891. The ceremony was performed in the sod house of her parents in the Estacado community by Anson Cox, a minister of the Quaker church.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown settled near where the town of Ralls now is, where he went into the cattle business rather extensively. Their first home was in a dugout; later on they built a small, two-room house, and later bought a ranch west of Estacado, some ten or twelve sections, where he continued to raise Hereford cattle, later selling them and investing in sheep.
Five children were born to Joe and Kitty Brown: Robert, Ellis, Mary, Bailey, and Bell, who still occupy the old homestead and have since the passing of their parents, the father in 1925, the mother in 1941. They are buried in the old cemetery at Estacado.
Their sons farm rather extensively and still own three and a half sections of the Estacado ranch. They have nine irrigation wells. In 1950 they planted many acres in wheat and maize. The Brown Brothers, as they are called, put the rest of their land to cotton on which they realized a bale to the acre.
Ellis Brown married Ivy Mae Smith of Mineral Wells, Texas. They have two sons: Joe Warren, who now is in the Army and Walter Ellis, a student in High School. The Ellis Brown family live in Lorenzo, where Mrs. Brown is a well-known violinist and club worker. She teaches violin and piano.
Bailey Brown married Dessie Johnson of Estacado, Texas, the daughter of a retired school professor. To them two daughters were born, Mary Beth and Martha Jo. Mrs. Bailey Brown, a born teacher still follows her profession and is at present teaching in the Idalou school. Robert, the oldest son, and Bell, the youngest daughter, have never married. They maintain a home in Lorenzo, where Bell is a member of the Methodist church and Bob is one of Crosby County´s outstanding citizens.
Mary married a son of John Dillard; she has a daughter, Catherine (Mrs. Alden Cathey). Catherine has two children. Cotton is the child of her first marriage. (Louis Ellis, her first husband, lost his life in Germany in the second World War.) She and her present husband, Alden Cathey, have a daughter, Mary. They live in Fort Worth where she is in the employ of the Miller Mutual Insurance Company.
All the Joe P. and Kitty Brown heirs own collectively a three and a half section irrigated farm.
Source: "Through the Years, A History of Crosby County, Texas" by Nellie Witt Spikes and Temple Ann Ellis ©1951; The Naylor Company, San Antonio, Texas
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