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June 2, 1884 - March 10, 1982



Written by Margery Brown Noster and Jack Odell Brown
c 1985

Walter, as he was called by all of his friends and all that knew him, was born in Pledger, Matagorda County, Texas, on June 2, 1884. Walter lived in Pledger until 1896 when he moved to Sugar Valley, Texas, with his parents. He attended school in Wharton, Texas. He grew up on his father's sugar plantation and learned the secret of successful sugar and syrup making from his father.


Some of his memories were told to his daughter, Margery May Brown Noster and son, Jack Odell Brown.


The first Post Office in Pledger was one and one-half miles west of Pledger on the Wharton and Matagorda county line. The Post Office was operated by Dr. J. W. Brown. Alfred Brown had a drug store and cotton gin. These Browns were no relation. Alfred married a Miss Pledger.


He recalled a small settlement on the banks of Caney and a railroad that was called Podo. This was about five miles south of Pledger. The settlement got its name from one of Mr. Duncan's slaves. He was a tall, heavily built man with shiny black skin and red eyes. He wore very little clothing and went barefoot year round. His name was Podo and that was the only word he could speak. Mr. Duncan had quite a large acreage and a large white house with lots of red roses; a store; quarters for the slaves; and a cattle pen on the railroad so cattle could be shipped. There was also both a white and a slave cemetery on the plantation.


He recalled a colored family that lived in Ashwood and had a farm of fifty acres on or near Linnville Creek. Walter called it the "briar patch" because there were so many briar berries. The family's name was Cockrell. He said, "Jim Cockrell had the best and sweetest watermelons and sweet potatoes any place around." They used to hunt bear in the thicket. Jim's wife was a school teacher at the Mount Olive Baptist Church.


He said Mr. Chastun, a near neighbor, had the coldest well water.


The first post office between Pledger and Hardeman, near Van Vleck, was Ashwood Post Office, opened and operated out of J. Fisher Smith's store by Mrs. Anton (Mittie) D. Hansen from September 21, 1910 until May 9, 1916. Walter would catch a ride on the freight train going to Wharton and drop off at Ashwood for the mail, then he would walk back to Sugar Valley. Sometimes a blue norther or a downpour would catch him before he got back home.


He recalled the John Rugeley plantation on Caney Creek behind their place near Ashwood and two little Rugeley girls who were born there and a Dr. Rugeley who gave him a pill one time when he had a toothache.


Walter's father built a small 20 x 30 building for a store. The lumber was shipped from Palacios, Texas, and cost $250.00. The store was operated by Walter and his brother, Theodore "Dozier."


Van Vleck was growing at this time. It boasted a drug store, meat market, pool hall, hotel, barber shop and a lumber yard.


On March 4, 1917, Walter was married to Miss Reba Whiddon, daughter of Mr. Robert L. and Mrs. Margery (McDade) Whiddon, formerly of Alabama. They were married in Chappell Hill, Texas in Washington County. They had five children.


George Robert Brown (September 17, 1918 - February 29, 1984) was buried in Van Vleck Roselawn Cemetery. George Robert married Miss Edna Lou Poole in June, 1940. They had two sons, George R. Brown, Jr. "Bob" and James C. Brown "Jimmy." Both reside in Bay City, Texas. George R. served in the Army Air Force during World War Two. He returned home and formed the now existing business, George R. Brown Lease Service, Inc. He also has a ranch with registered beef master cattle, that his two sons continue to operate today.


Margery May Brown married A. Woodrow Noster October 9, 1939. They have two sons, Robert William Noster and Ronny Jay Noster.


Thomas Theodore Brown (August 21, 1924 - January 27, 1995) remained single. He joined in partnership with Ernest and Marguerite Reiman ranching at Sargent, Texas after service in the army during World War Two.


Walter Alfred Brown, Jr. (June 2, 1928 - August 16, 1982) was buried in Van Vleck Roselawn Cemetery. "W. A." was born on his father's birthday, therefore given the junior. Walter Alfred Brown, Jr. "W. A." married Miss Reba Anderson in 1949. They had two sons, Gayle Wayne Brown and Allen Lane Brown, both live in Sugar Valley at the home place. He worked for George R. Brown Lease Service, Inc.


Jack Odell Brown married Miss Marilyn Barlow February 17, 1961. They have one daughter, Sharilyn Brown Ross. Jack Odell lives in Sugar Valley at the home place. He served in the Army during the Korean War for two years with eighteen months of duty in Berlin, Germany. Jack has now worked for George R. Brown Lease Service, Inc. for thirty-five years.


Mrs. Reba Whiddon Brown preceded her husband, Walter A. Brown in death (June 30, 1891 - August 16, 1960) and was buried in Van Vleck Roselawn Cemetery.


Walter's parents settled in Sugar Valley in 1896, where he lived until his death on March 10, 1982, at the age of ninety-eight. Keenly devoted to his family, Mr. Brown found his principal interest centered around his family, home and farm. He was our dear Van Vleck school bus drive for years.

George Brown dies at age 65

Area businessman, local rancher and contractor George Robert Brown, Sr. of Sugar Valley died in Wharton today.

Brown, 65, was the founder of George R. Brown Lease Service. He was a member of Beefmaster Breeders Association and a supporter of the Matagorda County Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. He was instrumental in the development of the Bay City airport.

In addition to his business interests, he was a civic leader. He was past president of the Bay City Lions Club, Bay City Chamber of Commerce and the Bay City Country Club.

He was past master of Masonic Lodge No. 865 and a member of the Eastern Star. He was a member of Arabia Temple Shrine of Houston. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Bay City.

He was born on Sept. 17, 1918, in Chapel Hill, Texas. He died in Caney Valley Hospital in Wharton at 6:40 a. m. Feb. 29, 1984.

He is survived by his wife, Edna Lou Brown of Sugar Valley; two sons, George R. “Bob” Brown and James C. Brown, both of Bay City; one sister, Margery Noster of Bay City; two brothers, T. T. Brown of Bay City and Jack Odell Brown of Sugar Valley; and four grandchildren.

Services will be held in First Baptist Church in Bay City at 2 p. m. Friday, March 2, 1984, with the Rev. W. D. Baker and the Rev. LeRoy Stanton officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park.

Pallbearers will be Vernon Leissner, S. R. Bosley, Russell Matthes, Sid Schwartz, Bob Rose, Harold Martin, Hayden Ellisor and Frank Vaughn.

Honorary pallbearers are Edwin Davis, Bobby Rains, Munson Smith, Nolan Ryan, Leo Jasik, John Wilson, G. P. Hardy, Jr., Henry Hildreth, Leo Owen, Garland Hinman, Robert Kirby, George R. Burke, Sr. and Judge Fred Friday.

Contributions can be made to the Shrine Crippled Children’s Institute or the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements are being handled by Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City.

Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham

Edna Lou Brown
July 25, 1918 – Dec. 8, 2011

Edna Lou Brown, 93, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, entered into the glory of God on Thursday, December 8, 2011, surrounded by her loving family.

A native of Bay City, Texas, Edna Lou treasured her life, friends, church groups and especially loved spending time with her family. She will be greatly missed by all those fortunate to have known her.

Edna Lou was born July 25, 1918, in Houston, Texas to A. C. and Roxie Poole.

She graduated from Reagan High School in Houston and later from Sam Houston State University with a Degree in Education. She earned her masters degree at the University of Houston in elementary education.

Edna Lou was married to George R. Brown of Bay City, Texas in June of 1940.

Left behind to eternally treasure her memory are: her two sons, Bob and Jim Brown; two daughters-in-law, Jill and Linda Brown; four grandchildren, Meredith Black and her husband Ken Black of Richmond, Texas, Derek Brown and his wife Anna Brown of Georgetown, Texas, D’Neal Krisch and her husband Brad Krisch of Missouri City, Texas and Ashley Stokes and her husband Logan Stokes of Dallas, Texas. She has six great-grandchildren, soon to be seven, including Peyton and Presley Black, Clayton and Chase Krisch, and Aubrey and Tillman Brown.

Edna Lou was a member of First Baptist Church in Bay City, Texas for over fifty years.

She was a member of Eastern Star and worked for years in many charitable organizations locally and regionally.

The legacy she leaves for all of us to follow is her love for Jesus, family and friends. She will forever be remembered for living life to the fullest, her positive attitude, and an inspiration. Her spirit will continue to live in all of us.

Visitation will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, December 11, 2011, and continues until 7 p.m. at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home.

Funeral Services will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, December 12, 2011, at the First Baptist Church in Bay City with Dr. Mike Zimmerman officiating.

Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in Van Vleck, Texas.

Ken Black, Derek Brown, Brad Krisch, Benny Judkins, Logan Stokes and Mark Weddell are honored to be serving as her pallbearers.

Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting

Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City, 979-245-4613.

Bay City Tribune, December 11, 2011

Thomas T. Brown

Thomas Theodore Brown


Funeral services for Thomas Theodore Brown, 70, of Bay City, are scheduled for 2 p. m. Sunday, Jan. 29, 1995 at Taylor Brothers Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Jerry Vickers officiating. Burial will follow in Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City.


Mr. Brown was born Aug. 21, 1924 in Sugar Valley to Walter A., Sr. and Reba Ann Whiddon Brown and passed away Jan. 27, 1995 at Matagorda General Hospital in Bay City.


He is survived by one sister, Margery Noster of Bay City, one brother, Jack Odell Brown of Sugar Valley, six nephews and one niece.


Pallbearers are Darron Ross, Ed Lee, Maurice Ashcraft, Raymond Harding, Danny Packebush and Butch Lee.


Arrangements are with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home in Bay City.


Daily Tribune, January 29, 1995

George Raymond Brown Family




Copyright 2006 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jan. 11, 2006
Jan. 11, 2006