Erastus Cornelius was the third son born to Lewis and Elizabeth McCurley Brown. He was born in Atlanta, GA. in 1851 and came to Texas as a young man. At Denton he married Miss Lou Edwards in 1881. They had two children, George Robert "Bob", born in 1882, and Louie, born in 1884 (died in infancy). Lou also died the same year.
Alice, daughter of R.Z. and Eliza Giddens, was born in Scottsboro, ALA. in 1863. She came to Texas in 1887 and taught school at Slidell, on the line of Wise and Denton Counties. Her sister and husband, Nora and Whit Brown, were residents of Denton. It was in their home that she met Whit´s brother Erastus. Alice and Erastus became friends and a romance developed. She taught three terms of school and returned to Scottsboro where they were married Sept. 14, 1891.
They returned to Denton to live. Bob now had a loving mother and in a few years he also had a brother and sister. Nettie, first child of Alice and Erastus, was born in January 1894 and their son, Kimbrough, was born in November 1895.
They lived in Denton about five years and then moved to Fisher county with their cattle. Two daughters were born: Lillie in 1898 and Bernice in 1900.
They moved on west seeking pasturage for their cattle, and came to Emma in Crosby Co. in 1901. they leased grazing land from Judge E.B. Covington. They later lost all of their cattle in a snow storm that blew in at night. The cattle ran in desperation, piled against the fence and died in the storm. There was nothing Erastus could do to save them!
Bob began his career as a cowboy before 1905 and left home to ride the range for the TM Bar.
In the General Election, Nov. 4, 1902, Erastus was elected Justice of the Peace, Precinct No. 1, Crosby Co. He was re-elected to the office Nov. 8, 1904 and served through Dec. 31, 1905.
Alice was appointed postmaster at Emma to succeed J. J. Hammack. She began her term of service in January 1907, and was in office when the post office was moved to Ralls in 1911. Permission was obtained and the records and equipment were moved in a short time. Two railroad section houses placed on the town site served as quarters for the post office and a residing place for the Brown family until their house, which had been built in 1907 with quarters for the post office, was moved to Ralls. Alice continued in office until 1922 when she resigned because of ill health.
The fourth daughter and last child, Ruby, was born in 1903 on her brother Bob´s twenty-first birthday! She remembers the big prairie fire that swept Crosby county, March 1909 - how her mother gathered up the post office records, gave them to Nettie and sent the children in her care to a plowed field, while she took her bucket and broom and helped fight the fire.
Alice and Erastus helped organize Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Emma and helped plan and raise funds for the church which was built in Ralls in 1916. They were staunch and loyal citizens. They loved this area and as long as they lived they exerted their energy toward its welfare.
Alice died in 1928 and Erastus died in 1934.
The children each did their share of work in the post office when their time came to serve, but they also followed other vocations.
Nettie attended Tyler Commercial College and upon completion of her course, was employed in the offices of Double U Company at Post. It was at Post that she came to know Joe H. Brown and a courtship developed which ended in marriage Oct. 22, 1916. They lived in Post but later moved to Crosby county. They were blessed with three girls: Muriel (Mrs. A.H. Lehmann), Marguerite (Mrs. Estral McElroy) and Norma (Mrs. T.E. Garrett). Garrett died in 1972.
Kimbrough served in the army in World War I. After the war he went to Minnesota with a harvesting crew. He settled in Red Wood Falls and operated a tailoring business. He married Agnes Ischen and one child was born to them, Helen Ann (Mrs. Ralph Dartt). They moved to Ralls in 1924 where he operated a tailoring business until 1928 when they moved to California. They lived at Alhambra when Kimbrough died in 1946. Agnes died in 1966.
Lillie was appointed postmaster at Ralls in 1922, to succeed her mother, and served until July 1934. She then began a career in fashion design. She studied in New York City in 1935, and worked in Los Angeles and New Orleans. World War II interrupted - she served in the Women´s Army Auxiliary Corps from 1942 to 1945. After the war she studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, and later operated her own business there. She returned to Texas in 1952 and was working in Dallas when she retired in 1970.
Bernice qualified for a teaching certificate at West Texas State Teacher´s College in the summer of 1919. She taught one term of school at League Four, in Crosby Co. She married Forrest Gray from Braceville, Ill. and they made their home there. It was there their children were born: Marion (Mrs. W.G. Chase), Russell (died in 1931), Alice (Mrs. Henry Creech), Ruth and Maeona (Maeona Barker). Forrest died in 1974.
Ruby prizes the gold medal she received which was given by John R. Ralls for the student with the best scholastic average at the end of the first term of school in Ralls. It was also her first term of school. She completed her public school education in Ralls. After graduation she was employed in Ralls post office until 1935 when she married Joe B. Heard, son of Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Heard, Crosby Co. pioneers. They lived in Big Spring and later moved to Post where their daughter, Elizabeth Jane was born. They came back to Crosby Co. in 1942.
Source: "Crosby County History Book 1876-1977", Crosby County Historical Commission, ©1977
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