Arthur Brown




Surname Index



The Murder of Arthur Brown

Published in "Bryan Times", Friday, Oct 7, 1983 
WCGS' column "Roots and Shoots" by Pam Lash,  
Based on a tale which is found in Paul Van Gundy's book, 
"Stories of the Fountain City"

About 9:40 the night of Wednesday, May 4, 1892 Christian Arnold left his livery barn of the west side of South Beech Street, north of the Butler Street school and went to the Hotel Williams. As he walked, he saw three men walk south; Arthur Brown, a 30 year old well driller, George Burchell, a 25 year old blacksmith and his younger brother, Michael Burchell, also a blacksmith.  Joseph Frost, a night watchman at the Plow Works on Beech Street, saw three men turn into the school grounds. Judge and Mrs. Long, in their house west of the alley that then extended from Butler to High Street, west of the school and Arnold's Livery, heard men pass through the alley, speaking drunkenly.

Frost...heard noises like beer bottles being broken against a wall, then a rattling from a woodpile, followed by dull thumping sounds.

Brown's body was found by Will Taylor, a Butler Street resident and John Long at 6:30 the next morning. After the body was found, the news spread rapidly and before it was removed was viewed by a great many persons, including the two Burchells.

Arthur Brown was unmarried, the last of the children of Mr. and Mrs. James Brown of Jefferson Township. He lived on East Butler Street with his widowed mother. He recently been paid $250 and had been freely displaying a roll of bills in Bryan stores and saloons. He had bee seen earlier Wednesday evening in front of the Jones Opera House with the Burchell boys. When Arthur Brown's body was found he had been dead for eight to ten hours...his roll of bills was gone.

The Burchells were arrested Friday noon. They were jailed...a jury found them guilty of murder in the second degree. They were sentenced to life at hard labor and went to the penitentiary.

    Now published in paperback:

Native Sons Gone Wrong:

A Genealogical Account of Murder in Bryan, Ohio

Detailing the Brown, Burchell, Elkins, and Plummer Families 
with Allied Families of Williams County, Ohio

by Pamela Pattison Lash

A 27 page narrative about the murder of Arthur  Brown, tracing the history of the families involved from the view point of the mothers.

Spiral paper back 38 pages (see publications)
Fully sourced and indexed

Mentions 128 surnames-
click to see listing


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