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Pioneer Woman

Elizabeth Payne Webb Brown

Contributed by R. Michael Webb and Earl A. Webb Jr.

A Note From the Contributors:   

Here is a short story about Elizabeth Payne Webb Brown, the first connection between the Oak Grove Browns and the Oak Grove Webbs.

James was probably one of the first of the Browns or the Webbs to arrive in Oak Grove.  Thus many Oak Grove Webb's are descendants of the Browns on their mothers side.


R. Michael Webb and Earl A. Webb Jr.


Pioneer Woman

Elizabeth Payne Webb Brown


Elizabeth Payne Webb Brown

Brown Cemetery Oak Grove, Missouri.jpg

Brown Cemetery Oak Grove, Missouri

Elizabeth Payne Webb - Brown was born November 27,1790 in Hawkins County North Carolina, on a 150 acre farm next to the Holston River about 20 miles East of what is now Knoxville, Tennessee. Elizabeth was the first child of Larkin Morris Webb and Elizabeth Payne Webb.  This was Indian country and living was not easy. It is not known what happened to Elizabeth's mother as her father Larkin married Matilda Brown in 1798, and they had a son Thomas Larkin Webb September 18, 1799. It is known that her father enlisted in the military and would have been away fighting Indians at times.  In 1801, Larkin and Matilda had a second son, William when Elizabeth was 11 year old and a daughter Mary "Polly" in 1804. As is customary in pioneer families, the older children took care of their younger brothers and sisters, which would have been the case with Elizabeth. Women were key to survival in the wilderness.  


In 1796, Tennessee became a State and Larkin's farm became part of Tennessee. In 1806 the new state of Tennessee passed a law requiring all residents to prove ownership of their land. As her father Larkin had received his land at age 11 as payment under his indenture to John Payne, their title was not accepted and they had to leave.


In April 1807, Elizabeth at age 19, her brothers Thomas Larkin age 8, William age 6, Polly age 3, her mother Matilda Brown Webb and father Larkin along with other settlers who had lost their land including John Payne, packed their belonging into boats and sailed down the Holston River to the Tennessee River then up the Elk River to a place called "Simms Settlement" in "Indian Territory", built their cabins and planted crops.  While at Simms Settlement, Larkin and Matilda had a son John Payne Webb in 1808.  The following year Government troops removed them from the land and burned their homes, claiming the land belonged to Indians. Among those removed was Andrew Jackson, later to become President of the United States.

The Settlers then moved north up the Elk River to Giles County, Tennessee. Some of the land was available to them under grants for service in the military. As Matilda's father, Isham Brown, had served in the Revolutionary War under George Washington at Valley Forge, he was able to receive over 2,000 acres, which he sold and gave to family including Larkin and Matilda.    


The following year of 1810, Elizabeth married James Brown, her stepmother Matilda's younger brother.  The families were close and Elizabeth and James were the same age. They would have grown up together and known each other well.


Elizabeth's father-in-law Isham Brown was a respected leader in the community and had donated the land for the Indian Creek Baptist Church, where Rev. George Brown, James older brother was pastor. Elizabeth and James were probably married there, as this was their church.


That same year of 1810, Matilda died giving birth to her daughter Martha Jane and leaving four children and the newborn.  Elizabeth would have taken on the responsibility of helping care for her brothers and sisters.  That year in June, Larkin married Sarah (Sally) Brown, Matilda's and James younger sister, freeing Elizabeth to live her own life with James.

During this period the men were going off to fight the Battle of 1812 and leaving the women home to manage.  Knowing that they would be rewarded with land grants many men, including Larkin enlisted.

In 1814 Elizabeth and James had their first son Thomas Henderson Brown in Giles county Tennessee. Looking for land and opportunity, James came to Missouri and voted in Independence in1828. Records show he owned the land where the Brown Cemetery is located in Oak Grove.

In 1828 Elizabeth and James had their second child Elizabeth Brown in Oak Grove. They then had Marcella in 1830, Amelia and William A. in 1832 and Henrietta in 1834.

Their family and children were assets to the community.

Their son Thomas Henderson married Keziah Patterson in 1843 and they had 5 children, Nancy Rebecca, Elizabeth, Larkin, William F. and Sara Ellen Brown.

Thomas participated with others to defend Jackson County Missouri

Thomas Henderson Brown.jpg

Thomas Hendersen Brown

William A Brown.jpg

William A. Brown, Abe Brown, Thomas Henderson Brown

Additional information regarding the Elizabeth Payne Webb Brown is available

at Oak Grove Historical Society

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