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Brown, Billy Harold

In Honor of Billy Harold Brown

Billy Harold Brown born November 09, 1934 married Elizabeth Taylor born November 11, 1954. He graduated from N.C. State University in 1957 with a B.S. degree in Education and Science. He then furthered his education and worked in engineering for 35 years. They are the parents of two children: Terry Lee Brown and Kimberly Joy Lemoine; and six grandchildren: Baylen Waterhouse Brown, Taylor LeAnne Brown, Andrew Kinsley Brown, Matthew Ryan Schapman, Elizabeth Joy Schapman, Michael Andrew Schapman.

What first started with a land grant from England approximately 20 miles long and 5 miles wide eventually was divided into farms by the Batten and Brown families over the years with intermarriage between the two. They cleared the land and passed it down to their children with the land eventually broken into farms just large enough to support a family. The Iredell Brown Farmstead now located at the Tobacco Farm Life Museum brings back many memories for Billy. Before being moved the house and kitchen were located approximately 300 yards from his mother and father's home and farm. To Billy they were simply known as "Uncle Walter's house". His mother and father lived their entire life in what was called the Brown Community. Most of their ancestors lived their entire life in the same community, in about a one mile radius of each other. The farms of his parents and Uncle Walter and Aunt Ovealur were adjoined with the family working, eating on special occasions, sharing and crying together in hardship. They worked together to plant and harvest crops, share labor cutting wood, killing hogs, corn shucking, fished together, made ice cream together, and shared their gardens. When one family experienced a hard year of farming, the rest of the family made sure they had food and wood to keep them warm through the winter.

Billy Brown remembers fondly how he and his aunt would go with his Uncle Walter to sell tobacco in Wilson. He and his Aunt Ovealur would go shopping in Wilson while his uncle sold tobacco before they would all enjoy lunch together. He constantly visited his "Uncle Walter's House" throughout his childhood, and is thankful for the love he shared with his relatives.

He remembers a time when any adult was called Aunt or Uncle and granddaddy and grandmother out of respect. When remembering his childhood, Billy states "I do not have one bad memory in growing up in the community. We worked hard and had fun doing it".

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