The Rev. John Brown, Clara Barton and the 1886-1887 Drought Relief

The Rev. John Brown, Clara Barton and the 1886-1887 Drought Relief (HM1LWP)

Location: Albany, TX 76430 Shackelford County
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Country: United States of America
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N 32° 43.368', W 99° 17.818'

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Scottish immigrant John Brown (1842-1903) moved west following his theological studies in New York. He married Mary Jane Matthews Larn near Fort Griffin and in 1884 became minister of Albany Presbyterian Church, just as West Texas farmers and ranchers were struggling to survive the effects of a prolonged drought. Local leaders selected Brown to represent them in seeking funds for the purchase of seed wheat for small farmers.
     Brown departed in August 1886 to appeal to financial institutions in eastern cities. Newspaper editors publicized his quest as he traveled, and he soon drew the ire of Texas editors and land and railroad promoters who feared the publicity would harm the state's economic development. Thanks to his efforts, however, several railroad cars of seed what were sent to Texas, as well as several thousand dollars collected by eastern Presbyterian churches. Believing it was as appropriate to ask for drought relief as to seek aid following hurricanes, Brown also appealed to Clara Barton and the American Red Cross.
     Brown returned home, and at the request of twenty-one counties addressed the Texas legislature. A bill passed authorizing relief funds and Gov. L.S. (Sul) Ross signed it into law. Meanwhile, the Red Cross sent clothing, household goods and tools to Albany. In January 1887, Clara Barton arrived to tour Shackelford, Stephens, Young and Callahan counties. On her way home, she visited the Dallas Morning News and left a personal check for $20, encouraging the editor to solicit funds to help the drought-stricken farmers.
     In 1887, John Brown moved from Albany to Massachusetts, where he served in the state legislature. He later wrote a book entitled Twenty-Five Years a Parson in the Wild West.
Marker Number13676
Year Placed2006
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, July 17th, 2015 at 2:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 472172 N 3620596
Decimal Degrees32.72280000, -99.29696667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 43.368', W 99° 17.818'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 43' 22.08" N, 99° 17' 49.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)325
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 225 S Main St, Albany TX 76430, US
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