Samuel Wright Brown Statue of Boys
Samuel Wright, William and Cyrus Brown
by Dennis Smith, 1984

SAMUEL WRIGHT BROWN
Samuel Wright Brown
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Samuel Wright Brown, was born in Birmingham, England in August 1845. Samuel's parents, Henry and Catherine Maria Wright Brown, were converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints in Birmingham where Henry worked as a bricklayer. Like many English converts they migrated to the United States from Liverpool aboard boats chartered for that specific purpose by funds from the Perpetual Immigration Fund established by Brigham Young. Henry, age 36, Catherine only 33, and their young family of five boys and an eight month old daughter left Liverpool aboard the Ellen Maria, a 768 ton vessel captained by C.W. Whitmore, on January 33, 1852, and after a ten week stormy winter voyage arrived in New Orleans on the second day of April.

The plans then called for a journey up the Missippi and Missouri Rivers to Kansas City, where they would depart fro Utah by land. Unfortunately, cholera broke out among the company of immigrants who had been badly weakened by their long arduous voyage in cramped quarters. Henry, Catherine, and their children Henry 11, James 3, and the baby Julia all died. The three orphaned boys William 9, Samuel Wright 7, and Cyrus 5, were taken in by other immigrant families and finally arrived in Salt Lake city on September 3, 1852. The family belongings, consisting of a trunk and a few household items, together with the three boys were dumped in Pioneer Park and for a time were left on their own. While foraging for themselves one day they returned to the location of all their worldly possessions, including a precious family bible, only to find that they had been removed. Whether they were stolen or otherwise appropirated is a mute point, but the result was that the boys were left with literally the clothes on their backs. A small bronze statue was sculpted in 1984 by the well known artist, Dennis Smith, a native of Alpine, depicting the boys standing by their trunk.

The three brothers were soon separated. Samuel lived for a year in the household of Brigham Young, prior to joining his father's sister, Eliza Brown Dyer Houston, and her family in Alpine. He was later taken in by Bishop T.J. McCullough where he was raied to manhood. In 1871 Samuel married Jenette Young Wilkin and set up housekeeping in Alpine, eventually buying a small farm north of town. From his perilous youth Samuel developed strong character and went on to become a house painter and wood carver. He served two terms as mayor of Alpine and dabbled in painting. HIs landscape scene of Alpine with Utah Lake in the background, painted from Graveyard Hill, was used as the cover picture for a book call "Alpine Yesterdays" by Jennie Adams Wild, published in 1983.

Samuel was the father of eleven children. He was a prominent citizen of Alpine and apparently successful in providing adequate sustenance for tihs large family, but unfortunately caught cold on a trip to American Fork in the Winter of 1899 and died at the age of 54. Jennette who was 44 at the time was left to raise the eleven children.

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