Indiana McCaslins

Frederic Dill BrownAge: 78 years18781956

Frederic Dill Brown
Birth May 27, 1878 42 31
Source: S471
1903-Mechanical Engineer in Electrical Engineering degree (equivalent to a B.S.), Cornell University, Cornell, New York

Census 1880 (Age 19 months)
Death of a paternal grandmotherAlcha Oliva (Olive) Harding
May 17, 1882 (Age 3 years)
Birth of a brotherJames Harding Brown
January 14, 1883 (Age 4 years)
Census 1885 (Age 6 years)
Birth of a sisterCatharine Sophia Brown
October 20, 1888 (Age 10 years)
Death of a maternal grandmotherSophia Ann Mower
July 27, 1890 (Age 12 years)
Source: S364
Source: Find a Grave
Census 1895 (Age 16 years)
Census 1900 (Age 21 years)
Death of a sisterElla Marian Brown
February 17, 1903 (Age 24 years)
Source: S1206
MarriageChristine McCaslinView this family
September 2, 1908 (Age 30 years)
Source: S1939
Source: S3309
Note: Merriam Park Presbyterian Church, by Rev. David Serril McCaslin
Birth of a daughter
Frederica Brown
April 12, 1909 (Age 30 years)
Birth of a daughter
Elizabeth Studley Brown
December 29, 1910 (Age 32 years)
Census 1910 (Age 31 years)
Birth of a daughter
Marian Mower Brown
February 5, 1913 (Age 34 years)
Source: Find a Grave
Birth of a son
James McCaslin Brown
May 19, 1915 (Age 36 years)
Death of a fatherJames Harding Brown
March 8, 1917 (Age 38 years)
Burial of a fatherJames Harding Brown
after March 8, 1917 (Age 38 years)
Note: Forest Hill Cemetery, block 64 lot 5
Census 1920 (Age 41 years)
Mechnical-Electrical engineer, blacksmith, teacher of blacksmithing Dunwoody Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Christening of a daughterMarian Mower Brown
August 16, 1922 (Age 44 years)
Death of a motherAnna Sarah Taft
March 16, 1926 (Age 47 years)
Burial of a motherAnna Sarah Taft
March 17, 1926 (Age 47 years)
Source: Find a Grave
Note: Forest Hill Cemetery, block 64 lot 5 (Find A Grave Memorial# 90691529)
Census 1930 (Age 51 years)
Census 1940 (Age 61 years)
Note: 1122 Oliver Ave N
Death of a half-brotherCharles Lee Brown
1945 (Age 66 years)

Burial of a half-brotherCharles Lee Brown
1945 (Age 66 years)
Source: Find a Grave
Note: Forest Hill Cemetery, Block 41 Lot 3 (Find A Grave Memorial# 96108406)
Death November 1, 1956 (Age 78 years)
Source: S471
Burial November 3, 1956 (2 days after death)
Note: Lakewood Cemetery, Lot 244 Section 30 Grave 3; Find A Grave Memorial# 35443396

Family with parents - View this family
Marriage: November 12, 1872Portage, Columbia, Wisconsin
17 months
elder sister
Ella Marian Brown
Birth: March 1874 38 27Wisconsin
Death: February 17, 1903, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
22 months
elder sister
2 years
5 years
younger brother
6 years
younger sister
Father’s family with Eleanora Fay - View this family
Eleanora Fay
Birth: September 13, 1843 35 33Grafton, Worcester, Massachusetts
Death: after July 28, 1870Porterville, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Marriage: September 13, 1863Waubeek, Pepin, Wisconsin
14 months
5 years
Delia Brown
Birth: August 1869 33 25Brunswick, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Death: after July 28, 1870Brunswick, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Family with Christine McCaslin - View this family
Marriage: September 2, 1908St Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota
7 months
21 months
2 years
2 years


Merriam Park Presbyterian Church, by Rev. David Serril McCaslin


1122 Oliver Ave N


Lakewood Cemetery, Lot 244 Section 30 Grave 3; Find A Grave Memorial# 35443396

Shared note

Frederic Dill Brown learned blacksmithing from his father, James Harding Brown before he went to Cornell to get a degree in Electrical Engineering. Heres the story in his own words:

"Jim [James Harding Brown, Freds father] would not favor a relation as an employee. In my case I was getting 10 cents an hr or $26.00 for a 26 day month [at the sawmill]. A fellow my age who was a roust-about around the mill was getting $30.00 for a 26 day month. Jim was adamant he wouldnt raise me and I was working like --. I got real sore and went up to President's house one evening and stated the case to him. After I was thru he said Well, its up to Jim. but the next pay day I got $33.00. I never said anything and I dont believe Jim knew it. After I had mastered the work [forging] I wanted a fire. I worked at vacant forges but a fire was considered the mark of a journeyman. Nothing doing. One morning Jim drove in rather early. He had been down to Porterville. After he put his horse in its tie shed he went to the mill. After awhile in came a crew of men bringing n a broken 3-1/2 shaft. One piece was five feet long and the other eleven feet long. They laid them down and departed. I took little notice. The boss was hep but I didnt know anything was up. Jim can in pretty soon and told the boss that I was to weld this shaft. The boss and two other blacksmiths were to be helpers and were not to tell me anything. I asked for a big Frenchman who worked around, as a extra helper to strike with a 25 lb sledge. They played the game with never a hunch but with the usual banter as though this was an everyday affair. I had saw-horses rigged up and tackle fastened to the hooks on ceiling joists. All this over the largest forge. I did a bytt weld with the welding being done in the fire. Frenchy did the striking on the short end and two others held against his blows. Another man worked the blower, all under my direction. I had upset the end to prepare for the joint and put a pin in the center to keep in lined [sic]. It was a good job and we had a surface plate 16 ft only on which to straighten it. Quite a gang assembled to see me do it but I really was not aware of this. One of the gang was a runner who kept Jim advised of progress. I got a fire."

In the 1880 US Federal Census for Brunswic [sic], Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 43-year-old New York-born engineer James and his 30-year-old Vermont-born second wife Anna [Taft] Brown have in their household his Wisconsin-born son by his first marriage to Eleanora Fay Brown, 15-year-old Chas [sic Charles], and their Wisconsin-born children, 6-year-old Ella, 4-year-old Bertha and 2-year-old Fred. Charles, Ella and Bertha have attended school in the past year. James' parents were born in New York. Anna's parents were born in Vermont. The Browns are apparently living in a double bungalow as two families are listed for one address. The other family is that of 33-year-old filer P R Glover and his 28-year-old wife Ella.

In the 1885 Wisconsin State Census for Eau Claire Ward 3, Eau Claire, Jas [James] Brown has four white males [himself and his three sons, Charles Lee, Frederic Dill and James Harding Jr] and three white females [his wife Anna Sarah Taft Brown, and his two daughters, Ella Marian, Bertha Mower] in his household. His neighbors are the F.W. Deacon family and the Frank A Clay family.

In the 1895 Wisconsin State Census for Eau Claire Ward 3, Eau Claire, J.H. [James Harding] Brown has three white males [himself and his two of his three sons, Frederic Dill and James Harding Jr] and four white females [his wife Anna Sarah Taft Brown, and his three daughters, Ella Marian, Bertha Mower and Catharine Sophia]. His neighbors are the R. Farr family and the Dick Christenson family

The 1900 census confirms the move to Farwell St in Eau Claire, where 64-year-old New York-born engineer James, 52-year-old Vermont-born Anna S and their five Wisconsin-born children, 26-year-old Ella M, 24-year-old Bertha M, 22-year-old Fred D, 17-year-old Harding J [James Harding Jr], and 11-year-old Katherine [Catharine] are all in the Brown household. Charles, James' son by his first marriage, has left home. James and Anna have been married 28 years

Fred Brown was the project engineer for the Selby Street Tunnel, St Paul, Minnesota. This work was done for the Twin City Rapid Transit Company. Construction of the tunnel started in 1906. This family story is confirmed by the 1908 Davisons Minneapolis Directory which shows him employed as an electrical engineer for the TCRT Co at 3711 Nicollet Av.

From the Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 28 August 1908: BROWN-MCCASLIN Invitations have been received by many Eau Claire people to the marriage ceremony of Mr. Frederic Dill Brown and Miss Christine McCaslin at Merriam Park Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, Minn., Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 2nd, at five o'clock. Miss McCaslin is the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. David L [sic] of Merriam Park. Mr. Brown is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Brown of Eau Claire. He is a graduate from the engineering department of Cornell University, now holding a responsible position with the street railway company of Minneapolis.

Frederic and Christine married on 2 September, 1908 in St Paul, Ramsey Minnesota and their daughter Frederica was born there on 12 April 1909. By the end of that year, the Brown family had moved to Fargo, North Dakota as published in the Coe College Cosmos for 5 Nov 1909 p. 18: "Mrs. Frederick Brown, formerly Miss Christine McCaslin, '03, is now living in Fargo, N. Dak., where her husband is installing a waterworks system." This is a job assignment that no one in the family remembered.

The 1910 census shows that the Brown family has moved again as Fred (age 31, engineer for the Aberdeen street railway) living at 215 Tenth Avenue SE (illegible handwriting, could be SW), in the Third Ward Aberdeen, Brown County, South Dakota.

In 1920, Fred and family were living at 708 Iowa Avenue SE in Huron, Beadle, South Dakota, having moved there before 1915 when Jim was born there. He is an electrial engineer for Huron Light & Power Company. This information is confirmed by Freds WWI Draft Registration Card dated 12 Sep 1918. His physical description on the card was medium height and build with blue eyes and light hair.

According to Frederica Browns photograph album, Pictures tell the story, the family was still in Huron in 1921, but, by 1923, theyd moved to Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin where Freddie and, possibly, Betty graduated from High School. The next move was to Portland, Oregon in January, 1927 where the family lived at 427 E 48th Street N. from January to April. They then moved to a larger house at 632 E. 38th Street N. Im not sure when Fred came back to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Family stories say that he worked on the Foshay Tower which started construction in 1927. The rest of the family seems to have remained in Oregon through 1929, as Jim attended U.S. Grant High School in Portland where he was in the band, Marian gave a recital in May and Frederica attended Willamette University in Salem, her freshman year. Family story is that Fred quit working on the Foshay Tower because he couldnt stomach Foshays questionable business practices, rather like those of Enron. By 1930, Fred and family are reunited as the April 10th census shows them living at 625-8th Avenue SE, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota. He is an electrical engineer in a factory.

In the mid-1930s, all of the family was living in the house at 1122 Oliver Ave N, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, where I was born. My memory of that household is confirmed by the family photo album. Fred was unemployed due to the depression, and used to leave the house every day with a lunch, eat somewhere (usually a park) at noon and return about 5 p.m. so no one would know he didn't have a job. The family was supported by Ray Bishop, Fred's son in-law, who was the only one who had a job.

In the 1940 US Federal Census for Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, 61-year-old, Wisconsin-born Frederic Brown and his 58-year-old, Indiana-born wife, Christine [McCaslin] Brown are the only tennants of the house at 1122 Oliver Ave N. They were living in this house in 1935. Both Fred and Christine have completed four years of college. Fred has been unemployed for 26 weeks and is looking for work. In the 26 weeks that he worked, he earned $1,700. He is a mechanical engineer with his own office in his home. Christine is a housewife and not looking for work. Neither has another source of income.

By the early 1940s, Fred and Christine are living on Cahill Road in Edina in the upstairs of a farmhouse. They eventually bought land in the area and built a small house at 7028 Cahill Road, Edina, Hennepin, Minnesota where they lived for the rest of Fred's life. After his death, his wife Christine McCaslin Brown moved to live with her daughter Frederica Brown Bishop at 2802 W 40th Street, Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota.

During World War II, Fred worked at Savage, Minnesota on the Minnesota River, building ship hulls that were floated down the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers to be fitted in New Orleans. After the war, Fred worked for Dunwoody Institute teaching blacksmithing until his retirement in 1954.

Obituary published in an unknown paper on Friday 2 Nov 1956: "FREDERIC D. BROWN, 78, 7028 Cahill road, Edina, died Thursday. A native of Porterville, Wis., and a graduate of Cornell university, Ithaca, N. Y., he was a faculty member in mechanical engineering at Dunwoody institute prior to retirement in 1954. He belonged to St. John's chapter of Royal Arch Masons. Surviving are his wife, Christine; three daughters, Mrs. Ray U. Bishop, Minneapolis, Mrs. Herman Chase, London, England, and Mrs. Jack Lenhart, Austin, Travis, Texas; a son James M., Fairbanks, Alaska, two sisters and a brother. Services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Welander-Quist chapel, with burial in Lakewood cemetery. Memorial are preferred to Christ Edina presbyterian church."

The program for his service also states that he had ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The service was given by the Rev. Mr. Reeves of Christ Presbyterian Church.