Thursday, May 24, 2012

More Information on Gustavus A. Brown


Dr. Gustavus A. Brown was a colorful character in Smithland, Kentucky during the 1830s. I suspect the reason for many Smithland children being named Gustavus can be attributed to this man. I am intrigued by Dr. Brown and am always looking for additional information on him. Recently, I came across the following biographical sketch in Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 1 (1883), page 602.

Brown, Gustavus Alexander, M.D., born about 1790 in Alexandria, Va., died in 1835 in Smithland, Ky. His father, Dr. Wm. Brown, of Alexandria, was Physician-General during the Revolutionary war. His mother's maiden name was Catharine Scott, of Scotch descent. The subject of this sketch graduated at Princeton, N.J., and studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating n 1815. The subject of his thesis was Dysentery. He commenced practice in Alexandria and continued until 1825, when he returned to Smithland, Ky., in the neighborhood of which town he owned a large estate inherited from his father. He practiced medicine in Smithland till 1835 when he was killed in a private encounter. He was never married. His property at his death went to his heirs at law, he having died intestate. He was buried at Smithland." The father of Gustavus A. Brown received a land grant for services provided during the Revolutionary War. The land was located at The Point, the land, across from Smithland, where the Cumberland River runs into the Ohio River and where the town of Westwood was later established. The year of death is incorrect in the above sketch. It was 1838 that he was murdered in the Gower House on Front, or Water, Street in Smithland. If Dr. Brown is buried at Smithland Cemetery, there is no tombstone to mark his grave.
Watch for more updates on Gustavus A. Brown.

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