My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

WILLIAM APPLETON DROWN, Jr. The progenitor of the American branch of the Drown family was Leonard Drown, a native of England, who was a settler in colonial times, coming to America about 1670, locating in New England, and at his demise was survived by four sons, Shem, Solomon, Samuel and Simeon, and two daughters, Susannah and Mary. Shem Drown was one of the earliest patrons of music in the United States, and several of the early ancestors held commissions in the early Colonial wars and in the American army during the Revolutionary war.

The line of descent is traced from Erasmus Pierce, the maternal grandfather of William A. Drown, Jr. Erasmus Pierce established a wholesale manufactory of umbrellas and parasols at the corner of Third and Market streets, Philadelphia, this enterprise remaining in the possession of the family for nearly a century. William Appleton Drown, father of William A. Drown, came from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Philadelphia at an early age, and became associated in business with his father-in-law, whom he succeeded, conducting the same successfully up to the time of his decease. He was an active member of the Union League of Philadelphia. He married Mary E. Pierce, and the issue of this union was three children, as follows: William A., mentioned hereinafter ;Thomas M., president of Lehigh University; and James Drown.

William Appleton Drown, Jr., was a graduate of the Philadelphia high school, and he was also a native of that city. He succeeded to the business which was formerly conducted by his father and grandfather, and which greatly prospered under his wise and judicious management. The name of Drown was well and favorably known in commercial circles, and everywhere was regarded as a synonym for straightforward and honorable business methods. He was an active member of the Union League of Philadelphia. As a citizen he was ever alert, earnest and conscientious, keenly alive to everything which concerned in any way the wellbeing of his city. After his marriage he removed from Philadelphia to Oak Lane, and in 1867 they removed to a piece of property in Abington township, Montgomery county, on which the family now resides.

On April 23, 1853, Mr. Drown married Elizabeth Darling, who was born January 19, 1836, a daughter of Hon. William and Margarette Darling, of Reading, Pennsylvania. Their children were: 1. Mary, born July 20, 1859, died May 23, 1862; 2. Edward D., born October 1, 1861, mentioned hereinafter; 3. William M., born November 22, 1863, died August g, 1864; 4. Thomas Darling, born June 26, 1865, died July 13, 1890; 5. Margaret D., born October 17, 1866, became the wife of Francis A. Phelps of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, October 24, 1889, and their children are: William, born September 20, 1890; Alice D., born March 7, 1893; and Francis S., born August 14, 1896; 6. Vaughan D., born April 24, 1868, died March 25, 1891; 7. Elizabeth D., born July 10, 1872, became the wife of Ziba Bennett Phelps, of Binghamton, New York, April 7, 1896, and their children are: Elizabeth D., born October 26, 1898; Emily D., born January 14, 1900; and Martha Bennett, born September 27, 1903; 8. Emily D., born October 4, 1873. William Appleton Drown, father of these children, died December 21, 1890. His widow survives. She is a native of Reading, Pennsylvania.

Edward D. Drown, eldest son of William A. and Elizabeth (Darling) Drown, was born in Philadelphia, October 1, 1861. His education was acquired in private schools. He gained his first business experience by working at umbrella making with his father at his factory in Philadelphia, remaining at this occupation for ten years. Subsequently he applied himself to the culture of flowers and trees, and is now a practical nurseryman and florist of Abington township, with an extensive establishment near Weldon. By industry and perseverance he has achieved a considerable degree of success. He devotes his attention principally to ferns and hardy plants, his greenhouses covering more than eight thousand square feet, all of which space is under glass. Mr. Drown takes an earnest interest in politics, being a firm supporter of the principles of the Republican party. From 1893 to 1903, a period of ten years, he served as justice of the peace in Abington township. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, the tenets of which his forefathers also adhered to; is an elder therein, and also serves in the capacity of secretary of the Sunday school.

* * * *

This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.