Eunice Dama (or Damey) Brown (1825-1912)

Biographical and Research Summary

F. Duane Lindsey, Her Great Grandson


Eunice Damey BROWN was born on April 11, 1825 in Busti, Chautauqua Co., NY. Damey was the sixth of 13 children of Joseph and Rachel BROWN, born when Joseph was 38 and Rachel was 26.

Her father, Joseph BROWN was born January 8, 1787 in Lyme, New London Co., CT. As a young man, according to family tradition, he served as a drummer boy in the War of 1812. That tradition may be confused since Joseph would have been in his mid-twenties at that time. When he was about 27 he married Rachel, who was only 16 (surname unknown; born June 19, 1798 in Troy, Rensselear Co., NY). [Recent addition: Carrier Family records give her surname as CARRIER and birthplace as Seneca, NY.]

Joseph and Rachel’s first child,
John was born January 21, 1816 in Ellicott, Chautauqua Co., NY.
Other children born before Damey were:
Esther, born August 3, 1817 in Busti, Chautauqua Co., NY
William, born July 22, 1819 in Scrubgrass Twp., Venango Co., PA
Lucy, born May 11, 1821 in Busti, Chautauqua Co., NY
Urilla, born January 23, 1823 in Busti, Chautauqua Co., NY
After Damey was born, Joseph and Rachel had seven more children:
Joseph, Jr., born February 2, 1827 in Mercer Co., PA
Henry, born November 28, 1828 in Mercer Co., PA
Rachel, born December 19, 1831 in Rockland, Venango Co., PA
Elizabeth, born May 31, 1836 in Rockland, Venango Co., PA
Margaret, born November 17, 1839 in Rockland, Venango Co., PA
Adalade, born October 4, 1841 in Bedford Twp., Meigs Co., OH
Lyman, born January 11, 1844 in Springfield Twp., Gallia Co., OH

When Damey was 18 years old, she married 22 year old John Wesley LINDSEY on June 22, 1843, probably in Gallia Co. or Meigs Co., OH. John Wesley was the son of William LINDSEY, (who had moved to Cheshire Twp., Gallia Co., Ohio from Pennsylvania by 1839 with his [second] wife Hannah [LEWIS?] and five sons and two daughters, a third daughter being born in Ohio.

Damey and John Wesley had three children: James W., born May 20, 1848 in Middleport, Meigs Co., OH; Joseph William (“Will”), born December 22, 1850 in Gallia Co., OH; and Jefferson L. (“Jeff”), born April 17, 1853 in Gallia Co., OH.

Damey and John Wesley were apparently active in the Methodist Church. Damey’s faith was soon tested, for the year after their third son was born, her husband was killed in a sawmill accident (Sept. 28, 1854). A letter of consolation from her father-in-law William Lindsey (dated October . . . 1854) has survived, in which he states that his son "is in heaven and has met his dear Mother and his two brothers and three sisters and his Saviour and enjoys the fruits of paradise.” John Wesley’s death came on the heels of the deaths of Damey’s mother Rachel BROWN (March 28, 1847) and her younger sister Elizabeth BROWN (Sept. 11, 1850, at age 14).

Damey apparently moved from Gallia Co. to Middleport in Meigs Co., OH. There, on June 22, 1856, she married James W. LINDSEY, who was the older brother of John Wesley LINDSEY. James’s first wife had died about the same time as his brother. This marriage began, therefore, with a ready-made family, since James’s three nephews (James, Will, and Jeff) became his step-sons. James and Damey’s first child, Andrew, died in infancy (1857), but they had two more sons, George Robert Clarence (born August 22, 1858) and Charles Franklin (born May 22, 1861, just 40 days after the Confederate artillery shelled Ft. Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, SC, thus beginning the Civil War).

Though he was 44 years old, James LINDSEY responded to the call to preserve the Union and enrolled in the Ohio Volunteers, 116th Regiment, Co. K, at Gallipolis, Ohio on October 15, 1862. The war years were as hard on families left at home as on the soldiers in combat. At least eleven letters that James wrote home to his wife Damey have been preserved (dated Nov. 4, 1862 to March 29, 1865). The last letter was written just four days before James was killed in action (April 2, 1865) near Petersburg, VA, during the Union attack on Ft. Gregg, one of the small earthwork fortifications that the Confederates had built around Petersburg in the futile attempt to thwart the Union attack on that city. We do not know when Damey first received word of her husband’s death, but about five weeks later she received an official letter from Lt. Ransom Griffin, Co. G, written on May 8, 1865, in which he said, “. . . it becomes my painful duty to inform you that your Husband Private James Lindsey Co. ‘K’ 116th Ohio Volunteers Infantry was killed April 2d 1865 in an assault upon the Rebel Fort Gregg.” [See Biographical and Research Summary on James W. Lindsey” for a complete transcript of this letter and other sources on the attack on Ft. Gregg.]

The death of her husband James left Damey with five boys, ranging in age from almost four to 14. The few records and family traditions from this period of Damey’s life suggest that she continued active in the Methodist Church, and perhaps took in sewing to help with expenses (she is said to have had one of the first sewing machines).

Although she had lost two husbands, Damey married again on April 17, 1867, in Kygerville, Gallia Co., OH. Little is known of her new husband, James F. JENKINS, but he apparently had a drinking problem which led to a divorce on April 5, 1877 in Pomeroy, Meigs Co., OH.

By 1879 Damey had moved to Wabash City, Wabash Co., IN, where her older sister Lucy lived with her husband John NICKLE. Damey’s son George LINDSEY had moved to Carleton, Thayer Co., NE where he became co-owner of a livery stable. In 1888 she moved to Chase Co., NE, near Champion, where her sons, George and Frank, had lived for about two years. Then, from about 1896 to 1909, her son George and his family were living in Nemeha, Nemeha Co., NE. Damey apparently lived with/near them for a period of time that included the year 1905, when Damey was reinstated to receive a pension as a Civil War widow (she had lost this when she had married her third husband, James JENKINS).

In the 1890s and early 1900s (according to family tradition) Damey was an active supporter of the alcohol prohibitionist efforts of Carry A. Nation (who with a Bible in one hand and a hatchet in the other conducted sensational campaigns, destroying saloons in the chief Kansas cities, where liquor sales had been banned by an 1890 law that had not been enforced). We do not know that Damey actually participated in such destruction, but at least she supported Carry Nation’s efforts.

About 1900 Myrttie LINDSEY LEWIS (George’s oldest daughter and grand-daughter of Damey), when she was a child, visited Grandma Damey (probably many times) and later recalled that Damey was a small woman with red hair, mild and quiet tempered. Damey once told her, when she was sitting on the floor to tie her shoes, “Ladies don’t sit on the floor to tie their shoes.” One day when Mirttie complained about the rain, Damey said, “You shouldn’t say that—God made the rain.”

When George moved back to Chase Co. in 1909, she apparently moved with him, if she had not already moved back to Chase Co. earlier. As an early settler in Chase Co., she had become known as “Grandma Lindsey.” There she died November 23, 1912, and was buried in Lake View Cemetery.