Bon Jellico Families

The Bunyon Brown Family


Bunyon Francis (B.F.) Brown b. 1871 d. 1944 & Nancy Louise Davis d. 1915
Mattie Ida Brown b. 1895 d. 1987
James Robert Paul Brown b. 1904 d. 1982
Bernice Maude Brown b. 1906 d. 1959
Freda Lauristine Brown b. 1912 d. 2005
Nancy Aleen Brown b. 1915 d. 1999
    Bunyon Marion Francis (B. F.) and family moved to Bon Jellico from Crawford, Tennessee in 1915. B.F. was born in Ducktown, Tennessee; his father Alfred was from North Carolina and served with the Union Army, 10th Calvary in the Civil War. His mother, Martha Arp, had a love for reading and leaning. The Alfred Brown family moved to Rockwood, Tennessee in the 1870’s. Alfred was disabled from his war service, and B.F. started working in the mines in Rockwood at an early age to help support his family. B.F. married Nancy Louise Davis of Rockwood in the early 1890’s. They lived in Rockwood and several other mining camps in Northeast Tennessee including Monterey and Crawford where they were neighbors of several other ‘Bon families’ including the Stouts and Kirklins. Nancy Davis Brown died in Crawford in 1915 just prior to the family’s moving to Bon Jellico.

    B.F. worked in the Bon Jellico mine until the closure in 1937. In 1990 Bill Clope, who worked as his chalk-eye in Rockwood described is as a “hard worker, and I still believe, the best miner in town. He never had much to say, he smoked a corn cob pipe, and the strongest tobacco on the market. He could play a mouth organ, a French harp they called it in those days. Once in a while he would bring one to the mine and when work was slow he would play a tune or two.” B.F. retired in 1937 when the Bon Jellico mine closed and the family moved to Emlyn. He died there in 1944.

    Mattie managed the home and helped raise her siblings after her mother’s death. She was a reader, letter writer, and a great storyteller; she instilled values of integrity and learning, worked in the church, and visited the sick and shut-ins.

    Paul worked in the coalmines in Bon Jellico and Harlan County. He was married to Ruth Moore from Bon Jellico and later to Pearl Jones from Corbin.

    Bernice married George Stephens and later Carl Wilson. She moved to the ‘big city’ (Detroit, Michigan). She had a good sense of humor, was a good cook, and liked the busy city life. Bernice had two children John and Anne Marie, who often visited Bon Jellico when they were very young.

    Freda went to Ohio to work during the war and lived in Norwood and Florida. She was the family sewing and cooking expert and was a ‘master quilter’.

    Nancy taught school in many Whitley County schools including Bon Jellico, Frankfort #2, Harlan County, Saxton, Mountain Ash, Nevisdale, Emlyn, and Williamsburg. She married Robert Berry Witt of Emlyn. They had two children: Robert Lamar and Lynn Carol.

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