Singleton Coleman Brown

Singleton Coleman Brown had been a farmer and a solid citizen of Barrow County for many years when he died on Easter Sunday, April 20, 1924. Coming to then Walton County before 1880, he was the son of Levi Brown, a miller and shoemaker, who served in the War of 1812 in South Carolina. Levi and his wife, Delilah Helton, moved to Habersham County Georgia from Tennessee just before Singleton’s birth in 1841. The third of five children, Singleton grew up near Cleveland in the area of Habersham County that became White County in 1857.

When the Civil War came, Singleton enlisted for three years on July 10, 1862 in Captain J. J. Moore’s Company B of the 52nd Georgia Volunteer Infantry. His company was known as the Cleveland Volunteers and they were assigned to the Army of Tennessee. On July 4, 1863 Singleton was taken prisoner when Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton surrendered Confederate forces at Vicksburg, Mississippi after a long siege by Union forces. Singleton’s parole dated July 7, 1863, contained his promise not to take up arms against the forces of the United States until duly exchanged by the proper authorities. The Union officer who signed his parole was Major John C. Fry, of the 20th Regiment, Ohio Volunteers. A family story is that Singleton and other members of his company walked back to Georgia after they were released, formed the company again and served until the war’s end in April 1865.

About a year later in Lumpkin County Georgia, Singleton married Margaret C. McElreath on April 6, 1866. She was the daughter of James M. and Rachel Dowdy McElreath who lived near Dahlonega. The lived a short time near Carter Hill, then settled about one mile southeast of Bethel. Singleton and Margaret had 13 children between 1867 and 1891, all of whom survived to adulthood. They were from strong stock – Singleton died at the age of 83; Margaret was the oldest surviving widow of a Barrow County Confederate veteran when she died in 1942, less than one month short of her 98th birthday.

The local newspaper reported his death:
Mr. Singleton Brown, one of the oldest and most highly esteemed citizens of this county died at his home in the Bethel community last Sunday. He was 83 years, 2 months and 20 days old at the time of his death. He had been sick only a few days.

The remains were buried at Bethel church last Monday, of which church he was a member, Rev, J.C. Harbin conducting the funeral services. Besides his widow, he leaves the following children: James Brown of Atlanta; Thomas, George, Judson, Grover and Ernest Brown of this county; Mrs. (Tavie) Thurmond Adams of Winder; Misses Lou (Mary Luellen) and Willie (Millie) Brown of this county, and one adopted daughter, who is also a grandchild, Miss Era Edwards Brown (daughter of J Robert and Caroline Brown Edwards; Caroline died in 1904).

Mr. Brown also leaves 48 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

To the bereaved ones the deepest sympathy of a host of friends is extended.

(Researched and written by Singleton’s great-great-grandson William W. McCollum)