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233 West 2nd Street

Randolph & Elsie Gaisford Brown Home

Randolph was a native pioneer born in 1864 in Ogden to Jesse S. and Caroline Stewart Brown. His father and uncle, Alex Brown, were the first white Mormon settlers to come to Weber River Valley in January 1848. His father’s farm is now the Downs Subdivision.

The Jesse Brown Farm is now the Downs subdivision.
The Jesse Brown Farm is now the Downs subdivision.

Randolph became deaf by the measles when he was a child. Unable to speak or hear, he communicated in his own type of sign language and gestures. When he was 36 years old, he married Elsie Gaisford, age 16, almost 17, and built this house between his father’s cabin to the east and Lewis Taft’s cabin to the west. His new board, hall-parlor house must have looked quite modern in 1900 in contrast to these old cabins on either side of his house.

Elsie Gaisford was a distant cousin to Randolph. Orphaned in 1889 at age six, Elsie was raised by her aunt, Lois Brown Hutchens, and uncle, John Allen Hutchens, on West 2nd Street near the Jesse Brown family. The house Randolph built for Elsie was only a half block away from her aunt and uncle’s house.

Randolph and Elsie had five children. In addition to farming on 2nd Street, Randolph and worked for twenty years for Ogden Pressed Brick and Tile Company.

Randolph was an avid fisherman. At age 78 Randolph went fishing one spring day and became the victim of foul play. He was found in the Weber River near the West 33rd Street bridge suffering from effects of exposure, near drowning and trauma to the head. It appeared that he was robbed and pushed off the bridge. His family and friends rushed to the hospital to support him, but he died in the hospital on May 13, 1942, one week before his 79th birthday.

Elsie died at age 70 in April 1954. The house at 233 W 2nd Street remained in the Brown family until the 1970s.

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