Sunday, September 18, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - A Well-Known Hazleton Baseball Player

Neil Brown Jr*

At least that's what his obituary says.  I will certainly be trying to find out more about my 2nd great uncle, Neil Brown Jr.  I'll have to look for pictures of the baseball team (I thought it was neat to see it spelled as 2 words rather than a compound word) and see if any of the pallbearers were former teammates.  Rev. McElwee was a relative and I've blogged about him previously, but I don't have any information yet on Rev. John Brown, although if I recall correctly, he was a relative too.  I wish I'd gone and looked up his obituary while I was at home during the summer!  Oh well...I'll put it on my to-do list for next summer!

"Neil Brown Dies In Mine

Former Well Known Base Ball Player Succumbs From Heart Attack.

Neil Brown, of 243 South Wyoming street, former well known base ball player died suddenly at 11 o'clock from a heart attack in the Hazleton No. 1 mine of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company where he was employed as a contract miner.  Mr. Brown several days ago was hurt when he was struck by a piece of timber.

Shortly before he passed away he was stricken with a pain on the side.  He asked for a drink of water and collapsed [sic] shortly afterwards.

He was taken to the State Hospital in the Valley Coal Company ambulance but life was extinct when he reached the institution.

Michael Ferrai of Hayes street, deputy coroner, viewed the body at the hospital.

Mr. Brown was born in Hazleton and was the son of the late Neil and Nancy Brown.  in his younger days he was a ball player.  he covered third base for the Hazleton team which at that time was managed by Harry Dryfoos which played its games at Hazle Park.

He was married in St. Ann's church at Woodside to Miss Bridget Brown, a native of Freeland.  Mr. Brown was a member of St. Gabriel's church and the Holy Name Society.  Surviving him are his wife and the following children:  Mrs. Rodney Prosser, of Tamaqua; Mrs. Clyde Barth, of West Hazleton; James, Nancy, Neil Jr., Rita, Eugene, Paul, Jack, Joan and Charles Brown, all of this city.  Two brothers, Thomas Brown and Patrick Brown, of Hazleton, also survives.

No arrangements have yet been made for the funeral."

[Published in the Hazleton Plain Speaker, 30OCT1937 pg 18]

"All that was mortal of Neil Brown, of 243 South Wyoming street, former Hazleton baseball player was laid to rest today.  The funeral was held at 9:10 this morning followed by a solemn high mass of requiem in St. Gabriel's church at 9:30.  Rev. Father Charles McElwee, formerly of Hazleton, pastor of the Nativity church, Scranton, was celebrant, Rev. Father John Brown of Raleigh, North Carolina, deacon and Rev. Father Edward Lynch of St. Gabriel's sub-deacon.  The pallbearers were: James Fox, Andrew Rondash, John Breslin, Nicholas Klinic, Andrew Kennedy, and Timothy Ryan.  Interment followed in St. Gabriel's cemetery. Rev. Father Brown gave the blessing at the grave."

[Published in the Hazleton Plain Speaker, 02NOV1937, pg 16]

A rather uninformative tombstone for Neil's family

*My cousin Nancy O'Donoghue nee Brown sent me this picture.  It had been labeled "Neil Brown".  Since there are at least 4 Neil Browns it's hard to say for sure that this is Neil Brown Jr.  From the age of the picture and the fact that it appears he is wearing a baseball uniform, I would say with 90% certainly that this is Neil Jr.  Unfortunately, since my dear cousin Nancy has passed away, I can no longer ask her.

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