Betty Braddock Brown
Elizabeth Harrison, “Betty,” was born on 15 Jan 1856 in Mississippi.
She married Nathan Brown on May 10, 1877 in Fayette County, Texas.
Nathan and Betty Brown lived in Oso, Texas but traveled often to their property in Colony. The trip could be harrowing. Gladys Johnson remembered her grandfather telling this story:
“I remember him telling when he came from here to check on the land, they drove from where she is buried [Pine Springs]. He sat in the back of the wagon and Betty did the driving and he had to kill—keep off—well, they were bobcats….Betty would drive to the place on the hill and he sat in the back to keep them safe with a gun.”
She died in Fayette County, Texas on 26 Apr 1886; she was 30. She is buried in Pine Springs, Fayette County, Texas. She is buried with two children, one an infant, and another, Cora who is four-years-old, likely a niece.
See Betty’s Tombstone.
Betty in Life and Death
by Karen Monsen
Betty’s story is one of the most tragic in the Brown family history. She died at a very young age, 30, and pregnant at the time. There are two family stories that account for her death, one based on the theory that Betty did not want another child.
The first story was told by Gladys Johnson: “Betty got out there and got on a horse, she rode horses, only way to go anywhere. Betty’s only way to go. Horse threw her off and that night she had a bad spell and died. Grandpa never said anything about her. We worked her grave one time every year. We took him down there to do that.” The second story has her jumping from the roof of a barn. The stories come down the generations with the belief that Betty did not intend to commit suicide. A handwritten note by an unidentified author in the Braddock family file in the Fayette Heritage Museum & Archives in LaGrange, Texas, indicates, however, that one Braddock sister committed suicide. The note identifies what became of most of the other Braddock sisters, so it can be implied that the note is referring to Betty. No other details are provided.
Betty is buried at Pine Springs Cemetery in Fayette County, Texas, which has its own tragic history. A beautiful cemetery, Pine Springs Cemetery was set off from the road, featuring a long path from the road to the cemetery lined with trees on either side of the path. Pine Springs Cemetery is located in the long-vanished community of Oso, where Nathan and Betty were said to have originally settled, and one of the communities where Nathan ran a blacksmith shop. The cemetery featured a babbling brook with bridges and benches wrapped around trees.
Oso became a town in 1858 when a post office was established there. The town featured, in addition to Nathan’s blacksmith shop, several stores, a gin, and a tannery. It also had a Methodist church, known as the Pine Springs Church, until it burned down on September 26, 1880. By 1874, however, the post office discontinued and people were moving away to nearby Flatonia, and the town eventually disappeared.
Pine Springs Cemetery eventually fell into disrepair and brambles grew around the gravestones. Children were told to stay away from the spooky place. Cows roamed the graveyard. During the Depression, the cemetery was adopted and repaired by the Works Project Administration, but the cemetery was soon abandoned again.
In 1965 and 1966, work began to repair the cemetery once again. Every effort was made to recreate the cemetery as it first existed, thanks to Mrs. Gregg Ring of Houston.
Alas, the cemetery fell into disrepair again. Today, Betty’s tombstone has fallen and broken. Pine Springs Cemetery itself is indeed spooky, dark, and overgrown.
And Betty’s tombstone, a beautiful monument depicting a young woman holding a baby, adds another layer of mystery to her life and death. Besides indicating that an infant is buried with her, another child, four-year-old Cora Ruth, is also buried there. Gladys Johnson noted that one of the babies buried with Betty is George’s twin. If correct, that would be Cora Ruth. No other Braddock relatives are buried in Pine Springs Cemetery.
Betty’s daughter, Ada, said she wanted her mother Betty moved to Colony Cemetery to be beside Ada’s father Nathan, Betty’s husband. A lack of funds for such a project long delayed the project. Today, a great deal of red tape stands in the way of removing Betty to be beside her husband. Perhaps one day, Betty can rest in peace where she belongs.
Betty’s Family Tree
Asa Harrison Braddock
Nathan Washington Brown
1. George Lenard Brown
m. Julia Mae Brown
2. Ada N. Brown
m. Wesley Ballard
3. Samuel Jenkins Brown
m. Dora Blanche Littlefield