Requiescat in pax – Robert Lincoln Brown’s funeral

The following clip taken from a Glasgow newspaper


The funeral of Bob Brown, who was hung here last Monday, was conducted at New Salem church, near his old home, Tuesday evening, and was attended by one of the largest crowds seen in that section.  The church was literally packed, and the aisles were filled with people who stood throughout the services.

The funeral was conducted by Rev. Harwood, who made a most excellent talk on the object lesson before the people assembled, showing to what depths of crime and wrong sin could lead men.  He told of Brown’s last days in jail, and said that Brown had a hope of salvation, but dreaded death.

Rev. James Meek also made a talk, and the remains were carried into the yard, where the father of Brown, standing at the brink of the open grave, urged parents to be careful to bring up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  The coffin was opened, and the immense throng filed by in pairs to look at the dead man’s face.  The face looked natural except that it was blue and the nose had bled until the blood had run down into the coffin.


The missive ends here, my friends.  And the chapter on Bob Brown closed in the New Salem country, in that era known as the “Do Better” community.  I’ve not been able to discover why it was called that, but after the “Brown Affair”, it was never called that again.  I know only that Brown was interred in the cemetery, but am not privy to the exact location of his grave.  It is unmarked, as is fitting.  And I always assumed he was buried outside of the main graveyard of the time, as it would have been considered desecrating Holy ground, because he was hung.

The naiveté of that statement shows in my accumulated knowledge of how many burials have been made in that cemetery over the years, of people in similar fates to Brown.  And a few years back someone enlightened me that Brown was buried not far from the father-in-law he murdered.  Or so they were told.  I know his aunt Rogers family is buried on the other side of the cemetery, where I assumed Brown would have been laid to rest to begin with.

Hollis Thomas, who was Terry McClellan’s son, told me several years before he died that he had also been told that Brown was buried near his grandfather, and several of Brown’s Slayton relatives are also buried there.   I am also privy to the knowledge that there are several unmarked graves that are outside of even today’s cemetery body.  Most of these I can verify, but I am not aware by verbal telling that Brown could have been one of them.  On the back edge of the current cemetery is where I’ve always assumed he was taken.

Well, I’ve speculated on this very thing for years, but have come no closer to an answer, but that he is truly buried near the center, like I’ve been told by a few sources, both verbal and written.  We may never know the exact location of his earthly remains, but it is verified by county officials, family, and local legend, that the man was given a final resting place in the New Salem Cemetery.

His little farm missed being demolished by the construction of the Louie B. Nunn/Cumberland Parkway, and can still be seen on the New Salem side of the interstate.  But the road that led to his father-in-law’s and on to Neals’ Chapel was cut off just beyond his farm by same interstate.  One must go several miles out of the way to get to the Neals’ Chapel country, although you can see the church plainly across the fields and interstate from the churchyard at New Salem.

And so goes modern-day progress.


About Gclee

I am a long time genealogy and local history hunter from Barren Co., KY. I have many stories to share that may be of interest to other local genealogists and history buffs. I enjoy this as a hobby and hope I can be of encouragement to others. I also hope everyone enjoys my stories as much as I have enjoyed learning about them.
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