Happy Birthday Great Grandmother!

One hundred seventy-five years ago today, Austin’s first recorded birth of a female child took place in a small cabin on Pecan Street. Elnora Van Cleve was born on the 14th day of April 1841. Parents Margaret Smith and Lorenzo Van Cleve married in July; one of six marriages in the first year of Austin’s existence.

Lorenzo made a canopy bed for his bride; adding a small trundle bassinette which pulled out from underneath. The bed is on display in Anson Jones’ restored home at Barrington Farms, Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park.

Her maternal grandfather, Thomas W. Smith, would be killed by Indians before she was four months old. Her mother died when Elnora was nine. She helped her father raise five brothers. In the census of 1860, three of her siblings still lived with her and Dan Brown, who she married September 13, 1859. Elnora and Dan Brown had 14 children, the last my grandmother Lilly Brown-Bowles born December 19, 1880.

Elnora was truly a Daughter of The Republic of Texas; born just blocks from the first permanent capitol, five years after the Battle of San Jacinto.

Great grandmother, Elnora Van Cleve-Brown, died January 2, 1900 at home on the family ranch at Spicewood, Texas. She is buried on private property near Pace Bend Park Road (FM 2322), Spicewood.

Great Grandmother

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