Sharing Stories About An Old Kent County Sheriff and His Faithful Horse

Going through boxes of family papers to sort out valued materials stored away by relatives long ago can be a challenging but revealing task. And yesterday I received a letter about this process of discovery from Cynthia Jane Brown. She went through the documents from her late father, Merrile W. Brown, who passed away in February 2012. While examining those aging photos and letters she came across an intriguing image of a Kent County house and family from 1894.

Here is some of what she shared in the letter. The man on the horse was my Great-Grandfather William Ellsworth Brown, Jr. He was the sheriff of Kent County, MD back in 1894. Back in those days lawmen rode horses, which was nothing like the “patrol cars of today.” The townspeople nicknamed Sheriff Brown, “Mr. Shake” because of his air of authority. The horse was his faithful servant. My great grandfather and his horse chased a few thieves one time through a cornfield with tall stalks of Eastern Shore corn growing in the summer heat. His horse was his best friend and was a good working horse.

Her investigation also identified others in the photo. Standing from left to right is her great-great aunt, standing next is her great, great grandmother Mary Brown. The lady seated is her great-grandmother Mary Caroline Brown. She was the wife of William Ellsworth Brown, Sr (the man by the well with the long beard). Her uncle Edward and Great Aunt Marie Brown are the children playing with the way. The photo is 118 years old.

Thanks so much for sharing this piece of history.

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