Titus Olcott, son of Elias and Abigail (Olcott) Brown, was born in Tolland,
Conn., Aug. 25, 1764, and died in Norway, Maine, Feb. 23, 1855. In 1786 or
soon after, Mr. Brown settled in Lancaster, N. H., and seems to have been
one of the wealthier class.
He lived first on what he called "Great Brook
Farm," on what is now known as Otter brook. There he raised the tobacco that
formed the first article of commerce shipped through the White Mountain
Notch road toward the seacoast from Lancaster. This tobacco reached the
ocean at Portland. An elm tree planted by Titus O. Brown in 1795 stands on
Maine street, Lancaster today (1908).
For some years Mr. Brown was one of
the leading business men of Lancaster, kept a stock of goods at the south
end of Main street, near the south end of the bridge on the west side of the
street. The building still remains. Mr. Brown built a sawmill, a gristmill
and a fulling mill in Lancaster. By the terms of the lease of the water
power, he undertook to build a sawmill, Dec. 1, 1792, and a grist mill "with
a good bolt" key Dec. 1, 1793, and a fulling mill Dec. 1, 1794. He erected a
sawmill and had R. C. Everett build a grist mill one hundred feet long and
three stories high, in which was a carding and fulling mill. This mill was
burned some time previous to 1800 and rebuilt on the same site by Mr. Brown.
He is said to have been engaged also in the hotel and transportation
business. He accumulated property and was able to give his children a
substantial education, but meeting with some reverses, he accepted an agency
of parties (similar to chapter 11 bankruptcy) engaged in the land and lumber business, and removed with his
family through the notch into the town of Bartlett.
After a few years there
he removed to Gray Corner and kept the hotel at that place. This period was a difficult one for business people because the international trade situation was chaotic, as was the domestic monetary and credit situation. There were many bankruptcies during the period. However, it appears that Titus left Lancaster with some of his resources intact because he was able to procure property when he arrived in Gray, his next home.
In 1811 he moved to Gray Corner, Maine, where he kept a very popular and well-known hotel, Brown's Tavern (formerly Heaney's Tavern), until 1833. He knew many people on this route following the Androscoggin River from Bethel, Greenwood, Norway, Poland, Gray, and then on to Portland. This route was well traveled and the fact that he knew so many people along the way meant that Brown's Tavern became a popular place to stay. However, Titus did not like people bringing food and drink into his lodging place and put a stop to the practice. It is believed that his business suffered as a result. In Gray there is a Brown Street named for (and given in part?) by Titus. For many years the street was private. Titus's name shows up in Norway as owner of a pew in the Congregational Church. This may actually be his son Titus Jr., who may have preceded him to Norway.
About the year 1833, with his son-in-law, Amos
Purington, he removed to Norway and there bought out the hotel which they
carried on until about the year 1842. The reason for the move may have been that his son Titus Jr. already resided in Norway and because of Titus Sr.'s advancing years. He was 69 at the time. he bought out the Beal Hotel in 1833 and operated it with his son-in-law until 1842. He remained in Norway until his death in 1855 at the age of 91.
His son, Titus Olcott, Jr., lived across the street from his father, and his farm homestead was known as "Steep Falls." Titus or Titus Jr. occupied pew No. 12 in the Congregational Church. We believe land for the cemetery in which he and Susannah are buried was given by Titus.
Titus is described in a History of Norway as a "gentleman of the old school," a member of the Congregational Church, a very good citizen, and a popular landlord. "It would have been far better for the village and persons owning property in the vicinity if the business had continued under Mr. Brown's and Mr. Purington's management for there, in all human probability, would not have been the incendiary fires which occurred in 1851 under Anthony Bennett's ownership...."
Looking at Titus's life as a whole, one can only conclude that he was a very able and successful entrepreneur and a contributor to the public good. He and his wife Susannah were successful as parents also, judging from what we know of their children. His son Titus Jr. was a successful businessman in Norway, his son John was a general in the Civil War, a trustee of Bowdoin College in Maine, and an initiator of many public buildings and improvements in Portland and neighboring towns. Titus was clearly a respected man in his community.
Susannah died on the 30th of October 1851 at the age of 80 and was buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery in South Paris, Maine. Titus followed her in February 1855, and was buried with her.
Titus O. Brown married Susannah, daughter of Isaac
and Susannah (Johnson) Bundy, of Walpole, N. H. She was born Dec. 19, 1771,
and was a descendant of John Bundy, who came to Plymouth in 1643, and later
resided at Boston. Children: Frances, Susannah, Abigail Hatch, Titus Olcott,
Persis Hatch, John Bundy, Susan Johnson, Mary Ann, Elizabeth Fox and Sarah
Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
Biographical Notes: Susannah Johnson Bundy and Titus Olcott Brown
Titus Brown's Inn (1805)
FIND THE LOCATION OF TITUS BROWN'S TAVERN IN BARTLETT, NH
Here is a link
to the historic lodging
map that shows the location
Snippet from the Gray Maine Register 1905:
During the days when
traveling was done by stage coaches the many public houses
scattered along the lines of conveyance were places of great
activity and the centers of interest. Many of these were
located within the town of Gray. The Elm House was built by
Daniel Haney previous to 1800, and was occupied by him until
1804. Titus O. Brown, father of John B. Brown, of Portland,
24 Gray^ Maine
was the next landlord. A few years later Mr. Brown went to
Norway when he sold the Hotel and his residence next door
Theophilus Stimson, the father of the donors of the Stimson
Memorial Hall. Mr. Stimson kept the old hotel for many years.
This is now operated by Geo. O. Stevens.
SOURCE MATERIAL: THE
Gray and New Gloucester
Brunswick, Mains :
FUBIJSHBD BY THE H. E. MlTCHKLL PUBLISHING COMPANY
The Inn was operated by Titus Brown for only a few years, probably about
1805. For Mr Brown it was a mid point in his life, coming from a
prestigeous background in Lancaster.
After a few years in Bartlett he went on to Gray and Norway Maine where he
operated successfull lodging operations.
It was later known as Stillings Tavern and then The Upper Bartlett House.
You would have found this establishment across the street from present day
Mountain Home Cabins.