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Historical figures, VI

March 8, 2013
Dr. Brown

Dr. Brown

The Reverend Dr. John Brown was called as rector to St. George’s Church in Newburgh, New York, in 1815 at the age of 24, and he went on to serve for 64 years. He was a vital force in the church and in the greater Newburgh community, serving as the first president of the Horticultural Society and designer of St. George’s Cemetery. As a missionary priest, Dr. Brown rode horseback throughout the Hudson River Valley, establishing numerous churches: St. John’s Church, Monticello; Grace Church, Middletown; Christ Church, Marlboro; and St. John’s, Cornwall. During his long tenure he also revived the Episcopal churches in Goshen, Walden, Peekskill, Garrison and Milton. In 1891, he helped establish the Church of the Good Shepherd in Newburgh.

Among his many accomplishments is the building of the beautiful stone building, the present St. George’s Church, on the corner of Grand and Second Streets. It is the oldest church building in the city. Consecrated in 1819, it was constructed under the direction of Dr. Brown, who noted in his diary that, starting in 1817, he and members of this small parish laid out the ground and then hauled over 200 loads of stone on structures he called “stone bees.” The church was consecrated on November 10, 1819, and he and Miss Frances Ludlow were married there five days later.

St. George's, Newburgh.

St. George’s, Newburgh.

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