Thank You Note from Mr. David Brown to  Rev. Clarence Crocker

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Subject: Thank you for the Glendale Website

Dear Mr. Crocker, I received your email address from Mary McKinney Teaster and her husband after speaking with the two of them last week. I had called to compliment them on the Glendale website and to inquire about how I might contact you to do the same. I hope my email finds you in good spirits.

I am the great-great-great-grandson of one of the Postmasters who preceded you in Glendale: Joseph Alexander Brown (1846-1919, commissioned as Postmaster 1901). My father (David A. Brown Sr.) and grandfather (Joseph E. Brown Jr.) are still living, the latter in his 80s and a longtime resident of Spartanburg. My grandfather’s father was Joseph Sr., and his father was Albert A. Brown, a card room supervisor at the mill whom you apparently knew prior to his death in 1942. And, of course, Albert’s father was the Postmaster, Joseph A. Brown.

I’ve read many of the articles that you authored for the Glendale website and can’t tell you how much joy they have given me. As I told the Teasters, I have been searching for this information for literally 20 years. The advent of the Internet helped somewhat, but the breakthrough came last year when my grandfather remembered that his great-grandfather had been the Glendale Postmaster. From there it was just a few minutes spent with Google before I came across your website, and - to my unbelieving eyes - a photo of my great-great-great grandfather at his desk in what appears (from the calendar on the wall) to be November 1906. 

That photo has special resonance for me because I am also a civil servant, having worked for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (USGAO) since 2004. And, now that I think about it, working on behalf of the country runs in the family – my father is employed at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and his father was in the U.S. Navy. I also have a younger brother (Benjamin) who was recently promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and is based in San Antonio. (My brother and I grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, after my father moved from Spartanburg to the Tidewater area and settled there in the mid-1970s.)

Mr. Crocker, I can’t thank you enough for making this information available. Without your labor of love, I never would have seen Joseph’s photo, never would have read the account of his life and his two obituaries, never would have known that he was wounded at Gettysburg, and never would have confirmed the Polish roots that had long been rumored in my family. And finally, just when I thought that I had exhausted all of the treasures, I checked back on your site earlier this year and found that you had cataloged all of those many grave markers! Now, when I am next in the Spartanburg area, I will be able to drive over and visit several family gravesites that I didn’t even know existed.

Well, I don’t want to take up much more of your time. But if I can give you any additional information that would help in your work, I would be happy to do so; I could even send a photo or photos if that would be useful to you. Also, if you have any recollections of Albert A. Brown or his son Joseph that you would like to share, I would of course be very interested.

Finally, I’d like to tell you that this quote from one of your pages brings tears to my eyes each time I read it:

“Today, I am enjoying the “golden years” of life, watching the sun slowly set, trying to put into print some memories for my family and friends, taking care of my wife’s flower gardens consisting of dozens of roses, rhododendrons, azaleas, dogwoods, a water fountain and a small fish pond… God had blessed me with a rich and full life for which I am eternally grateful.”

What a beautiful sentiment. May God continue to bless you, Mr. Crocker, and I would be honored if you would count me as one of the friends for whom you have been tirelessly preserving those wonderful memories.
Warmest regards,
David A. Brown Jr.
Durham, NC

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This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is Mary McKinney Teaster.  Contact her at: or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.