Born in Philadelphia, PA., February 8. A.D. 1841; the son of James and Margaret O'Farel Brown.
Graduated at Trinity College in 1864; at the General Theological Seminary in 1865.
Ordained: Deacon, July 2, A.D. 1865, by the Right Rev. Horatio Potter, in the Church of St. John the Evangelist, New York City; Priest, February 25, A.D. 1866, in St. John's Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., by the Right Rev. Horatio Potter.
Married, February 7, A.D. 1867, in Trinity Chapel, New York, by the Right Rev. Horatio Potter, assisted by the Rev. Dr. Morgan Dix, Rector of Trinity Church, to Miss Mary E. Scott, daughter of Mr. William Scott, of New York.
Curate: Church of the Annunciation, New York City, one year; St. John's Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., one year; Christ Church, New York City, two years.
AT a little after three o'clock on Monday morning, December 19th, the soul of Thomas McKee Brown, our late much-beloved Rector, passed away into the land of spirits, and for him "the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over, and his work is done." May the good Lord grant him a holy rest and peace! On Sunday, the 11th, he was suffering from a severe cold, but in spite of it he sang the High Mass and made a vigorous appeal to the congregation for their support in the several works of the Parish. It was the twenty-eighth anniversary of the Parish which he had founded, and for which he had so nobly and unremittingly toiled. After the service he found the strain and effort had been too great, and Vespers was sung without his presence. On Monday and Tuesday he ventured out, the weather at the time being wintry and dangerous. On Tuesday evening, at the annual meeting of the Men's Club, he made a most earnest address, commending the members for their faithfulness, and urging them to remain constant to the Cause of the Woman and Child, whose banner they had so lately unfurled. After the dispersion of the guests, he remained till a late hour in conversation with one of the members of the Club in a room which was gradually growing colder, and when a feeling of chilliness crept over him he took leave of his parishioner and returned to the Rectory. From that time it was plain that he was a victim of pneumonia, and during the next two days he suffered much from the pains of pleurisy. On Saturday morning the doctors recognized the severity of the case, and they resorted to the use of oxygen. The Rector, realizing his condition, said that he wished to make his final preparation, and sent for one of his curates, who heard his confession and administered Extreme Unction. During the rest of the day he seemed to be resting much more easily, and remarked that he hoped that God would take away his pain when he received his Communion on the following morning. The night was passed fairly comfortably, but on Sunday morning the danger became more apparent, and after the Children's Mass the Celebrant carried the Blessed Sacrament to the dying priest. Sunday was an anxious day for all. The congregation was informed that a crisis was at hand, and the music of the Mass was sung without the organ for fear of disturbing the patient. After Vespers a watch was established, and parishioners offered continual prayer that God might stay His Hand and save the Rector's life. When the end did come it came with a mighty shock--few could believe that the strong and tender Father had been taken from them. The news, as it spread from mouth to mouth, for it was too late for the morning papers, seemed to stun the hearers. They began to arrive soon after, to find Requiem Masses said at every altar.
ON St. Thomas's Day, at twelve o'clock, the body of Father Brown was laid in a coffin of polished wood and brass and carried into the church, where it was placed in the nave before the High Altar. The bier was, of course, surrounded by the six mortuary lights, three on each side, and a table at the head held a crucifix and the dead priest's biretta. Flowers were placed from time to time by the faithful around the coffin. The body was clothed in purple eucharistic vestments; the hands held a chalice. From the time the body was placed in the church constant watch was kept by members of the Men's Guild, who recited the Psalter, their place being taken at six o'clock on the morning of the funeral by the parish Sisters of the Order of the Visitation. Large numbers of people of all ages and conditions passed into the church and joined in the devotions by day and by night. The pulpit and the rector's stall and confessional were draped in black.
At seven o'clock on Thursday the coffin was closed and covered with the pall and carried within the choir. The first requiem was then said. The funeral was at eleven o'clock. The city and harbor were covered with one of the densest fogs known for years, which interfered seriously with travel by rail and by boat. Nevertheless, the large church and all the chapels were crowded with people and many were unable to gain admittance. The crucifer was followed by the acolytes, the men and boys of the choir, the pall-bearers, the Reverend Arthur Ritchie, rector of the Church of St. Ignatius, the trustees, the clergy; and at the end of the procession, Bishop Potter, attended by his chaplain, the Rev. P. A. H. Brown, and his deacons of honor, the Rev. Father Mason, senior curate of the parish, and the Rev. Doctor Batterson. The gallery choir sang Beethoven's De Profundis as the procession entered.
The pall-bearers, nearly all of whom were present, were the following: the Revs. Arthur Ritchie, Arthur Mason, O. S. Prescott, Dr. G. McClellan Fiske, John S. Miller, Samuel F. Hotchkin, Dr. Thomas Richey, Dr. H. G. Batterson, P. A. H. Brown, Dr. Morgan Dix, Dr. John W. Brown, John H. Knowles, Jr., Dr. T. M. Riley, F. W. Braithwaite, Bobert Ritchie, Daniel I. Odell, A. L. Wood, George C. Betts, and Dr. A. G. Mortimer.
Many clergy were in the nave among the congregation; the following were in the procession and took seats in the choir: Revs. John Keller, J. J. McCook, E. D. Cooper, D.D., Canon Bryan, G. H. Sharpley, F. A. Sanborn, F. E. Mortimer, J. Malcolm Smith, James G. Cameron, Bishop Falkner, C. W. De Lyon Nichols, P. C. Pyle, Wm. E. Johnson, J. B. Sill, E. G. Clifton, George Wm. Lincoln, Charles H. Kidder, Thomas P. Hughes, D.D., Clayton Eddy, E. L. Jenner, Augustine Elmendorf, E. B. Young, G. E. Magill, J. G. Ewens, George W. Eccles, Daniel F. Warren, D.D., H. H. Obeny, Newland Maynard, D.D., J. T. Matthews, C. L. Biggs, Charles E. Freeman, F. E. Bissell, E. B. Post, Wm. S. Boardman, H. M. Barbour, J. N. Steele, Mus.D., Alban Eichey, J. T. Patey, D.D., J. W. Hill, Wm. M. Pickslay, Edward Heim, E. M. Berkeley, John Williams, Charles H. Mead, W. W. Bellinger, W. H. Weeks, A. Alexander, James H. Smith, Charles Wm. Turner, James H. McCandless, E. B. Nash, A. G. Wilson, E. E. Armstrong, H. O. Ladd, Charles L. Steel, Charles P. Armstrong, E. D. Pope, G. W. McMullin, Isaac Maguire, F. M. Clendenin, D.D., Wm. F. Lewis, F. W. Davis, E. C. Hall, D.D., L. N. Booth, H. D. Jones, H. C. Bishop, Wm. H. Barnes, Floyd E. West, E. M. Kemp, T. J. Crosby, George C. Houghton, D.D., Parker Morgan, D.D., Fr. Sargent, O. H. C., Fr. Huntington, O. H. C., Fr. Langmore, S. S. J. E., and Brother Gilbert, Superior O. B. N.
The Burial Office was said by the Reverend Arthur Ritchie; of St. Ignatius Church; the Psalm, "Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge," being sung antiphonally by the chancel and gallery choirs.
The following is a list of those who assisted at the service:
The Celebrant: Rev. E. A. Larrabee, of the Church of the Ascension, Chicago.
Deacon: Rev. J. A. Staunton, Jr., of St. James's, Cleveland, Ohio, formerly a curate of the parish.
Sub-Deacon: Rev. G. L. Wallis, of the Parish.
Master of Ceremonies: Rev. R. R. Upjohn, a curate of the parish, assisted by H. C. Staunton.
Servers: H. K. Trask and H. D. Storer. Crucifers: Frank Black and DeForrest Bost-wick.
Vergers: George Heckroth and Herbert Mitchell.
Thurifer: Charles Bostwick.
Navicularius: E. S. Gorham, Jr.
Bishop Potter sang the Absolution in the Mass from his throne at the right of the altar, and also gave the Benediction at the close. The music was under the direction of Dr. George B. Prentice, the organist of the church, and was sung by the choirs of the church in the West Gallery and chancel, reinforced by former members, both singers and instrumentalists. The music of the Mass was as follows:
Introit--Requiem Aeternam................... Wilcox
Kyrie Eleison (a capella)........... ........ Prentice
Sequence--Dies Irae........................... Dykes
Offertory Anthem--"Blest are the Departed"... Spohr
Sanctus......................... ............ Wilcox
Agnus Dei................................... Wilcox
Hymn--"O Saving Victim "................... Uglow
Hymn--"Days and Moments Quickly Flying".. Dykes
After the Mass came the Absolution of the Dead, sung by Father Larrabee. At the close of the service the college fraternity of which Father Brown was a member, the Delta Psi, marched in a body past the bier and deposited bits of evergreen upon the coffin, this being a part of the funeral ceremonies of the fraternity. The Funeral March of Beethoven was played as the procession of priests left the chancel.
The burial was in Greenwood Cemetery, and the office at the grave was said by the Rev. Professor McCook of Trinity College.