ALLYNE & JULIAN BROWN
A long and beautiful chapter in Monroe’s history came to a close on May
31st with the death of Mrs. Julian E. (Allyne Harris) Brown, in Sandy
Springs, Ga. She was five months shy
of her 100th birthday.
The Monroe First United Methodist Church, home to Allyne and Julian until
their deaths, was the scene of her funeral service on June 4th.
The theme for her service was love. Love of family, love of friends, love
of church and love of community. From
the roses atop her casket to the piano and organ music chosen for the service,
the remembrances from family and friends and the eulogy given by Dr. Dane
Waggoner, all bore testimony to the esteem and appreciation Monroe had for
One of the quotes spoken at the service was from Dr. Seuss who said,
“You never know the value of a life until it becomes a memory.”
Memories of Allyne took me back to my very early years in Monroe First
Methodist. In our grade school classes on Sunday mornings, before our lessons
began we started off by singing well-known and beloved hymns which were played
on the piano by this beautifully dressed lady who came into our rooms, played
for our songs and left after the hymns were finished. As we grew older we
learned she was Mrs. Brown, mother of our classmate, Sally.
Allyne’s services were geared toward the children’s area as piano player and
teacher, Julian served with distinction from 1962 to 1964 as Chairman of the
Official Board along with holding the responsibility of seeing the church
grounds were always kept in pristine condition.
On any Saturday or early on Sunday morning, it was not unusual to see
Julian out surveying his soil domain, making notes of things which needed
And it was
this same church where Allyne and Julian’s children, Jule, Judy and Sally grew
up. In showing the dedication of
devoted parenting, Allyne took on an active role in her children’s lives as
scout leader for son Jule and both church and social activites for daughters
Judy and Sally. It was a joy for Allyne & Julian to share the fact all three
children were president of the Methodist Youth Fellowship during their high
Allyne and I crossed paths again during
my junior high school years with her teaching me American History in the 8th
grade in the old Monroe High School Building on Bold Springs Avenue. She had a
passion in her teaching which came from her love and enjoyment of reading. She
brought history alive for her students, giving us our first real sense of what
our country stood for and was about.
My last visit with Allyne was at the 50th celebration of the
Monroe Area High School Class of 1964. She
was still as beautiful and elegant as always with that ever present smile on her
face. When I leaned over to speak to
her and reminisce about my time with her in the eighth grade, she let me know
right quick she still remembered me and how difficult it was for her to get me
to appreciate history!
Both Allyne and Julian led such full, interesting lives I did some
research on both and came up with an interesting retrospective.
Allyne was born on October 12, 1916, in Columbus, Georgia to Aubrey and
Nella Richardson Harris. She
graduated from Cordele High School in 1933 and as a 16 year old she entered the
University of Georgia where she met her future husband, Julian Emerson Brown.
Julian Brown was born on July 8, 1915 in Marietta, Georgia to John
Washington Lewis Brown and Pauline Newman Brown.
Julian’s grandfather’s brother, Joseph Emerson Brown of Canton, was
the Civil War Governor of Georgia and Governor Brown’s son, Joseph Mackey
Brown, was also governor of Georgia.
He graduated from the University of
Georgia in 1937 with a degree in Agriculture. It was during his years at Georgia
he met his future wife, Allyne Harris. After
his graduation from Georgia, he began working in the field of soil conservation
with the United States Department of Agriculture.
He entered the military in 1941 but got an early discharge due to high
blood pressure. After his discharge he resumed his career as District Soil
Conservationist with the Soil Conservation Service where he served until his
retirement in 1985. During his
tenure he worked with hundreds of landowners in Gwinnett and Walton County
building ponds, laying out terraces and developing conservation plans for farms
Allyne and Julian moved to Monroe in 1947 from Lawrenceville where they
quickly established themselves among the community. Julian was responsible for
coordinating the Walton County Soil and Water District’s conservation
educational program at all the Walton County schools, including the home
The Julian E. Brown Environmental Study Area at Matthews Park in Monroe
was developed as a study area over 30 years ago when Julian worked for the SCS.
It encompasses 13 acres and has over 100 plants identified by numbered markers.
This Study Area was one of the first such areas in Georgia.
Julian also wrote articles for the District’s column in the Walton
Tribune, carrying the title, “Take Pride in Walton”.
Allyne & Julian were both avid readers and Allyne was on the board of
the Walton County Public Library when the present library building was designed
by James Williams and built on West Spring Street. Both Allyne and Julian loved
bridge and played both bridge and canasta with couples along with Allyne being a
member of several bridge clubs.
Working with soil, it was no wonder Julian had a nice garden in his back
yard where he grew numerous flowers which I feel sure Allyne picked freely from
to use in the arrangements for her garden club meetings.
At one contest Allyne won first prize with a classic arrangement using a
statue of a Franciscan monk and Magnolia leaves.
Many of Allyne & Julian’s friends and neighbors were always the
recipients of the many homemade baked goods which came from the Brown kitchen.
Most prized especially were those delicious Parker House rolls and
coconut cakes. It is still a mystery how, given with the pace Allyne went, she
was able to make three meals a day plus cook other things, play bridge, read,
teach school, create flower arrangements and sew, along with keeping a freezer
of home-made ice cream at the ready on hot summer evenings.
When Julian died on December 18, 2000, he
left a wonderful legacy for his family which Allyne and her children carried on
until her death on May 31st.
Monroe was a much richer community having Allyne and Julian Brown as
citizens. Judy, Sally, Jule’s wife
Jeanne, the grandchildren and great grandchildren have a beautiful legacy of
love and history to sustain them now and for the future.