By Dawn Dollard

The ultimatum was implied. "If you go to Tonto," George Brown had almost said to Angeline Brigham Mitchell.  But Angie, writing in her diary on September 5, 1880, reacted to the unspoken threat: "I merely reminded him that I promised I'd go to the most 'barbarous' country I could if he ran for anything on the ticket, and he promised not to.  He broke his share of the agreement.  George had run for, and been elected, as a Republican representative to the 11th Territorial Legislature to meet in Prescott in January 1881, and I thought Tonto would answer my purpose.


That I hoped he'd be willing to take me there but if he wasn't I'd go to Phoenix by stage and get some way of going to Tonto Basin from there.  He looked disgusted - but the whole thing is a little amusing and we both laughed and he said he'd assuredly take me if I was going anyhow and that settled it." 


They had been in Prescott five years: George arriving with the Murphy party in October 1875 and Angie and her family two weeks later with the Grizzly Callen party. The meeting of Angie and George had taken place en route His was the only name she recorded when the two trains met: "George E. Brown overtook us at Aqua Fria Springs, New Mexico, at noon on the 1st of October 1875." 


When the Callen party, with Angie, arrived in Prescott, George Brown was on hand to greet her, beginning a series of "meeting Angies" that would take place during the six years of courting. 


Angie's diary continues through the hair-raising experiences of their journey and, when George and her mother left her alone in Prescott on November 30, Angie wrote: "I know what it is to feel utterly cast away and homesick. This is desolation itself." Things certainly did not get better for the determined young teacher. She detailed her confrontations with war-painted Indians, a mountain lion, skunks, a gila monster, and stampeding cattle, as well as her harrowing trip home for Christmas. She arrived barely alive aboard a stage coach the drunken driver of which had lost control and a young male passenger [in an action later to become common in western movies] "swung himself up by some means to the top , crawled into the driver's seat, then down to the tongue and finally got the reins, one at a time, brought them to a full stop." 


George met her as she arrived at "7 1/2 " a.m. thankful to get back sound in "mind and limb". 


Although Angie was asked to return to Tonto Basin for a second term, she had applied for an appointment to serve as a clerk in the upcoming session of the legislature in Prescott. On January 4, she was informed that she had been "elected Enrolling-Engraving Clerk of the House of Representatives of the 11th Legislature." On January 20, she wrote in her diary: "Hussey offered Geo today $1,000 in behalf of the _____________(the dash is Angie's) to vote for repeal of the Bullion Bill, the Mine Bullion Tax was repealed and signed by Governor Fremont, but he wouldn't touch it, of course. I set our wedding day for April 20." 


She had proved her point in surviving Tonto Basin. Now she was ready to make George's interests her's. 


On April 20, 1881 at the residence of her mother, Mrs. A. B. Mitchell in West Prescott, Hon. George E. Brown and Miss Angeline B. Mitchell were joined in holy matrimony by Rev. Mr. Hunt of the newly-formed Congregational Church. Her step-brother, Daniel (the local photographer D.F. Mitchell), took the photographs. 


The Daily Arizona Democrat announced: "So our friend Brown has become a bridegroom, a much more reputable position than of a Republican member of the Legislature." The Arizona Miner headlined the announcement "Co-partnership." "In none of her duties, " the article said about the bride, "has she been remiss or derelick but always did her work up brown". 


A congratulatory letter from Donald Robb to George was preserved by Angie: "Your love for your wife and hers for you is not of mushroom growth. From my knowledge of you both, I fully believe that it is based upon a sentiment of profound respect which is entertained by each of you for the other." 


The couple left immediately after the ceremony for the Brown ranch on the Agua Fria near Mayer with the words from the Globe Silver Bell widening their smiles: "May they have unalloyed pleasure and our friend George never have to 'rise to a question of privilege' or appeal from a decision of the chair." [George Brown assisted in the organization of the Republican Party of Yavapai County; the served as undersheriff; deputy sheriff under "Buckey" O'Neill; Deputy U.S. Marshall, in addition to being a Representative to the 11th Legislature.] 


Dawn Dollard is a volunteer at the Sharlot Hall Museum

Sharlot Hall Museum Photograph Call Number: (po0207pb). Reuse only by permission.
George and Angie Brown had their picture taken by Angie's step-brother D.F. Mitchell on the occasion of their wedding on April 20, 1881. Angie's diaries of her trip west and her life in Prescott are preserved at the Sharlot Hall Museum Archives and Library.