John Henry Hobart Brown

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The Rt Revd
John Henry Hobart Brown
1st Bishop of Fond du Lac
John Henry Hobart Brown 02.jpg
Bishop Brown
Province The Episcopal Church
Diocese Fond du Lac
See Cathedral Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Fond du Lac
Installed 1875
Term ended 1888
Predecessor None
Successor Charles Chapman Grafton
Consecration 15 December 1875
Personal details
Born 1 January 1831
New York City
Died 2 May 1888 (age 57)
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Buried Cathedral Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Fond du Lac
Denomination Episcopalian
Parents James C. and Matilda (Many) Brown
Spouse Anna Coombs Upjohn
Occupation Cleric
Alma mater General Theological Seminary,

John Henry Hobart Brown (called Hobart; January 1, 1831 – May 2, 1888) was the first Bishop of the Diocese of Fond du Lac in The Episcopal Church.

Early life[edit]

Brown was born on January 1, 1831 in New York City.[1] After theological studies at the General Theological Seminary, New York, he was ordained to the diaconate in Trinity Church, New York on April 2, 1854 by Bishop Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright. The following year he was ordained to the priesthood in the Church of The Holy Communion, New York, on the December 1, 1855 by Bishop Horatio Potter.[1]

In 1854, Brown served as assistant in Grace Church, Brooklyn, Long Island, and while there organized The Church of The Good Angels, (now Emmanuel Church,) Brooklyn, of which he became rector. In 1856 he became rector of The Church of The Evangelists, (old S. George's Chapel,) Beekman Street, New York. In 1863, he became rector of St. John's Church, Cohoes, New York.

During his priesthood, Brown served as Secretary to the Diocesan Convention of Albany and as Archdeacon of the Albany Convocation. He received the Degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology from Racine College in 1874.


Brown was elected bishop of the newly organized Diocese of Fond du Lac, which covered the northeastern third of Wisconsin, created out of the Diocese of Wisconsin. Brown was consecrated first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac on December 15, 1875 at Cohoes, New York by Bishops Horatio Potter, Henry Augustus Bissell, William Croswell Doane, William Woodruff Mies, Benjamin Henry Paddock, Edward Randolph Welles, and John Scarborough.

Brown lived up to the challenge of serving a diocese that had been carved out of the wilderness. According to a History of the Diocese "The Council addresses of Bishop Brown, read in the light of later years, are wonderful examples of the conceptions he had of his high office. He did not shirk to speak the truth. He seemed to have grasped the needs of his clergy, and the difficulties of his diocese which they had to face."[2]

During his episcopate, Brown established St. Paul's in Fond du Lac as his see city, set the groundwork for the establishment of a diocesan girls school, found a religious order, the Order of St. Moinica, shifting those congregations who still had pew rents to be "free churches", and worked to reach out to some disaffected groups of the Catholic Church, especially in trying to work with one René Villette.

Personal life[edit]

Brown married Anna Coombs Upjohn on 29 July 1856 at Garrison-on-the-Hudson, New York. Upjohn was the youngest daughter of Richard Upjohn, the well-known New York architect and a founder and first president of the American Institute of Architects. They had two adopted daughters, Jane Campbell and Clementine Boem. Brown died of typhoid pneumonia in Fond du Lac on May 2, 1888,[1] and is buried in the churchyard of St. Paul's Cathedral.


  1. ^ a b c "Bishop J. H. H. Brown". The Inter Ocan. May 3, 1888. p. 8. Retrieved August 8, 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read
  2. ^ History of the Diocese of Fond du Lac and its several congregation: 1875-1925 by Alonzo Parker Curtiss (Fond du Lac, WI: Haber Press, 1925)

See also[edit]


  • A Sketch-book of the American Episcopate, Third Edition, by Hermon Griswold Batterson, (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company. 1895.)
  • The Episcopate in America, by William Stevens Perry, (New York: The Christian Literature Company. 1895.)
  • The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, (Chicago: Western Historical Company. 1880.)

External links[edit]

Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
1st Bishop of Fond du Lac
15 December 1875 – 2 May 1888
Succeeded by
Charles Chapman Grafton