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Smith Cemetery ~ Edna Lena Brown ~ part of the Polk County Pioneer Cemeteries of Oregon
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Brown, Edna Lena
BORN: 30 Oct 1892 DIED: 16 Jan 1919 BURIED: 21 Jan 1919 ~ Smith Cemetery
BIRTH PLACE:  Monmouth, Polk Co, Oregon
DEATH PLACE: Polk Co, Oregon
1900 OR CENSUS - Lena E. Brown (b Oct 1892, Ore) listed as step-daughter in family of Crist C. Marks (b Mar 1866, Ore), with his wife of 4 years Corrow [Cora] L. Marks (b Dec 1861, Ind; mother of 4 children, 3 living at time of census), step-daughter Ethel P. Brown (b Dec 1884, Ore) and grandmother-in-law Eliza Critchlow (b Apr 1816, Penn, widowed, mother of 8 children, 4 living at time of census)
OSBH DC (Polk County 1919) #82 - Edna Lena Brown, female, farmer, single; b. 30 Oct 1892 in Monmouth, Oregon, d. 16 Jan 1919 6 miles SE of Monmouth, Oregon at the age of 26 yrs 2 mos 17 days, name of father Charles M. Brown (b. Indiana), maiden name of mother Cora Evans (b. Indiana), interment Lewisville, undertaker R. L. Chapman, informant C. C. Marks of Monmouth, Oregon.
Murder and Suicide, the Cirrent Sensation Along Luckiamute.
In the rear room of a farm house among the foothills bordering on the Luckiamute valley, five miles southwerst of Monmouth, the body of a man and a woman were found Saturday morning. No need of more than a glance to determnine that a tragedy had taken place. One hand of the man grasped a revolver and empty shells of 32 calibre in the weapon and scattered on the floor explained the wounds and blood. Later discoveries brought out the details of a sordid tale as old as human nature, revealing jealousy and cupidity as the motives for premeditated murder and suicide. 
The man was Melvin C. Spores, tenant on the John Moran farm, and the woman, Miss Lean [Lena] Brown, who owned a 160 acre tract adjoining. A few years ago Spores was worth $36,000. He was of a pioneer family and the money was derived from his father’s estate. A man of engaging presence, a ready talker, a good worker, and intellectually acute, he yet lacked business judgement. In the intervening time he lost all his property and descended the social scale from speculator to laborer. From the family home at Eugene he moved to Portland, losing money with every move, until he took up work in the shipyard and then came to Polk county taking up a lease on the Moran farm which his brother had made. His wife, who had followed him down the vicissitudes of business reverses refused to follow him further. She would not give up her clerking job in Portland to work on the farm. Then Spores saw another chance to recoup his fortune. He would get a divorce and marry Lena Brown and incidentally her 160 acre farm. But Miss Brown had other ideas and with the prospect slipping away the man grew desperate. Therefore the tragedy. 
The murder took place on Thursday. Miss Brown had been in the habit of spending many of her evenings with her brother-in-law and family, Mr. and Mrs. Geo Jones. But she had planned to go to Dallas and they did not miss her until Saturday morning when the discovery was made. When found Miss Brown was dressed for the trip to the county seat. Spores was also dressed in his best for he too had planned to go to the same city. 
Coroner Chapman was promptly summoned from Dallas and he impaneled a jury who decided the facts above. The bodies were taken to Dallas Saturday afternoon. 
Miss Brown was a daughter of Chas Brown and the latter a son of Joshua Brown, who came to this section in the early days from Indiana and took up a donation land claim. She had lived alone for some time on her farm, and sometimes rented the Moran farm, directing the working of it. She was a good horseman and was partial to stock and had a Jersey herd. Her mother, Mrs. Chris Marks lives near by and her sisters Mrs. Hanby Harman and Mrs. Jones live in the same neighborhood. Spores also is of a pioneer family. His grandfather operated Spores ferry over the McKenzie in an early day. The family is well known at Eugene, although not entirely favorably. A brother, Jack Spores, it is said, was run out of the university city because he refused to buy Liberty Bonds. Another brother, Elmer Spores, a wealthy bachelor of Portland, was the original tenant of the Moran farm, He came out here and made the lease but did not stay long, being succeeded by his brother. 
Spores’ wife was Miss Ruth Jett, daughter of James Jett, Lane county pioneer. They have a three year old son, named Robert. Early in December Spores went to Portland to get a divorce and leave himself free to marry Miss Brown. He was apparently successful in his quest for two weeks ago his wife filed suit, alleging cruel and inhuman treatment. But if the designing gentleman had found favor with Miss Brown the latter changed her mind. It is told that a returning soldier was at the bottom of this sudden shift of affections. A former attachment had been rekindled by correspondence and with the ending of the war whatever prospects Spores had went glimmering. This was all news to his wife who was shocked at the sudden end. 
A letter found on Spores threw light on the event. It was in two sections, the first part written at home and evidently intended for Miss Brown urging her to “come thhrough” and marry him. It does not appear that this letter was ever delivered. Spores may have determined to carry his message in person. The rebuff to his plea must have been decisive for the murder followed. To the letter was added as a postscript “I have killed Lena Brown. Now I will kill myself.” He added something about wanting to be buried with her. 
Miss Brown’s body bore several bullet wounds and Spores had bared his own breast as a preliminary to the suicide. The remains of the victim in the tragedy were brought back to the home of relatives Tuesday and after appropriate funeral services were buried in the Lewisville cemetery. Spores’ body was sent to Portland where it was taken care of by relatives. 
Monmouth Herald (Friday) 24 Jan 1919, 1:3-4
Daugher of
C.M. & C.L. Brown
26 Ys 2 Mo 16 Ds
At Rest
OSBH DC (Polk County 1919) #82
1900 OR CENSUS (Polk Co, Luckiamute, ED 176, FA#70)
MH 24 Jan 1919, 1:3-4
ROW: 17-5  

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