February 19 – Happy Birthday Sgt. Fenton Brown

21353803_118989749211Fenton Elmer Brown and his twin brother Forbes were born in Fulton County on this date in 1919. Tragedy entered their lives early, when their mom Ida died just a year following their birth, a victim of the flu. The twins’ father, Charles was killed by a heart attack when the boys were just sixteen, forcing the orphaned siblings to come to Amsterdam, where they moved in with an aunt and uncle and finished high school, graduating from Wilbur Lynch in 1937.

Both the Brown boys were very bright and both attended Cornell University. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Fenton left the University’s Ithaca, NY campus during his senior year and enlisted in the Army. He most likely had every intention of returning there to graduate after the war, but like so many of his generation, he must have felt the patriotic pull to fight for his country. Few would fight more valiantly than this young man…

You can read the rest of this story in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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