August 11: Henry Clay Fillebrown (1871)

The six children of Thomas and Mary Fillebrown were all born at the family home on G Street NW between 21st and 22nd Streets. Mr. Fillebrown was a clerk in the Navy Department for over 40 years; in the end serving as Chief Clerk of the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing. Two of the Fillebrown sons were married at Epiphany, five months apart in 1856. Their brides were both members of early parish families. One of those couples was Henry Clay Fillebrown and Margaret Hay Paine. Margaret’s mother was a member of Epiphany’s second confirmation class in 1843. The first five of Henry and Margaret Fillebrown’s seven children were baptized at Epiphany. Henry’s brother and wife were confirmed with the class of 1860. Henry was baptized at Epiphany in 1866. His wife served as his sponsor.

During the Civil War, Henry Fillebrown was appointed Captain and Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers. His duty stations included Missouri, Arkansas and Michigan. He was honorably mustered out of service September 19, 1865. Following the war, Fillebrown did engineering work for the government. One year after Fillebrown’s last child was born, his life came to a tragic end. Fillebrown lost his life by being drowned in the Coosa River in Alabama. His body was never found. Since he was doing government work, Congress authorized that his widow be paid his salary for the rest of the year. Fillebrown’s four daughters never married and lived together in a house on Park Road, NW. Amelia was a government clerk and was the only one who worked outside the home. Kate was the lady of the house, Mattie was the chief cook and Fanny did the buying.

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