Minnie (Batey) Brown

Minnie Batey was born on September 30, 1905.  She grew up with her mother, Mamie Kirk and her sister, Tennie.  She only went to the fifth grade, but she was very smart, both with intellectually and with common sense.  She gave birth to her son, Wash William Brown, alone at the age of fifteen and placed him in a trunk.  She didn’t tell her mother about the birth for two days but cared for her son alone.  After two days, she contacted her paternal grandmother Liza and told her of the birth and went to live with her grandmother and her father, Wash Batey.  Minnie had a hard time for the next few months because her mother insisted on whipping her for having a baby and there was constant friction between her father, her mother and her.  Baby Wash’s father, Iss William Brown, found out about the birth, went and took Minnie and their son to live with him and his mother, Jennie Kimbro.  They were married June of 1921, their son was five months old and they both adored him.  Minnie, now a wife and mother, showed extraordinary judgment and sensibility at that time for such a young woman.  She could cook almost anything without measuring the ingredients.  She enjoyed cooking and keeping house for her family.  She kept an immaculately clean house, everything had a place and everything should be in its place.  Her husband, Iss, did not share this passion and many arguments ensued over the years regarding same.  She was not a trusting woman and often exhibited signs of that mistrust with friends and distant relatives.  If she did not want people to return to her house, after their visit she would sweep red pepper out of the door behind them.  For her family which included her husband, son, granddaughter and first daughter in law, Violet; Minnie would go to the ends of the earth,   they helped to raise their granddaughter after her parents were divorced.  They, both, adored that granddaughter and taught her many things about life and how to handle life problems.  Iss and Minnie were very much in love with each other and remained married until Iss passed away in 1977.  Although their son, Wash, chose not to tell Minnie of Iss’s death, she instinctively knew.  She often said “I know Iss is dead.”  But, in her more lucid moments, she hoped that she was wrong.  Minnie died in January, 1983.  Most people in Murfreesboro remember “Momma Minnie.”

Minnie (Batey) Brown – est. 35 years old


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