- Brown, Clawson and Parvin families
- Brown, Clawson, and Parvin family papers
- 1739-1978 (inclusive)17391978
- 1 cubic feet (1 document case, 1 oversize folder)
- Collection Number
- Mss 2506
- Papers of the families of the Brown, Clawson, and Parvin families of Oregon, including materials related to composer and music teacher Zimiri Mullin Parvin (1845-1921), his daughter Mamie Parvin Brown, his grandson Vivian Z. Brown, and Vivian's wife Verne Clawson Brown. Includes correspondence, documents, clippings, and ephemera.
- Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Biographical NoteReturn to Top
Zimiri Parvin Brown was a composer and professor of music who lived in Salem and Portland, Oregon during the latter part of his life. He was born in Ripley County, Indiana in 1843, served in the Civil War in 64th and 151st Illinois Infantry, and married Addie Sutton in 1866. He studied music from 1868 to 1874, and became the director of music at the State Normal School of California (now San Jose State University) in 1875. In 1883 he was appointed Dean of the College of Music at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, a post he held until his move to Portland in 1906. He was also director of the Albany Conservatory of Music in Albany, Oregon. In Portland he helped to found the Northwestern Normal School of Music and Art. He was an expert on harmony and published many compositions including The wide world knows the Portland Rose.
In 1890, Zimiri Parvin's daughter Mamie married James Nassau Brown (1857-1912), a Portland attorney. Brown was the son of Martin Brown (1809-1902) and Susan Jane Goddard Brown (1819-1868). He was a native of Iowa and lived in Missouri and Idaho before graduating from Willamette University Law School in 1888. He practiced law in Heppner, Oregon, served in the Oregon State Legislature from 1893-1898, and later established a law practice in Portland and Salem.
A son of James and Mamie Brown, Vivian Z. Brown, became a dentist in the U. S. Army Dental Corps. He graduated from Portland's Lincoln High School in 1911 and from North Pacific College in 1917. In that year he married Verne Clawson (b. 1889), the daughter of Walter and Nella Clawson. She had graduated from Portland's Washington High School in 1910 and attended the Northwest Normal School of Music and Art. Vivian Brown became an officer in the U.S. Army Dental Corps in the 1920s and was promoted to Colonel during World War II. Among his children was Walter Zimiri Brown (b. 1922).
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The collection includes correspondence, clippings, documents, and ephemera, most of which relate to Zimiri Parvin, James Nassau Brown, Mamie Parvin Brown, Vivian Z. Brown, and Verne Clawson Brown. There are also some materials on the Sutton, Taylor, and Price families, all related by marriage to the Parvins and Browns. Included are: musical compositions by Zimiri Parvin, letters from James Nassau Brown to his wife Mamie, a biographical article by Doris Huffman (1976), diplomas and certificates, high school yearbooks, a pocket diary of Josephine Taylor Sutton containing recipes, a program for a banquet honoring Susan B. Anthony in Salem in 1900, a Taylor family history document from the late 18th century, a group of baggage tags from hotels, and a collection of bank notes from the early 19th century. Among James Nassau Brown's letters is one of 1903 from Salem describing a typhoid epidemic.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
The Oregon Historical Society owns the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners.
Brown, Clawson, and Parvin family papers, Mss 2506, Oregon Historical Society Research Library
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
The collection is arranged in the following series: Series A: Brown family, general, 1896-1978; Series B: Zimiri Mullin Parvin materials, 1860-1976; Series C: Other family members, 1739-1941.
Gifts of Colonel and Mrs. Walter Zimiri Brown, 1978 August, Library Accession 14550 and Museum Accession 78-64; and Mr. and Mrs. John Parvin, 1991 July, Library Accession 20363.
Photographs acquired with this collection were separated to photograph collections, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Artifacts acquired with this collection are now housed in the Artifact Collection, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Series A: Brown family, general, 1896-1978Return to Top
Inventory to Accession 14550
Brown family genealogical information
Brown, Parvin, Sutton families--Death notices, clippings
Series B: Zimiri Mullin Parvin materials, 1860-1922Return to Top
Zimiri Parvin letters
|1901; 1904; undated|
|circa 1860; 1921-1922|
Programs for recitals and other events, Normal College of Music, Portland, and Northwestern School of Music and Art, Portland
Sheet music, programs, and birthday speech
Sheet music for Thine eyes shall see the king, Do you want any stars in your crown, and The whole word knows the Portland rose
Doris Huffman, "The music 'doc' of Willamette"
"Dr. Parvin's anniversary occasion" (typescript)
|1914 April 25|
Harmony works by Parvin
Original lyrics by Parvin
Series C: Other family members, 1739-1941Return to Top
James Nassau Brown papers
Letters to Mamie
Letters to Mamie
Letter to Lillie la Munyon regarding typhoid fever
Letters to Mamie
Letter to Vivian Brown
|1904 July 14|
Letters to Mamie
|1885 October 13|
Lillia la Munyon correspondence
Vivian Z. Brown papers
Commencement announcement and other documents
Invitations, programs, and other ephemera
|1901; 1933; undated|
Lincoln High School yearbook
Walter Zimiri Brown--Birth and graduation announcements
Walter Zimiri Brown letters
William and Susan Burns Carroll letters to Della Carroll Clawson Hartness
Marriage certificate of Adelbert T. Harness and Della B. Clawson
Grace Clawson Hostetter, letter regarding grandmother's death
Matilda Jamieson letters to Nancy L. Clawson
Pension certificate for Addie Parvin
Grace Clawson Hostetter letters to Mary L. Clawson Price, and telegram to Grace Hostetter
Correspondence, W. H. Clawson, Nancy C. Price
Song lyrics sent to Nancy L. Clawson
Verne Clawson papers
Verne Clawson birth certificate and graduation program announcement
Marriage announcement, Verne Clawson and Vivian Brown
Graduation announcement, yearbook, souvenir, Washington High School
Addie Sutton Parvin letters
Addie Sutton Parvin correspondence with Mamie Brown
Josephine Taylor Sutton diary with recipes
W. P. Taylor letter to Addie Sutton Parvin
Alexander B. Price and Mary L. Price--Awards, complaint, and summons
Sutton family agreement
Susan B. Anthony banquet program and other ephemera
Paper money, including "fractional currency"
Diplomas and certificates
Includes manuscript music by Zimiri Parvin to "A piece of pumpkin pie"; Taylor family birth and death document, 1739-1860.
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Typhoid fever--Oregon--Salem--History
- Anthony, Susan B. (Susan Brownell), 1820-1906
- Brown, Mamie Parvin--Correspondence
- Brown, Verne Clawson
- Brown, Vivian Z
- Brown, Walter Zimiri
- Brown, James Nassau--Correspondence
- Huffman, Doris
- Parvin, Zimiri Mullin, 1845-1921
- Albany Conservatory of Music (Albany, Or.)
- Lincoln High School (Portland, Or.)
- Northwestern Normal School of Music and Art (Portland, Or.)
- Washington High School (Portland, Or.)
- Willamette University
- Brown family
- Clawson family
- Parvin family
- Sutton family
- Taylor family
- Portland (Or.)--Social life and customs
- Portland (Or.)--History
- Salem (Or.)--Social life and customs
- Salem (Or.)--History
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Form or Genre Terms
- paper money
- school yearbooks
- Brown, James Nassau (creator)
- Parvin, Zimiri Mullin, 1845-1921 (creator)
- Brown family (creator)
- Clawson family (creator)
- Parvin family (creator)