In 1882 real estate attorney William Henry Brown II and wife Eliza moved to Jacksonville, Florida from New York City. Shortly thereafter their two daughters, aged 1 and 5, died in a yellow fever epidemic that killed many people in northeast Florida. Following this tragedy, Mrs. Browne bore another child named William Henry Browne III.
In an effort to safeguard the child from the then unknown cause of yellow fever the Brownes purchased a 600 acre tract of land far from the more populated areas of Jacksonville. In 1890, when son William III was six months old, the family moved into an existing two-story home that overlooked a beautiful circular shaped salt marsh. The following year another son, Saxon, was born. This home once stood in what is now the Theodore Roosevelt Area.
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