Tom & Jim Brown
two brothers Tom and Jim Brown, this family produced two of the
most interesting, different, and opposite characters to ever
come from the same parents. Tom was the very proper,
authoritarian, high achieving, and highly decorated Chief of
the longhaired, rebellious, charismatic, swindling, and
entertaining carnival snake-oil salesman. Even though they lived
as close together as Brantford and Hamilton, they never spoke to
each other for their entire adult lives. Tom even denied the
existence of his brother Jim, and family members were not
permitted to speak about Uncle Jim in Tom's presence.
disowning of Jim was so thorough that Tom's descendants never
even knew Jim existed.
"Col. William" Brown was
completely cut-off by his brother Tom. Their
brother William's daughters remember that it was not
permitted to speak of Jim in Tom's presence. Even Jim's
nephew Stewart Brown never knew of his Uncle Jim's
It is speculated that the
rift between Jim and Tom may have begun over Jim's
dubious military service. Jim claims to have been a
member of the Canadian Mounted Rifles and present at the
coronation of King Edward VII. He claims to have
fought in the Boer War, having served the entire
campaign. All of this is possible. Tom certainly served
in the military, but Tom never saw any action. One
theory is that Tom was jealous because Jim saw action
and Tom did not. The more likely theory is that Jim's
military record is purely fictional and that he combined
the identities of his brothers William and Tom to create
his sideshow persona.
It is known that Tom was
present at the coronation of Edward VII. Was Jim present
also, or did he "borrow" that story? If he did
indeed "borrow" part or all of his military record from
his brothers William and Tom, then this would certainly
have offended his proper public figure of a brother,
Tom, the Chief of Police. The real truth may never be
known and may be a combination of both theories.
Jim never married, nor
had children (that we know of!).
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