Several Months ago this column noted the passing of the Negro singer, Mrs. Sadie Umbles Brown, formerly of Robesonia. We received a number of inquiries from friends and former schoolmates who wished to know more details of Mrs. Brown’s life and work. Through the courtesy of the principal of the Robesonia High School and the Canton (Ohio) Repository we have learned the following:
Sadie (nee Umbles) Brown was born at Robesonia in 1907. Her father Waverick (Warwick) Umbles and her mother Edmonia Umbles, both survive. Their home is in Canton, Ohio. Four brothers Floyd, Howard, Harry, and Christian now make their home in towns in Ohio. Maverick (Warwick) Umbles, the father, formerly was employed as an ironcarrier at the furnace south of Robesonia.
Shortly before her untimely passing, Mrs. Brown had visited her old home in Robesonia nd on that occasion entertained local audiences by singing songs in the Pennsylvania German dialect. On one occasion she broadcast from a Reading radio station, singing folksongs she had learned in Berks.
Her visit to Berks was made while she was studying voice culture at the LaForge-Berumen studios in New York City. She became ill while she was in New York and returned to Canton for hospitalization. On Sunday, June 24, 1945, she passed to her reward.
the obituary notice in the Canton Repository stated:
“The musical career of Mrs. Brown began during her high school days in native Robesonia, PA, where she was a soloist at concerts and in churches. “Soon after coming to Canton, 20 years ago, Mrs. Brown continued her study of voice and piano and had given concerts in other Ohio cities and in Pennsylvania.
“Widely known here, Mrs. Brown had appeared in concerts in several churches and at the Jewish center and the Urban League. Several of her instructors predicted she would become a second Marian Anderson.”
During the war Mrs. brown was a member of the vocal group known as the Jubilee Singers, a troupe that entertained at many U.S.O. centers.
Her husband, James C. Brown was formerly a professional boxer and in now a boxing promoter. She was member of the St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Canton.