So after putting today's Surname Saturday post together, I popped over to Beta FamilySearch and tried a couple quick queries. The short story is that I found a couple of significant records that relate to this line, including this:
Yup, I found a scan of the original marriage license for Charles and Rose. The surprising bit for me on this record is that the marriage occurred in Chicago. This license raises the question of why Charles was in Chicago, where it is entirely possible that Charles and Rose first met. At the time the marriage occurred, travel between Indianapolis and Chicago could have been made on the newly reorganized (in 1897) Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railway; the CI&L was later known as the Monon Railroad. The CI&L's 1900 public timetable shows that travel between Chicago and Indianapolis would have taken about 6 hours. Coincidentally, the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society maintains its headquarters in Linden, Indiana, a town that has significant connections in my Beach line.
Even more interesting on this record is that the church where the marriage occurred is listed at the bottom of the license. It's a little hard to read, but it looks like "Grand Ave Congr Ch, 731 N. Hamlin Ave, City." Loading this into Google Maps shows a residential area today, mostly long, narrow lots with older two-story homes. I don't see a church on the images from Google Maps, so I won't be able to visit the church. I wonder what happened to the church...
Other records that I found included index references for the 1880 and 1910 U.S. censuses for Indiana. The 1910 census shows Charles and Rose Brown living in Indianapolis with three children, two of whom I didn't know about yet. In the 1880 census, I found the family of James and Jane Brown in Marion, Monroe County, Indiana, listing Charles, Minta and Nancy as children as well as John Thacker of Kentucky as a boarder. Wikipedia shows Marion, Indiana, as being in Grant County, while Indianapolis is in Marion County. Grant and Marion counties are now about two or three counties apart, depending on which route you drive, so I'm not sure yet about the accuracy of the 1880 record. But, the birth locations going back present a few more clues. James is listed in the 1880 record as born in Indiana and his parents are listed as born in South Carolina, while Jane is listed as born in Indiana and her parents are both listed as born in Ireland. There is a family legend of some relations emigrating to America during the Irish potato famine of the mid-19th century, and this record would appear to support that. However, there is a little bit of a conflict when we compare the two census records. The 1910 record shows Charles's father as born in Ireland, a clear conflict with the 1880 record. Rose is listed in 1910 as born in New York with her parents born in New York (father) and Ireland (mother).
So, as one investigator is known as saying, "the game is afoot!"