Florence B. Dawson; Pioneer Family Descendant

Florence Brown Dawson, a descendant of a pioneer Ventura County family, died Wednesday at a convalescent hospital in Camarillo. She was 79.

She and a twin sister, Frances, were born Nov. 19, 1920, in Moorpark. Their father was Wallace Weston Brown, an artist and athlete, who was the first office manager and telegrapher for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Camarillo. Their mother, Laura Willard Brown, was the cafeteria supervisor at Moorpark Elementary School and was well known for her pies and candies.

Their great-grandfather was John Young Saviers, who was the first elected judge for the Pleasant Valley Precinct of Hueneme Township No. 3. Their great uncle, Judge James Young Saviers, was also a pioneer in the Oxnard area during the early 1860s.

Florence and Frances graduated from Moorpark Memorial Union High School in 1938, and Florence helped organize reunions for her classmates for more than 50 years.


She later graduated from Ventura College and attended the University of Iowa. She also attended San Fernando Valley State College.

In 1942, she married Air Force Maj. Howard Quintin Dawson, of Port Hueneme. As a war bride, she traveled all over the world. She was a teacher who helped develop youth programs and softball teams for American and German youths.

The couple moved to Somis, and Howard retired from the military in 1959.

Florence enjoyed being historian for the Saviers family and assisted county historians in writing accounts of the early days of Ventura County.


Her uncle, Frank Cornett, operated the first meat market in Moorpark and used a horse-drawn cart to deliver meat to Simi Valley customers. Her aunt, Mary Willard Cornett, was a teacher in Simi Valley and Moorpark.

In addition to her husband of 57 years and her sister Frances Holcomb of Portland, Ore., Dawson is survived by a son, Howard of Quartz Hill; a daughter, Annette Davis of Camarillo; two grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

Graveside services are scheduled at 11 a.m. Monday at Simi Valley Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the direction of Pierce Bros. Griffin Mortuary in Camarillo.