Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 546] The gentleman, whose name stands at the head of this brief biography, ranks among the first business men of the County of Lawrence, as a man whose interests are many and lucrative, and whose commercial operations for the past twenty years have been mainly confined to Wampum and its vicinity. He was born in Kingston, Canada, July 23, 1847. He was a son of William Braby and his wife Marian, who was a daughter of George Witherspoon, a powder-maker of Edinburgh, Scotland. William Braby was born near London, Feb. 2, 1806, and was a farmer by occupation, although twenty-two years of his life were passed in the British Army, where he reached the rank of sergeant. He was a son of William Braby, Sr., who was a game-keeper on a large landed estate in England.

Mr. Braby, our subject, was the fifth of a family of sixteen children. He has two brothers living in Wampumóone of whom is James, the proprietor of a restaurant, and the other is Benjamin, a grocer. Mr. Braby's residence in Canada terminated at the age of sixteen, when he started on the journey that found its end in Clinton, Beaver Co., Pa. For two years he was with his uncle, William Somerville, who dealt extensively in coal. He then became a clerk in the store of Pierce, Somerville & Co., in the same town, and remained with that firm a period of two years, and later with the Clinton Coal Company sixteen years, during which time his salary was gradually increased from $20 to $150 per month.

In 1877 our subject decided to branch out for himself in commercial life, so he opened a hardware store in Wampum, and as his business grew to large dimensions durin the next four years he built a store-room and added a stock of dry goods. In 1888, he again increased his facilities and branched out still farther by adding the departments of furniture and undertaking to his other successful ventures. On Jan. 1, 1897, he sold all of his mercantile interests, retaining only the furniture store. In 1894 he opened a livery barn, being associated in this venture with his son-in-law Charles C. Cunningham, and is able to furnish the most stylish of conveyances, as well as serviceable, in a reasonable length of time. In 1896, he negotiated for the large sandstone quarries that lie two miles south of Wampum, and after satisfactory terms and arrangements for payment had been made took possession, and began developing the resources of his new venture, exhibiting his customary thrift and energy in doing so. Mr. Braby is pre-eminently a self-made man, according to what is understood in the general sense of the word, for he has relied on his own ability to make for himself a place in the world, and he has attained an enviable position, being a thorough business man in every respect. He is serving his second term as postmaster of Wampum, and he is a Democrat of the Jacksonian type to the very backbone. He is a member of two secret societiesóWampum Lodge, No. 4, I. O. O. F., and New Castle Lodge, F. & A. M.

Mr. Braby was united in marriage on Nov. 23, 1870, to Jennie E. Wilkinson, daughter of William S. and Mary E. (Robinson) Wilkinson. Three children blessed this marriage: Maude M., Lillian, and Mary. Maude M. became the wife of Charles C. Cunningham, son of H. Ira Cunningham of Wampum, and they have two childrenóLouis and Clare. Mr. and Mrs. Braby are regular attendants of the Presbyterian Church. Our subject is benevolent and kind, a good neighbor, a devoted father and husband, and is entitled to the confidence of his fellow-townsmen and friends, which he possesses to a marked degree. Oct. 1, 1897, the Major & McCready Co., formerly in the dry goods business, and Braby & Snare, who were interested in the stone business, and W. H. Braby consolidated, and the stone firm is now known as the Wampum Sand Stone Co., and the grocery and dry goods business is under the style of the Beaver Valley Supply Co. (Snare retiring from the firm of Braby, Snare & Co.) with main office at Wampum, Pa.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

Previous Biography | Table of Contents | Next Biography
Explanation/Caution | Lawrence Co. Maps | Lawrence Co. Histories
Updated: 16 Jul 2001