Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 37] a prominent citizen of New Castle, who, although thrown on his own resources at an early age, managed to acquire an education and become known as a prosperous, self-made man, winning the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens, and finding time to fill various offices of responsibility in addition to attending to his private business, is a leading dealer in real estate to-day, and was born in New Castle, Pa., May 18, 1855. He is a son of James and Jane (Britten) Brown, who were both born near Enniskillen, Ireland.

Our subject's father, when about twenty years of age, came to America, and found work in Washington County, of this State, in the rolling- mills, and was engaged in that industry the greater part of the active period of his life until he retired; he is living at the advanced age of seventy-three at this writing in New Castle, where he reared his family. His wife died at the age of fifty-eight, death being caused by injuries received by falling down-stairs. Their children were: John B., the subject of this sketch; Lizzie, widow of the late George Truesdale; Kate L., the wife of Frank Simpson of New Castle; James H., the Chief of the Fire Department of New Castle; and Ellen, deceased, who was the wife of Homer Reynolds.

At the age of nine years, John B. Brown found employment in the rolling-mills as an assistant boy, and worked for a number of years, until he reached the years of young manhood, at a small wage; upon attaining the years of maturity, he realized that he was lacking a good education, and accordingly entered the One Study College, and fitted himself for a business life at his own expense. Having accumulated some little capital, he invested in real estate, buying lots, and having built on them, selling the property thus improved at good prices, allowing him a comfortable profit, and enabling him to increase his capital, and widen the field of his operations. This business, in connection with other ventures, he followed until 1896, having built thirty houses in the meantime. In 1883, he was elected alderman of the Fourth Ward for a term of five years, and was re-elected to another term of same duration in 1888, but in November of that year he was elected to the Legislature and served for two years. In 1890, he was elected to the position of mayor of New Castle, and filled that office to the entire satisfaction of the citizens of New Castle until 1893, and has since served two terms in the select council, serving one term as the president of that body. He is an active member of the Republican County Committee, and is skilled in practical politics. He was appointed post- master of New Castle by President McKinley May 1st, 1897, and entered upon the discharge of the duties of that position June 1st, 1897. In 1890, he became associated with S. B. Marshall in the U. S. Detective Association, and remained in that connection until 1896, when his business demanded his whole time, and so he relinquished the detective work. Mr. Brown, in his building operations and real estate dealings, has built a number of stores, and as a silent partner has entered into their operation.

Mr. Brown married Miss Eva A. Moore, daughter of Mrs. J. C. Moore, and has one child, George C., born Nov. 14, 1880. He has a fine residence at No. 467 South Mill Street, which he built for his home in 1891. He is a member of the Western Star Lodge, K. of P., No. 160; New Castle Council, No. 131, O. U. A. M.; and New Castle Home Circle, No. 6.

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

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