Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
HARRY F. BROWN. We are so accustomed to think of man as a material composition complete in the food that matches his hunger, in the water that stakes his thirst, in the air that trades with his lungs, in the raiment and roof that protects him from the cold, in the money that relates him to the world's commerce, that we fail to recognize that the person who has no mental abode in which to shelter his higher self, and the moral, spiritual and intellectual furnishments necessary for its equipment, health and inspiration lives on a level not much above that of the animal. Harry F. Brown, who has charge of the store-room of the reclamation department in the South Side Frisco shops, Springfield, is not of the class referred to, but while laboring for the material comforts of life, as if natural and right, he has not neglected to provide what might be called an intellectual abode, being a thinking man of good ideals and practices.
Mr. Brown was born in that great country which all Americans admire—England, he having first seen the light of day at Earlingdean on July 24, 1876. He is a son of Walter E. Brown, also a native of England, in which country he grew up, attended school and was married, residing there until the year 1881, when he immigrated with his family to the United States, landing in New York. Coming on west he selected Springfield, Missouri, as the best place in which to locate, and although he had followed gardening in his home country, he here sought and found employment with the Frisco railroad, in the North Side shops, where he became foreman of a labor gang. He is now employed in the Florence Bottling Works in this city, being owner of same. He remained with the Frisco ten years, from 1882 to 1892, then spent ten years in the grocery business, in which he was very successful, giving that line of endeavor up in 1902 to engage in the bottling business at the corner of Lyon and Division streets, where he has a modernly equipped and excellent plant, employing a number of hands and from which he sends out large consignments of his products all over this section of the state. He has been very successful as a business man, being now a man of considerable means, although he landed in this city with very little capital. Politically, he is a Republican. He was a member of the city council for eighteen months. Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Masonic lodge.
The mother of our subject was known in her maidenhood as Fannie Madden, who was born in England, where she grew to womanhood and attended school. She became the mother of five children, namely: William, who lives at Lebanon, Missouri, is a machinist and electrician, and has charge of the city's lighting plant there; Harry F., of this sketch; Bert is engaged in the bottling business with his father; Florence marred Thomas Hixon, who was formerly engaged in the meat business in Springfield; Fannie married John W. Crow, who lives at Strafford, this county, and is in the employ of the Frisco.
Harrv F. Brown was five years old when his parents brought him from England to America, and he grew to manhood in Springfield, and here attended the public schools and a business college. When twenty years of age he went to work, in 1896, for the Frisco system as baggage man at the Springfield station, working there three years, then in 1899, was transferred to the store department at the North Side shops. In 1902 he went to work for the Kansas City Southern railroad, with which he remained six months, then worked six months with the New Phoenix Foundry and Machinery Company, after which he engaged in the grocery business for himself until 1906 then went to work again for the Frisco in the store department at the North Side shops, and was assistant there until 1909, in which year he was sent to the new shops as foreman of the store department, which position he held year, then was sent back to the old North Side shops as general stock clerk, remaining there a year, then was shipping and receiving foreman in the storeroom there for a year, after which he was transferred to the reclamation plant in the South Side shops, November 1, 1914, and is now foreman of the storeroom, and is giving his usual high-grade service.
Mr. Brown was married, in 1898, to Ollie Oliver, a daughter of Benton Oliver, of Springfield, a well-known dry goods merchant here, on Commercial street. Mrs. Brown was reared and educated in this city. The union of our subject and wife has been without issue.
Politically, Mr. Brown is a Republican. Fraternally, he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South.
Springfield-Greene County Library