Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
III, page 253, 1923.
BROWN, HENRY C. One of the old and highly honored residents of Duval County whose life has
been an exemplification of the value of industry directed along channels of usefulness and
integrity in dealing with one's fellow-men, is HENRY C. BROWN, of Mandarin. During his career
he has been engaged in several lines of endeavor, in each of which he has attained success,
and while so doing has retained the regard and confidence of his associates and proven a helpful
worker in public-spirited movements for the benefit of the community.
Mr. BROWN was born at Mandarin, Duval County, Florida, April 17, 1846, and is a son of JOHN
P. and NANCY (BOWDEN) BROWN. His father, born in the state of New York, received a public
school education there and in his youth learned the trade of carpenter. When still a young
man he came to Florida and located at Mandarin, where he followed his trade, numerous of the
early buildings of this community having been erected by him. Later he became interested in
the live oak timber business, and it was while he was engaged in this line that he lost his
life by drowning in the St. Johns River, after falling from the gangplank of a steamer at
Palatka, Florida. He was a Whig in his political allegiance and his religious connection was
with the Episcopal Church. Mrs. BROWN, who was born in Duval County, in 1808, died at Mandarin
in 1876. They were the parents of eight children, of whom two are living: Mrs. MARY ANN
HARREL, of Duval County; and HENRY C., who was the sixth child in order of birth.
HENRY C. BROWN received his educational training in the public schools of Duval County and
his boyhood was passed partly in an agricultural atmosphere. He early displayed his industrious
spirit by accepting such odd employments as could be accomplished by a lad, and his first
25 cents was earned by hoeing corn on the farm of his grandmother. As he grew a little older
he learned the trade of carpenter under the preceptorship of his father, and for some years
followed that vocation exclusively, gradually building up a good business as a contractor.
A number of Mandarin's larger buildings testify to his skill and good workmanship, and he
won a well-earned reputation for honorable dealing by living strictly up to the terms of
his contracts. He also interested himself in farming, and of late years this has been his
occupation. At present he has an orange grove of 100 trees, near Mandarin, this being a
well-improved and highly cultivated property, conducted in a modern way and fully equipped
with up-to-date machinery and substantial buildings. Mr. BROWN has never sought nor cared
for public office, being content with his private enterprises and not seeking the doubtful
honors of political life. However, he is a stalwart supporter of the democratic party, and
in movements of a civic nature has lent his cooperation in an effort to establish higher
standards and better the interests and welfare of the people. With his family, he belongs
to the Roman Catholic Church and attends at Mandarin.
On May 12, 1875, Mr. BROWN was united in marriage with Miss SARAH HARTLEY, who was born at
Mandarin, and to this union there were born six children: ROSA, the wife of R. J. FOY, who
has eight children: HENRY P.; ELLA, the wife of CHARLES E. GRAVES; JOHN M., who married
Miss GRACE BURROUGHS, who was born at Russell, Massachusetts, a woman of superior educational
attainments, serving as principal of the Mandarin school, and has one daughter, KATHERINE:
PHILOMENA, the wife of J. C. OETTAEN, and they have two children; and ROBERT C., who married
CLEMENTINE ADAMS, and has one child.