FLGenWeb Digital Library and Archives
Miami-Dade Co. Biographies
Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
III, page 170, 1923.
BROWN, Hon. C. M. The long life of Hon. C. W. BROWN has cut Florida intimately at many vital
points in the history of the state during the past sixty years. He has been a resident of
Florida since early childhood, is an ex-Confederate officer, an ex-state senator, at one time
was candidate for governor, and had done a great deal in a constructive business way. His
home for many years has been at Miami, where he is builder and owner of the new "Squirrel
Mr. BROWN was born in North Carolina in 1843. His parents removed to Florida in 1847, settling
in Marion County near Ocala. The BROWN family have been planters for generations in the
vicinity of Ocala.
Growing up in that locality, C. M. BROWN was educated largely in private schools, and as a
youth of about nineteen volunteered as a private in the Confederate army at the beginning
of the war. He was in Company G, of the Ninth Florida Regiment. His service brought him
successive promotions until he was made captain of his company. He was in several of the
campaigns in Virginia, notably in the vicinity of Richmond, and for a time his company was
detached for service in Florida. He took part in the battle of Olustee, this state, and
was wounded in the arm. While a soldier Captain Brown was several times wounded, being
shot through the lung at the battle of Seven Pines, and shot through the foot at the battle
of Reem's Station.
Captain BROWN has an intimate recollection and knowledge of pioneer conditions in Florida.
The first home of the Brown family in this state was practically a fortification, being
constructed so as to afford safeguards against hostile Indians. It was the habit of the
settlers to scout the country for Indians once a week. The meal for their bread was made
from corn raised on the premises, and living conditions on the whole were on a very simple
Captain BROWN after the war engaged in business and from 1873 to 1880 was a traveling salesman
for a Baltimore wholesale clothing house. His chief reputation however in business was gained
as a hotel man. He built the Ocala House, which for a long time enjoyed the reputation of
being the best hotel in Florida.
Having sold out his Ocala interests, Mr. BROWN, in 1904, came to Miami. For twelve years
he conducted a prosperous retail furniture business on Flagler Street. He sold out this
store to the McDonald interests, and the business is now continued as the Dade Furniture
After a period of retirement, Captain BROWN, in the summer of 1922, again took a hand in
local development by building the Squirrel Roost Inn. In its present form this is a modern
restaurant and dining room, located on his property at the southeast corner of Miami Avenue
and southeast Seventh Street. The restaurant is only the first unit of a large hotel which
Captain BROWN plans. His property there is 100 by 150 feet, comprising one of the most
valuable locations in the city.
For many years Captain BROWN was a prominent figure in Florida state politics. He served as
state senator two years from Marion County. He was a candidate for nomination for governor
in 1904, his successful rival being Governor N. B. BROWARD. He was also made leader in the
State Democratic Convention, and he made the nominating speech for Governor Jennings at the
Captain BROWN first married AUGUSTA FAISON, who died a number of years ago. She represented
a prominent and historic family in East and North Carolina. The only child of this marriage
is C. M. BROWN, Jr., now of Ashville, North Carolina. Captain BROWN married for his second
wife, MAY CROSLAND of Miami.
Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn
©2010 Fran Smith
This page presented August 14, 2010