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Biography of Charles Swing Brown

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Charles Swing Brown, president of the Hall & Brown Woodworking Machinery Company of St. Louis, was born at Brown Mills, New Jersey, November 27, 1852, his parents being George C. and Harriett (Swing) Brown. He obtained his education in public and private schools at New Egypt, New Jersey, and in early life began learning the machinist trade as an employe of the H. B. Smith Machine Company of Smithville, New Jersey, with which he remained from 1870 until 1877, gaining a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of every phase of the business during that period. He worked his way steadily upward and had risen to the position of pattern maker ere he severed his connection with the firm.

In the year 1877 Mr. Brown arrived in St. Louis and here became associated with Gorham O. Hall and organized the firm of Hall & Brown for the conduct of a business in the general manufacture of woodworking machinery. They incorporated the business in 1886 as the Hall & Brown Woodworking Machinery Company, with G. O. Hall as the president and C. S. Brown as vice president and treasurer, while Alfred Webb became secretary. Upon the death of Mr. Hall in 1897 Mr. Brown was chosen to the presidency, while John F. Judd became vice president, William Waltering secretary and Alfred Webb treasurer. Their goods are shipped to all parts of the United States and to foreign countries as well and they have received numerous first premiums on their products at various large expositions held throughout the country. Mr. Brown is also a director of the Broadway Trust Savings Company and was for many years its president.

On the 24th of August, 1880, Mr. Brown was married in Pointville, New Jersey, to Miss Sadie G. Warren, a daughter of Joseph G. and Mary Warren. They have become the parents of three children: Lillian J. now the wife of Dr. C. F. Pfingsten; Alfred W., who is associated with his father in business as superintendent of the plant, and Charles S. Jr., who died at the age of twenty-one, while his parents were in Europe. The family reside in a beautiful country home named “Brown Oaks” located on Denny road just outside of Kirkwood. The estate comprises some forty acres on which is located a beautiful lake and a grove of about fifteen acres of oak trees from which the estate derives it name. Mr. Brown finds his greatest enjoyment entertaining his city friends and the home is the scene of many brilliant entertainments.

In his political allegiance Mr. Brown is a republican, giving stanch support to the party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. Fraternally he is a Mason, belonging to Aurora Lodge, No. 267; to Bellefontaine Chapter, R. A. M.; to St. Aldemar Commandery, K. T.; to the Scottish Rite bodies and to the Mystic Shrine. His social nature finds expression in his membership in the Kirkwood Country Club, the Sunset Country Club and the St. Louis Automobile Club. He is likewise a member of the Chamber of Commerce and his interest in the welfare and upbuilding of his city is further indicated by his membership in the Union Methodist Episcopal church of which he is one of the trustees. In a word his aid and influence are ever on the side of progress, right and advancement and his entire career has been actuated by a sense of justice that has won for him the respect, confidence and goodwill of all who know him.


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