Among the early settlers and energetic, persevering business men of Ingersoll, is Thomas Brown, who has here been a leather manufacturer for nearly forty-seven years. He hails from the old Bay State which, New York perhaps excepted, has sent out more enterprising mechanics, manufacturers, tradesmen and professional men, than any other commonwealth in the great American Union. He was born in the town of Seekonk, Bristol county, December 11, 1810, being the son of Oliver Brown, who was born in the same town, and who, enlisting when a mere lad, served for five years in the war for independence.
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Thomas received a district school education, farmed till seventeen, then went to Tioga county, N.Y., and learned the trade of a tanner and currier; in February, 1833, left the United States for Canada, worked a few months at his trade in London, and in November of the same year settled in Ingersoll. Here he purchased a tannery of William Sherman, and has managed it steadily from that date. Since the spring of 1872 his only son living, George K. Brown, has been his partner, the firm name being Thomas Brown and Son. They do a large business in the leather and finding trade.
Since April 1876, Mr. Brown has also been in the foundry business, and at different times he has had a hand in other branches of industry. He has an active mind and a strong body a powerful engine in sound frame work, and seemingly, although in his seventieth year, possesses almost the elasticity of thirty-five.
Mr. Brown was reeve of Ingersoll, and in the county council in 1853 and 1854, and from 1872 to 1879, and warden in 1876; has been a member of the local Agricultural Society from the date of its organization, and a director most of the time, and president three or four years. He is a live, stirring man, inclined to push business, public as well as his own, and is a believer in human progress. The stone and gravel roads leading into Ingersoll were among his early pet measures for the building up of the town. For every church built in Ingersoll, he had a full and open hand. He has helped many a young man to start in business, and has in some cases, through kindness, lifted at the wheel for others, to the serious detriment of his own shoulders, always being disposed to help those who were trying to help themselves.
In October, 1833, Miss Pauline M. Kingsbury, of Owego, N. Y., became the wife of Mr. Brown, and of nine children springing from this union, only two are living Clarissa C., the wife of Dr. Hoyt, sketched elsewhere in this volume, and the son already mentioned.