Biography of Lawrence Pembroke Browne
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Lawrence Pembroke Browne, father of Evan H., was born in Pennsylvania and his wife in Ohio. He came to Kansas City, Missouri, as a clerk for the firm of Northrop & Chick, one of the few business houses of any importance at that time, and later, in partnership with W. H. Chick, who yet survives, became the owner of the business. In 1884 this business, general merchandise, was incorporated by the Browne family, the Chick interests being then eliminated.
Until the time of his death, in 1893, Lawrence Pembroke Browne continued at the head of this business, which was largely in the Mexican trade. The building of the railroads was the influence that caused its stsady progress westward, on through Kansas and Colorado and to Las Vegas, New Mexico, where there is a store at the present but the old business was sold in 1915. Mr. Browne in 1866 located in Junction City and then followed the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, settling at each tarminal, and later pursnod the same method along the Santa Fo Road. His whole time was given to his business affairs, in which he showed much enterprise.
Evan H. Browne attended the schools in his native city and later Wyandotte Academy in Kansas City, Kansas, after which he went to work in the private banking house of Northrop & Son. After one year there he joined his father at Socorro, New Mexico, giving him assistance in the mercantile business and also was clerk and cashier in a arnall bank there. During this experience, which covered four years, Mr. Browne gained an insight into business methods and expedients which he had found useful in the larger affairs with which he had since been connected. Upon his return to Kansas City, Kansas, he accepted the position of paying teller with the Northrop Banking Company, then doing business on the southwest corner of Fifth Street and Minnesota Avenue. In 1894 Mr. Browne was the main organizer of the Merchants State Bank, with which he was manager for eleven years, the business being in a prosperous eondition when, in 1905 it was consolidated with the Commercial National Bank, Mr. Browne disposing of his interest.
Very soon afterward Mr. Browne re-entered business, organizing a machinery sapply manufacturing agency, of which he was manager for three years, selling out at that time and beeoming general manager of the Hancher-Hawkins Mannfacturing Company, manufacturcrs of loose-leaf books for accountants, which husiness was later sold to a Chicago firm. In 1915 he was tendered the position of cashier of the Minnesota Avenue State Bank, and since that time had devoted his interest to the upbuilding of this institution.
Mr. Browne was married November 13, 1889, to Miss Lillian Leland, who was born in La Salle County, Illinois, and they have three children: Lawrence Leland, who is a graduate of Kansas University, is now engaged as a mechanical engineer at Rancagua, Chili, South America; Evan, who is a student in the Kansas University; and Leland Warren. Mr. Browne owned considerable realty and had additional interests. The family belong to the Congregational Church. Having no political ambitious, Mr. Browne had never identified himself with any political party, preferring to rely upon his own intelligent judgment as to the men and measures he desires to vote for. His public spirit had frequently been demonstrated, a notable example of which was his activity in bringing about the organization of the Mercantile Club, a very important commercial body at Kansas City. He called the first meeting in December, 1899, and was the first secretary and in 1903 was president of the organization. He continues one of the active workers and much of the success of the club in bringing about practical results is due to his enterprise. He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and belongs also to the Knights of Pythias, in which he had held all the offices in the local lodge.