HON. J.J. BROWNE. – The broad-minded citizenship which looks to personal advantage only through the general prosperity, and makes the public weal and growth occupy the first place, is the best guarantee of a great future. This Spokane Falls enjoys. None of her citizens is more fully impressed with this theory of metropolitan attainments than he whose name appears above.
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Mr. Browne was born at Greenville, Ohio, in 1843, and was educated for the law at the Michigan University. Coming to this coast, he remained four years at Portland, practicing law. He also served as superintendent of public schools. In 1878 he came to Spokane Falls, buying a half interest in the townsite, and practicing his profession six years. His chief interest has been in working up large schemes for the benefit and growth of his city. In this capacity he has made many trips East, once successfully pushing a bill for the annexation of the Idaho Panhandle to Washington Territory through Congress, to have it killed in the hands of the President. Still more recently he was at New York buying iron and rolling stock for the street railway which has been in operation more than a year.
He is president of the Spokane Mills Company, a corporation whose object is the establishment of all kinds of mills and manufactures. This company has saw and grist mills, and sash and door factories. The last trip of its president was in the interest of the Linseed Oil Mill, an enterprise which has been in successful operation for about a year. The flax of this country is a prolific crop, producing a berry of such large size as to require extra mesh sieves. This is a most promising point for such a manufacture; and it would also invite linen twine works. The company is organized with a capital of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Another important industry of which Mr. Browne is at the head is the Cracker Factory, occupying a two-story brick. The Browne Block, on Riverside avenue, a number of buildings throughout the place, and a residence second to none in Eastern Washington, swell the aggregate of Mr. Browne’s numerous holdings. Mr. Browne is one of the members of the constitutional convention of Washington.