Edgar William Brown

Edgar William Brown

Edgar William Brown, Sr. (1859-1917) was a physician who turned from the medical practice to become one of the most successful businessmen in the southern United States. His business contributions would help fuel the industrial development of the city of Orange, Texas.

Edgar W. Brown was born in Ringgold, Georgia on November 22, 1859, to Dr. Samuel M. and Georgia (Malone) Brown. After the Civil War, his family moved several times before settling in Orange in 1871. He attended Tulane University at New Orleans and graduated in 1882 with honors. He immediately returned to Orange to begin his medical practice. On November 28, 1888 he married Carrie Launa Lutcher, the daughter of the lumber baron Henry J. Lutcher. In the late 1880’s, under the influence of his wife’s family, Brown gave up his medical practice to devote full time to work in the lumber business. His first twelve years in the lumber trade was spent supervising a sawmill in Donner, Louisiana. He would go on to become president of the Lutcher and Moore Cypress Lumber Company, and a partner in the Yellow Pine Paper Mill in which he shared interests with his brother-in-law William Henry Stark. During the time in which the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway was being developed, Brown along with his father-in-law and other key local businessmen would help influence the development of the deepwater channel link to the Port of Orange. Brown also partnered with W.H. Stark to begin the construction of an iron bridge to replace the ferry that crossed the Sabine River to provide another transportation link for Texas and Louisiana. Brown’s other influence on the region was the development of irrigation canals for rice farming and his financial investments in the local growing oil industry.
On June 16, 1917 Brown died of cancer and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Orange, Texas. A marker was built by the Texas Historical Commission to commemorate his business accomplishments.

The Brown family legacy

His son Edgar W. Brown, Jr., would also become a successful businessman in areas such as banking, shipbuilding, and financial projects. As a philanthropist, E.W. Brown, Jr. positively impacted the City of Orange. He gave his former residence on Green Avenue to the city of Orange for a city hall. Likewise, Lamar University at Orange has benefited from the Lindenwood estate (now known as the Brown Center) consisting of the mansion and its sixty-two acres that is used as an educational center.

References

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