|"Capt. Brown's Death Hard Blow." The Buffalo Courier, 12 June 1912, online archives|
(http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html): accessed 6 November 2016, page 6, columns 2-3.
Capt. Brown's Death Hard Blow
Citizens Lament Passing of Veteran Expert in Great Lakes Commerce.
In the opinion of Buffalo's most active citizens Buffalo has lost a public spirited man and the commerce of the great lakes an able and consistent champion in the death of Capt. James J. H. Brown, which occurred at the family home, No. 141 Lancaster avenue, five minutes before midnight Monday [June 10, 1912]. Death is attributed to heart trouble. Capt. Brown was president of the Lake Carriers' association in 1896-7, and in 1904 was chosen president of the Chamber of Commerce. At the time of his death he was chairman of the harbor and river committee of that body. He had been ill five weeks.
William Livingstone, president of the Lake Carriers' association, last evening, on learning of the demise of the veteran captain, who was a member of the executive committee of that organization, wired Edwin T. Douglass, general manager of the Western Transit company in this city: "Have issued orders to all Lake Carriers' vessels to fly their flags at half-mast Thursday in honor of the late Capt. J. J. H. Brown."
James J. H. Brown was the son of John Brown and Barbara Freeland Brown, who came to this country from their native Scotland and settled in Cleveland, where James was born, February 9, 1838. Twelve years later, when his widowed mother became the wife of Capt. Christopher Goulder of the Forest City, young Brown yielding to the lure of the sea, ran from home, and shipped with a merchant vessel which took him round the world. After several years' experience with ocean-going vessels and whalers, he returned to his native city and betook himself to the lakes.
In the course of a checkered career he was in a vessel which was wrecked off Long Point. Then he was master of the Newsboy, Annie Sherwood and Scotia. In 1873 the Scotia was accounted the largest vessel on fresh water, and the young captain, despite many doleful predictions, navigated her successfully. About 1879 Capt. Brown established a vessel agency in Buffalo in partnership with Capt. Daniel Rogers. In 1885 Edward Smith was admitted and the firm name was changed to Brown & Co., which was continued successfully until the time of the senior member's death. As head of the firm of Brown & Co., and intimately associated with the Douglass as well as the Brown steamship line, Capt. Brown as a power in marine circles, when in 1904 he was chosen president of the CHamber of Commerce.
His interest in the port of Buffalo and the commerce of the lakes was keen, and his knowledge of conditions unexcelled.
He was the pioneer in the Black Rock harbor improvement, which is now one of the live questions, and he was foremost in the fight for the improvement of Buffalo river, the seawall and Hamburg turnpike, better terminals, the barge canal, and other large enterprises looking to the making of a greater Buffalo. Not only was he a leader in all that pertained to harbor and river improvements, but, during his administration as president of the chamber, he was the advocate of such improvements as the extension of Elmwood avenue, better postal facilities, and manual training in the public schools.
Capt. Brown was a Democrat but he was so busy attending to his marine business and to the commercial needs of the port of Buffalo that he was unable to spare time for active participation in politics, and he never aspired to political honors. He gave of his time freely and unselfishly to the public interests. He was a member of DeMolay Lodge, F. & A. M. The survivors are his wife, Mrs. Ida M. Brown, and four children by his first wife, who was Miss Annie Johnston of Chicago, viz.: Harvey L. Brown, a lawyer of this city, and three daughters, Mrs. Edward H. Maytham, Mrs. S. H. Worcester of Cleveland, and Miss Laura A. Brown, who is a teacher in the Central high school. Another daughter, Mrs. Charles K. Darrow, died several years ago.
The funeral will take place from the family home tomorrow afternoon at 4 o'clock. The officiating clergyman will be the Rev. Carl D. Case of the Delaware avenue Baptist church. The interment will be at Forest lawn.
James J. H. Brown is my first cousin 4x removed.