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Brown Family Collection

Identifier: DC079

Scope and Contents

The collection contains 24 books, including store ledgers, private account books, and recordings of Brown, Johnston, and Torrence family histories. The store ledgers primarily relate to businesses in which members of the Brown family were involved, primarily the Knox and Brown Store. A majority of the ledgers are organized alphabetically by the purchaser's last name, with the description and cost of goods purchased by that individual on a particular date. Beyond Brown family businesses, the ledgers also have entries for the H. M. Sloan Store, M. H. Goodrum and Company, and the Linden Manufacturing Company. Individual account books contain bank account and tax records as well as recordings of property sales. The "Cotton Book" is a ledger most likely used at the common town weigh station, where farmers would bring their cotton to be weighed and later sold to area stores. Family history books record births, death, and marriages of town families the Browns, the Johnstons, and the Torrences. See also DC0214s - Knox and Brown Store ledgers


  • Creation: 1875 - 1958

Biographical / Historical

Archie Brown was the son of Captain John Brown, Class of 1863. John Brown married one of the two daughter of Robert Houston Johnston, the grandson of early town landowner James Johnston and whose plantation home was Cedar Grove. Archie Brown opened the town's most popular early general store, Knox and Brown, with his neighber Frank Knox. The building in which the Knox and Brown Store operated was built in 1874, but not until 1899 did it become the Knox and Brown Store. It was Davidson's most important store for the first fifteen years of the century, but as the M. H. Goodrum and Co. Store grew in importance, Knox and Brown declined. Goodrum had taken over Knox and Brown by 1922. Annie Brown was the daughter of Archie Brown and was one of the first female students at Davidson College - attending years before women were allowed enrollment. Annie Brown took courses at the college for four years and actually completed all of the requirements for the A. B. degree. Brown later graduated from the Spencer Business School in 1909 and went on to found Brown Business College in Charlotte.


0.42 Linear Feet (4 boxes)



Physical Location

Carrel Storage

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Harriet Dale, daughter of John Brown (1907) and granddaughter of Capt. John Brown.

Processing Information

Processed on 06/21/2004


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections Repository