Skip to content
  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

Captain Andrew Brown: Florence, Alabama

Andrew Brown, Watchmaker & Jeweler

Captain Andrew Brown was a prominent figure in Florence, Alabama, throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1839, he arrived in the United States and left his mark on the community through his business and civic engagement.

A Life in Watches and Jewelry:

Andrew Brown, Watchmaker & JewelerBrown established himself as a respected watchmaker and jeweler in Florence. He opened his store on Court Street in the early 1870s. The store became a fixture in the downtown area, catering to local residents. In 1895, his son joined the business, transforming it into A. Brown & Sons. Their success continued for decades until it was eventually acquired by J.W. Sommer in 1926. Notably, the store transcended its commercial purpose, evolving into a community hub where people would gather to purchase tickets for local events.

In 1899, Captain Brown was appointed as “watch inspector” for the Southern Railway. A highly regarded, trusted position, as the railroad lived and breathed by keeping time. 

The Soldier and the Civic Leader:

Beyond his business endeavors, Brown's life was shaped by his military service. He enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1861, serving with the 7th Alabama Regiment of Infantry. His dedication continued as he re-enlisted in 1862, rising through the ranks to Captain. The records detail his experiences in various companies and his promotions throughout the war.

After the war, Captain Brown served various roles with the Florence city council, and at one time was acting as Board President for the Cypress Water Works Company.

The Later Years:

A. Brown & Sons Jewelry BoxThe information available suggests that Captain Brown faced health challenges around 1904 and 1905, necessitating a period of recuperation at Bailey Springs. However, his spirit of service remained strong. In 1906, he became the Chairman of the Alabama chapter of the American Association of Opticians (of which he was also a charter member), demonstrating his continued commitment to his profession.

Captain Andrew Brown passed away in 1909, leaving behind a legacy as a successful businessman, a dedicated soldier, and a respected member of the Florence community.