WILLIAM D. BROWN was born in New Jersey in 1867, the son of John J. Brown and one of the daughters of David and Mary Hart. He was living at 409 Walnut Street with his father and another family when the Census was taken in 1870. Sadly, his mother seems to have passed prior to the enumeration of the 1870 Census. William D. Brown and his father were then living with the widowed Mary Hart and the rest of her children, including sons Charles H. Hart and George B. Hart.
His father was a veteran of the Civil War, who had seen duty with three different regiments. In 1880 the Browns lived at 1018 South 5th Street in Camden, where the elder Brown was a tavern keeper. John J. Brown had remarried, his second wife was Emma Harvey, the sister of long-time Camden policeman William "Bill" Harvey. Besides William D. Brown there was a younger sister, Lizzie. Emma Brown's sister Elizabeth Harvey also lived with the family. By 1887 John J. Brown and moved his business and his family to 1102 South 4th Street. This building still operates as a bar in 2004. It was known in the 1940s and 1950s as Pete's Cafe, in 1966 as Joe's Cafe, in 1977 Baron's Lounge, in the 1980s as Phase 2, and since 1994 as the Cotton Club.
William D. Brown married his wife Margaret around 1888. A son, John, was born around 1890. His father, John J. Brown, passed away on March 16, 1898 at the age of 54. William D. Brown appears in the 1888-1889 Camden City Directory as a reporter, living at 1102 South 4th Street. The 1890-1891 Directory shows that William D. Brown, still a reporter, and his wife Margaret had moved to 937 South 5th Street. When the 1893-1894 Camden City Directory was published, William D. Brown was working as a reporter of the Camden Courier. He now lived at 1013 South 5th Street. Also of interest is that his father had left the bar business, and now resided across the street, at 1014 South 5th Street.
William D. Brown was elected to Camden's school board in 1890, and on the fifth ballot, was named Board secretary. The following year he was named Board Auditor. When the Commission of Public was instituted, he served on that body as Secretary and Auditor. He resigned from that body after the November 1902 election. A staunch Republican, by 1901 he was a member of the Camden Republican party executive committee.
By the end of the 1910s William D. Brown was serving as the City Clerk of Camden. His deputy through most of the 1900s and 1910s was Morris Odell. The Census taken in January of 1920 shows that he lived with his wife, son, daughter-in-law Sylvia, and granddaughter Helen at 920 South 5th Street in South Camden. Neighbors included Fire Chief George B. Wade, stationary store owner Charles Devaull, and Mayor Charles H. Ellis, who lived at 913 South 5th Street.
The 1930 Census shows the Brown family had purchased a newly constructed row home at 3190 Westfield Avenue in East Camden during the 1920s. These homes had been built be local real estate developer Leon Todd. The Brown family at this time included Mr. and Mrs. Brown, son John J. "Jerry" Brown, then a commercial artists, daughter-in-law Sylvia, and grandchildren Helen and William D. Brown II.
William D. Brown served as City Clerk during the administrations of Mayors Charles H. Ellis, Victor S. King, and Winfield S. Price. He was appointed Camden County Clerk in December of 1920 when Francis Ford Patterson Jr. resigned to serve in Congress, and was succeeded at the City level by Morris Odell. William D. Brown returned to the City Clerk's office and in 1931 he was succeeded as City Clerk by Frank S. Albright.
William D. Brown passed away in January 8, 1933 and was buried at Lakeview Cemetery in Cinnaminson NJ. His son, Jerry Brown, is listed at the 3190 Westfield Avenue address. By 1947 the Browns had sold the house, which was then the residence of prominent Camden attorney Carlton W. Rowand.
William D. Brown's uncle, Charles H. Hart, served with the Camden Fire Department and Camden Police Department in the 1870s.
Camden Daily Telegram * April 14, 1894
L. Westcott - George D. Borton
Commission - Benjamin
Inquirer * September 1, 1895
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A. Haines Lippincott -
Robert L. Barber - Jacob Sickler
William D. Brown - William B. Doyle - Dr. William B. Christine
Charles N. Robinson
|Philadelphia Inquirer - October 11, 1895|
David Baird Sr.
J. WIllard Morgan
Thaddeus P. Varney
J. Wesley Sell
Frank T. Lloyd
Thomas P. Curley
William A. Husted
William D. Brown
Maurce A. Rogers
George Pfeiffer Jr.
Henry J. West
Louis T. Derousse
Col. George Felton
Amos Richard Dease
Theodore B. Gibbs
June 24, 1896
|Philadelphia Inquirer * October 11, 1898|
Mary A. Hart - William
D. Brown - Charles
South 5th Street - North Front Street
Union Methodist Episcopal Church
|Philadelphia Inquirer * November 10, 1898|
|George Cline - William D. Brown|
Philadelphia Inquirer - September 5, 1903
Baird Sr. - J.
Wesley Sell - Frank
F. Patterson Jr. -
E. Ambler Armstrong - Frank T. Lloyd - F. Morse Archer - Robert L. Barber
William J. Bradley - William D. Brown - Thomas P. Curley - Charles F. Currie
Isaac W. Coles - E.W. Delacroix - John J. Burleigh - John Cherry - William Graeff
Theodore Gibbs - John S. Roberts - Henry J. West - George Pfeiffer Jr.
Irving Buckle - Samuel Wood - Jonathan Watson - Maurice Redrow
Richard R. Miller - Lwis H. Mohrman - David M. Anderson - G. WIlliam Harned
Edward H. Chew - William Coffin - Dr. John B. Davis - Dr. Henry H. Davis
Samuel S. Elfreth - Charles H. Ellis - Levi Farnham - John Blowe - J. Palmer Earl
Samuel P. Jones - George W. Turner - Henry M. Snyder - Lewis Stehr Sr.
Charles P. Sayrs - Henry J. Rumrille - William M. Palmer - Frank Peterson
Martin J. O'Brien - J. WIllard Morgan - J. Alpheus McCracken - John R. McCabe
A.G. McCausland - Joseph Kolb - John M. Kelly - E.E. Jefferies - Jacob S. Justice
Robert Jaggard - Harry L. Jones - Upton S. Jefferys - William Kettler
John D. Courter - Dr. William S. Jones - Mahlon F. Ivins Sr.
Samuel G. Hufty - Ephraim T. Gill - Francis Fithian
December 1, 1904
F. Patterson Jr.
|Philadelphia Inquirer - April 15, 1910|
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|Philadelphia Inquirer - September 7, 1911|
Dease - John
A. Mather - Melbourne
F. Middleton Jr. - William
D. Brown - Arthur
Colsey - William F. Kelly
- R.J. Garrison - James
E. Hewitt - Lawrence
Reader - Dr.
Grant E. Kirk
George Kleinheinz - James F. Walton - David A. Henderson - John T. Rodan - Charles Laib
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September 7, 1919
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Henry Wilson - Charles
|Philadelphia Inquirer * September 26, 1922|
October 3, 1922
|Camden Courier-Post - February 18, 1928|
Brown - Joshua
C. Haines -
James V. Moran - Clarence Munger
Dorothy Jean O'Brien - Loyal Odhner - Dorothy Phillips - Celesta Powers
Marion Powers - Winfield S. Price - Raphael Senseman - T. Yorke Smith
Robert D. Stecker - Rev. Thomas J. Whelan - George Whyte - Charles Wise
Hurley Store - Munger & Long
Camden Safe Deposit & Trust Co. - First Camden National Bank
D. Brown lived at
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