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Men At Work: Biographies
Francis Brown (1820-1906)


Born in Atkinson, New Hampshire, November 14, 1820, Francis Brown was the second of three children.  His father, Jonathan Kimball Brown, was a farmer.  Francis Brown received his education in the public schools of Amherst, New Hampshire, and graduated from the academy in Dracut at the age of 22.  He then moved to Lowell where he obtained 
a job as a wool sorter at the Middlesex Mills.  After working there about three years the agent of the newly established Washington Mills in Lawrence offered him the job of overseer.  Brown accepted this position but remained at the Washington Mills for only a few months before accepting an overseer’s job in the wool sorting department at the 
Middlesex Mills.  He then worked for the Middlesex for nearly 47 years. 1

By 1870 he owned real estate worth $8,000 and his personal worth amounted to $1,000.  His wife Susan (born 1822 in New Hampshire) was keeping house.  His son Frank K. was working as a wool sorter at the Middlesex and his daughter Addie A. was at school.  By 1880 Francis Brown had become a wool buyer for the Middlesex Mills and his son worked for him.  Both son and daughter continued to live at their parents’ home on (147) High Street.  Living across the street was Francis Brown’s brother Horace, age 57, who was employed as a section hand in the Massachusetts Mills.   2 Also living there was Horace Brown’s wife Harriet N., age 51, a daughter Harriet F., age 25, (not employed), a disabled son Edwin (age 19), another son Warren A., age 17 (employed as a clerk in a dry goods store), and a 12-year old son, Arthur L., at school.   3 By 1897 Francis retired from the Middlesex Mills and had purchased another house on (440) High Street.  His son continued to work there as a wool buyer and was living in the house he in which he had grown up (now 321 High Street).  Brown died at his home on February 14, 1906, leaving his wife and son. 4

1 “Obituary – Francis Brown” Lowell Daily Mail, February 15, 1906.  An earlier listing of overseers in Lowell claims that 
   Brown moved to Lowell about 1835 and was appointed overseer in the wool sorting department in 1838.  “Overseers 
   in the Mills,” Lowell Daily Courier, July 31, 1872.
Lowell, Massachusetts City Directory, 1881 - Horace Brown.
3  US Census, Lowell, Massachusetts 1870 and 1880, microfilm.
4  “Deaths,” Lowell Daily Courier, February 15, 1906.

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