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- 1898 (Creation)
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Franklin Quimby Brown was born in Chicago, Illinois on 29 July 1862 and raised in greater Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of George Thomson Brown and Anne Tilton Wildes Brown. At an early age, he joined the First Corps of Cadets of the Massachusetts Voluntary Militia, achieving the rank of brigadier sergeant. In 1892 Brown married Ida Prescott Bigelow Eldredge of Boston. He was employed by the East India Trading Company and traveled to Florida at the age of 29 to become president of the Florida Southern Railroad (FSR). At the time, he was the youngest active railroad president in the United States. Following FSR's merger with the Plant System, he served that corporation's railroad, steamship and hotel interests.
Prior to the Spanish-American War, Colonel Brown was active in Cuban affairs. At the request of President McKinley, Brown prepared a personal report on conditions in Cuba. He also helped to organize the First National Defence Congress, held in Tampa, Florida in 1896. The Congress sought to call attention to the defenseless military and naval conditions of the Florida seacoast.
With the U.S.'s declaration of war with Spain, Brown was appointed colonel of the Florida State Militia, which later joined the U.S. Army. Detailed to General Wade and Major General Shafter, Brown provided assistance in the selection of camp sites and the movement of troops and supplies to Cuba. He reported directly to President McKinley on matters of the railroad block in Tampa.
Following the war, Brown resumed his position as vice president in the Plant System. For a time he served as associate publisher, with Colonel Henry Watterston, of the Louisville Courier-Journal. He was also interested in Jacksonville and Tampa papers. In 1906, Brown transferred to New York, becoming a partner in the investment banking firm of Redmond & Company, becoming a senior partner in the firm four years later. In 1908, he was a presidential elector for William Howard Taft and associate treasurer of the Republican National Committee.
At the onset of World War I, Brown organized the National Security League and volunteered for active service. He was appointed chairman of the Finance Advisory Committee of the United States Railroad Association and received several commendations and awards from the American and European governments after the war. Brown retired as general partner of Redmond & Company in 1928, remaining active in numerous civic and philanthropic organizations. Franklin Q. Brown died on 6 November 1955 at the age of 93.
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Holdings in the Special Collections Division:
Quesada, A. M. de. The Spanish-American War in Tampa Bay. Dover, N.H.: Arcadia, 1998.