A Guide to the J. L. Brown Department Store Records, 1868-1987
In November 1872, the retail firm of Clapp & Brown (Emory Clapp of New Orleans and J. H. Brown of Tyler, Texas) opened in the new village of Jacksonville, Texas. That same year, William Allen Brown, who was no relation to J. H. Brown, moved to Jacksonville and worked for the company. By 1874, William McKinney had purchased the firm, changed the name to McKinney & Brown, and left it in the charge of W. A. Brown. The business was a general store, selling groceries, dry goods, farm supplies, and other materials. It grew and flourished, and with the addition of a new partner, A. C. Dixon, became Brown & Dixon.
In 1895 J. L. Brown opened his own store next door, called J. L. Brown, selling clothing, shoes, and dry goods. W. A. Brown died in 1933, and J. L. Brown took over ownership of Brown & Dixon. He soon merged the companies, even cutting openings in the wall between them. Frank W. Ebaugh acquired an interest in the business in 1935 and served as a manager until 1954. J. L. Brown remained a partner until his death in 1944. Eventually the store became known simply as the J. L. Brown Department Store, and it operated in Jacksonville, Texas, until 1987.
Source: J. L. Brown Department Store Records, 1868-1987, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
The J. L. Brown Department Store Records, 1868-1987, include financial records, legal documents, accounts, ledgers, printed material, clippings, and artifacts relating to the store and its daily functioning. The collection contains early bound ledgers, yearly calendars, dividend plans, and inventories, concerning the firm, its owners, and its customers.
The collection is open for research.
J. L. Brown Department Store Records, 1868-1987, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection is unprocessed. Contact repository for more information.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers