Albert Brown

Apple Fair Parade, c. 1913. Apple Fair Parade in front of Apple Hall on Kasten Street in Mendocino. The driver is James Bowman. Next to him is Joshua Grindle. In the rear seat, left to right: John Ross, Auggie Heeser, and Albert Brown. The decorated float following the lead automobile is a group of Mendocino High School girls. Photograph taken by local photographer, Perley Maxwell. (Perley Maxwell (photographer), Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

September 11, 1935 – Albert Brown died at the age of 86. One of Mendocino County’s most respected citizens, Brown had worked tirelessly to improve the Mendocino Coast for over 50 years.

Born in Argyle, Maine in 1849, Brown came to Mendocino around 1881. He was first a clerk in the mercantile store of his cousin, Eugene Brown, before becoming a bookkeeper for the Mendocino Lumber Company.

Albert lived a life of public service and spent a great amount of his time helping the town. He was one of the original organizers of the Mendocino Electric Light & Power Company which brought electricity to the town, and he served as company secretary and then president for many years. He worked successfully for better county roads and for a coast highway and had the satisfaction of seeing Shoreline Highway incorporated into the State Highway system. Mr. Brown was one of the prime movers in the establishment of the first two high schools in Mendocino county, one at Mendocino and the other at Ukiah, and he served for many years as a school trustee.

He was elected to the Fire Commission and was instrumental in procuring fire-fighting equipment for the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department and developing a fire hydrant system. He was the founder of the Mendocino Apple Fair and the driving force behind the construction of Apple Hall which was built for produce exhibits including the Fair. He was secretary of the Chamber of Commerce for many years.

He also organized and successfully managed the Mendocino Farm Loan Association, which secured loans from the Federal Farm Loan Bank for farmers on the coast at a very low rate of interest with favorable terms. He served as a director of The Bank of Mendocino and The Mendocino Discount Bank.

Albert and his wife Georgiana raised seven children in their home just west of the Blair House on Little Lake Road. At the time of his death, he operated a hardware store on Main Street, and despite his age, was at his place of business every day.

IN MEMORY OF ALBERT BROWN
(Mendocino Beacon, September 21, 1935)
Always an optimist, trying to see
The wonderful things that yet might be
In the old home town that he held so dear,
Where he lived and worked full many a year.
Always a helper in things worth while
Greeting his friends with a cheery smile.
Loved ones will miss him and sadly yearn
For the dear passed days that can ne’er return.

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