Benjamin F. Brown Family Records
Meat dealers and farmers, South Kingstown, R.I.
Records, 1851-1967. Bulk, 1876-1942.
Size: 1.75 ft.
Catalog number: MSS 1137
Processed by: Rick Stattler, February 2004
©Rhode Island Historical Society
Benjamin Franklin Brown (1829-1902) was the son of Benjamin and Prudence (Rose) Brown. He was a farmer and general store operator in Kingston, R.I. He began a meat business in 1874, and also in partnership with his son owned an ice company, B.F. Brown & Co. He married Fannie Knowles (Gardner) Brown (1836-1919) in 1858. They had one child, Charles F. Brown.
This son, Charles F. Brown (1861-1936), married Georgia A. Tucker (1855-1945). They had three children: Martha (Brown) Flagg (1884-1965), Benjamin C. Brown (1889-1967) and Edward T. Brown (1893-1984). In addition to the meat business, the family owned a farm and sold milk and poultry. The two brothers, Benjamin and Edward, were still selling meat as B.F. Brown & Son as late as 1942, and were apparently partners in a poultry farm through Benjamin's death in 1967.
Notes from donor, filed with collection
Rhode Island Cemetery Database
Social Security Death Index
1920 U.S. Census, Rhode Island E.D. 355, page 3
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Scope and content:
This collection consists mostly of the sales ledgers for the Brown family meat business from 1876 to 1942. The ledgers are mostly indexed by customer at the front of each volume. To give a sample of the variety involved, the ledgers from 1887 to 1892 list sales for beef, corned beef, steak, suet, sausage, pork, veal, liver, mutton, tripe, lard, ham, chicken, lamb, and turkey. The ledgers occasionally list other produce such as butter, kale, lettuce and spinach, but meat sales clearly predominate. Among the regular customers were the famous Hazard family of Peace Dale from at least 1883 to 1942, and Rhode Island State College (now the University of Rhode Island) from circa 1890 to 1922.
Also included are two account books from Benjamin F. Brown's general store which preceded the meat business, 1851-1871; an account book for the family dairy business from 1923; and records from 1956 to 1967 relating to the family farm operated by Benjamin C. and Edward T. Brown.
Inserted in the 1923-1924 dairy memorandum book were several slips of paper with lists of radio station call letters and numbers. The numbers do not correspond to standard radio station frequency numbers, and may relate to some sort of homemade tuning system.
No records relating to the family ice business were noted.
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These records passed down to Benjamin B. Brown's grandson Edward T. Brown. Otis C. Wyatt Jr., the donor, was the executor of Edward T. Brown's estate in 1984. Wyatt's grandmother was Edward's sister Martha (Brown) Flagg, making him a great-great-grandson of Benjamin B. Brown. He donated the records in 2004.
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General store accounts. Some meat sales, but mostly general store goods.
Box 1, folder 1. Ledger, 1851-1863 (not indexed)
Box 1, folder 2. Daybook, 1869-1871 (partially used as scrapbook)
Meat sale ledgers. Indexed in front of each volume, except as noted.
Box 1, folder 3. 1876-1880
Box 1, folder 4. 1883-1884
Box 1, folder 5. 1884-1887
Box 1, folder 6. 1887-1890
Box 1, folder 7. 1890-1892
Box 1, folder 8. 1897-1910
Box 1, folder 9. 1914-1917
Box 2, folder 1. 1917-1921
Box 1, folder 10. 1921-1923
Box 2, folder 2. 1928-1929
Box 2, folder 3. 1941 (not indexed)
Box 2, folder 4. 1942 (not indexed)
Box 3, folder 1. Daybook, 1894 (not indexed)
Box 3, folder 2. Checkbook, 1921-1922
Dairy accounts. This business appears to have been carried on separately than the meat business.
Box 3, folder 3. Dairy sales memoranda, 1923-1924
Box 3, folder 4. Lists of radio stations circa 1924 (found in dairy memoranda book)
Benjamin C. & Edward T. Brown farm accounts
Box 3, folder 5. Farm cash book, 1956-1961.
Box 3, folder 6. Chicken sales summaries (?), 1958-1967 (found in cash book)
Box 3, folder 7. Benjamin C. Brown receipts, 1957-1964 (found in cash book)
Box 3, folder 8. Edward T. Brown and unaddressed receipts, 1957-1967 (found in cash book)
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Brown, Benjamin C., 1889-1967.
Brown, Charles F., 1861-1936.
Brown, Edward T., 1893-1984.
Butchers - Rhode Island - South Kingstown.
Dairy farms - Rhode Island - South Kingstown.
Farms - Rhode Island - South Kingstown.
General stores - Rhode Island - South Kingstown.
Hazard Family (South Kingstown, R.I.)
Poultry industry - Rhode Island - South Kingstown.
Radio - Receivers and reception.
South Kingstown (R.I.) - Commerce.
University of Rhode Island
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