ISRAEL F. BROWN, of New London, a retired manufacturer, has had a long and successful career in business, producing machinery for two of the greatest industries of the United States, the manufacture and printing of cotton. He was born in Salem, Conn., December 31, 1810, son of William F. and Sarah G. (Edgerton) Brown. His grandfather, William Brown, was one of seven brothers.
William F. Brown was.born at Gale's Ferry, Conn., about the year 1771. Having learned the trades of cabinet-maker and ship-joiner, he was engaged for some time in the manufacture of furniture in Montville, this State, sending his goods to the West Indies. In 1823 he went South, and for some five years was in business in Macon, Ga., where his brother, E. E. Brown, was afterward the proprietor of the Brown House. E. E. Brown erected this hotel, was a prominent man in Macon, a Justice of the Peace for several years, and was associated with General Winfield Scott in military service at the time of the Seminole War in Florida. William F. Brown died in Macon in 1837. He was married in 1795 in Norwich, Conn., to Sarah G. Edgerton, of that place, who also died in 1837. They were the parents of five sons and two daughters, who all married. Of these Eunice died at the age of sixteen; Elizabeth Leffingwell, who was the wife of Samuel Jacob Hicks, died at eighty-three; Alexander D., an ingenious natural mechanic, died in Columbus, Ga., at eighty-three, leaving a family. Israel F. is the only survivor of the seven children. The sons, who were all gifted with mechanical skill, conjointly made two miniature vessels about three feet long, perfect in every detail a brig and a steamer having a copper boiler named respectively the "Bunker Hill " and "The Independent."
Israel F. Brown was left with a brother in Norwich, Conn., when his parents went South in 1823. In 1825 he and his brother followed; and in 1828 he was engaged by Samuel Griswold to work on cotton-gins in Clinton, Ga. After spending three years in that employment, he returned then to Macon, whence he went to Girard, Ala., where he was engaged in the same industry for some years. Then, with Dr. E. T. Taylor, he formed the firm of E. T. Taylor & Co., who carried on a successful business manufacturing cotton-gins at Columbus, Ga., for the ensuing eight years. In 1858 he returned to Connecticut, and established a cotton-gin factory in New London, beginning in 1861 to make these machines for New York firms in his own name. The war put an embargo on the trade in the South, but he found a market in Brazil until after peace was declared. In 1869 he formed a stock corporation, of which he has since been the president, and his son, Edward T., the secretary and treasurer. In 1882 the plant was moved to a new brick structure on Pequot Avenue of imposing architecture and measuring five hundred by fifty feet. The capital stock of the company at this time was twenty thousand dollars. One of the leading manufacturing enterprises in the United States, it employs from two hundred and fifty to three hundred hands, and has turned out eighteen hundred cotton-gins in one year, worth from one hundred and eighty dollars to two hundred and fifty dollars each. During the past ten years it has made printing-presses for the Babcock Company.
Mr. Brown was married at the age of twenty-two to Maria L. Martin, of Jones County, Georgia, who lived but a year after that event. In 1837 he was united to Ann Smith, of Macon, Ga., who died in New London in 1865, aged forty-six years. She bore him five children, of whom two sons and one daughter reached maturity. The elder son, Edward T., is the secretary, treasurer, and manager of the manufacturing company of which his father is president, the elder man being practically retired, and leaving all the responsibility to his son. The second child, George C., was employed by the American Bank Note Company some ten years, and then went to Georgia to take charge of the Brown Hotel. He died in Macon in 1886, in the prime of life, leaving three children. The youngest living child of Mr. Brown's second marriage, Sarah A., is the wife of George Colfax, of this city. In 1866 he contracted a third marriage, which united him with Miss Emma Conant, of Massachusetts, the adopted daughter of William Albertson. There are no children by this union. In politics Mr. Brown favors the Democratic party. He is a Master Mason, and belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His religious belief is that of the Swedenborgians. On August 13, 1895, he moved from the house on Howard Street, which had been his home for twenty-seven years, to the pleasant and attractive cottage at 83 Willets Avenue, where he now resides.

Biographical Review   Volume XXVI
Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens 
of New London County Connecticut
Biographical Review Publishing Company
pgs 72 - 75

S. Leroy BLAKE D.D.
Francis Nelson BRAMAN
Capt. Dudley A. BRAND
Charles Erskine BRAYTON
Edward P. BREWER M.D.
Frederick H. BREWER
Louisa J. BREWER
Alfred Fanning BROWN
Henry Augustus BROWN
Israel F. BROWN
James A. BROWN
Lucius Dwight BROWN
Theophilus BROWN
William J. BROWN
Capt. Billings BURCH
Horace O. BURCH
William Henry BURDICK
Austin J. BUSH
William Herbert BUSH


pages / text are copyrighted by
Elaine O'Leary & 
Anne Taylor-Czaplewski

April 2002