David H. Brown

History of Kent County, Pages 349-350 - David H Brown, secretary and treasurer of the Century Furniture Company, of Grand Rapids, is one of the successful executives engaged in that field of work. He was the son of one of the pioneer dentists of Grand Ledge, Michigan. His father, George A. Brown, who married Katherine Donovan, came from New York state in 1853 to settle in Grand Ledge where he followed his profession until the time of his death. David H. Brown first became connected with the furniture business when he was a lad of fifteen years. His first employment was in the factory of the Grand Ledge Chair Company which he followed to Grand Rapids upon its removal to that city. For seventeen years he remained in the employ of that one company, but it was a time filled with hard work and study on the part of Mr Brown. No phase of the furniture manufacturing work escaped him and he lost no opportunity of increasing his knowledge of the work which he had selected. By the early part of 1905, he purchased, together with David S Brown, the Century Furniture Company, a firm organized in the year 1900 and located on Canal street, now Monroe street. From this time on the company enjoyed success. It was incorporated in April, 1905, as the Century Furniture Company, David S Brown becoming president, and David H Brown secretary and treasurer. In July of the same year E.R. Somes purchased an interest in the firm and was made vice-president. The original capitalization was $50,000 with $30,000 paid in. By 1910 the business had increased to such proportions that larger quarters were necessary and the company erected its own building at the corner of Logan street and Ionia avenue. But even these increased facilities became insufficient and two additions were erected and equipped with the most modern facilities for the making of fine furniture. The capitalization of the corporation was also increased at various times and authorized capital is now $300,000 in common stock and $250,000 in preferred stock. In 1917, Mr Somes sold his interest in the company, Craig McClure assuming the duties of vice-president at that time. The Century Furniture Company, within the relatively short period of existence, has enjoyed a growth and prosperity that has placed its officers among the ranks of the successful and influential business men of Grand Rapids. David H Brown is recognized as one of the ablest executives engaged in the manufacture of furniture in Grand Rapids. In addition to being the secretary and treasurer of the Century Furniture Company, he is vice-president of the Walter E Miles Coal Company of Grand Rapids; also president of the Furniture Manufacturers Warehouse Company and secretary of the Furniture Manufacturers Association. Mr Brown married Annie L Bertsch, the daughter of John and Caroline (Harley) Bertsch, the former of whom was a native of Pennsylavania and the latter of whom is a member of one of the pioneer families of Ohio.


Transcriber: Terry Start
Created: 4 March 2003
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/white1924/personal/browndh.html