David S. Brown

Page 648 - David S. Brown, who has been president of the Century Furniture Company, of Grand Rapids, since its incorporation in 1905, heads one of the largest and thriving manufacturing concerns of the city, rising to that position through years of conscientious effort and work in the furniture business. He was born in Grand Rapids in 1869, the son of William Alfred and Jeannette (Urquart) Brown, the former a native of Warwick, England, and the latter of Nova Scotia. William Alfred Brown came to Boston, Massachusetts, and in 1865 to Grand Rapids, where he opened the first plumbing shop in the city. David S. Brown attended the public schools until he reached his twelfth year, when he found employment with a Mr. Clark, a manufacturer of pumps, whose shop was located in a basement of a building opposite the present site of the county jail. At that time, C. O. and Z. E. Allen were manufacturing carpet sweepers, and young David soon went to work for them. The Bissell Carpet Sweeper Company was then in its infancy, but David Brown, with that foresight which has led him to success, sought and found employment with that concern after a short time. While working with that concern, he realized the future in the furniture manufacturing business, and with this thought in mind, he entered the employ of the Radcliff & Holt Company. Mr. Brown was then but seventeen years of age. Beginning with the learning of the upholstering trade, he progressed through the successive steps of the furniture trade until in 1898 he went into the repair business for himself, his shop being located on Division street. During the next two years he continued in that work, but at the expiration of that time through the efforts of Julius Berkey he formed a partnership with J. C. Rickenbaugh for the manufacture of furniture. On the death of Mr. Rickenbaugh, in 1905, the business was incorporated under the name with David S. Brown president, and David H. Brown secretary and treasurer. Though the company began its operations in a small way, it now occupies a large plant located on Logan street. (A more detailed statement of the company will be found in the biographical sketch of David H. Brown.) Mr. Brown, through his connection with the Century Furniture Company, has gained a place of prominence in manufacturing circles of Grand Rapids, where he is looked upon as one of the able executives and influential business men in a city noted for the quality of the furniture manufactured there. In 1902, he married Alice Nash, the daughter of Homer and Lucy Nash, of Grand Rapids. Mr. and Mrs. Brown have one daughter, Marian, who is the wife of Chester F. Idema. Mr. Brown is a member of the Grand Rapids Furniture Association, the Highland Golf and Kent Country Clubs, and of the Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 17 January 2004