Brown, Aaron B. (1828–1884)

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: September 20, 2016

Aaron B. Brown, bridge builder and Houston civic leader, the son of Aaron B. and Rachel Brown, was born in Springdale, Ohio, on May 4, 1828. He attended the Farmer's Academy until the age of sixteen, ran away briefly to run a canal boat between Cincinnati and Dayton, and worked for a time in his father's carriage factory. In 1851 he went to Missouri and was contractor for construction of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. He returned to railroad work in Ohio in 1853 and married Jane F. Lamb; they had seven children, only one of whom survived to adulthood. In 1857 Brown moved to Texas, where he was superintendent of bridges for the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. He built bridges between Waco and Albany and between Garret and Terrell for the Houston and Texas Central Railway and across White Oak and Buffalo bayous to connect the Houston and Texas Central with the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad. In Houston he acquired real estate, became a Mason, and served on the board of aldermen. When his health failed, he stayed for a while in Ripley County, Indiana, but returned to Houston, where he died on July 7, 1884. He was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston.

History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of the Cities of Houston and Galveston (Chicago: Lewis, 1895).

Time Periods:
  • Antebellum Texas
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Diana J. Kleiner, “Brown, Aaron B.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022,

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September 20, 2016

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