Brown, Edgar William, Sr. (1859–1917)

By: Jeanette Heard Robinson

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

Updated: July 1, 2022

E. W. Brown, physician, lumberman, and mayor of Orange, was born in Ringgold, Georgia, on November 22, 1859, to Dr. Samuel Moore and Georgia (Malone) Brown. After the Civil War the family moved to Texas: first to Jasper, then to Magnolia Springs, and in 1871 to Orange. He graduated with honors from Tulane University at New Orleans in 1882 and began his medical practice in Orange.

On November 28, 1888, he was married to Carrie Launa Lutcher, daughter of Henry Jacob Lutcher and Frances Ann (Robinson) Lutcher, one of the richest lumbermen in the United States. Three children were born to them: E. W. Brown Jr., Lutcher Brown, and Fannie Brown Moore (Mrs. Rucie). In the late 1880s, with the expansion of the Lutcher lumber business, Brown was urged by Lutcher to join with him and W. H. Stark, Brown's brother-in-law, in operating the growing industrial empire. Brown gave up his medical practice to devote full time to lumbering. He took charge of the newly established Dibert, Stark, and Brown Cypress Company at Donner, Louisiana, and for twelve years commuted weekly by train to Donner from his home at Orange. The original investment of $60,000 in this plant came to be worth a vast fortune.

The company opened another cypress operation at Lutcher, Louisiana, with Brown as president, but he withdrew from active management, leaving L. W. Gilbert to manage the plant under Brown's direction. Brown shared with Stark the general supervision of the great yellow pine and cypress interests of their organization. Brown also was president of the Lutcher and Moore Cypress Lumber Company, vice president of the Lutcher and Moore Lumber Company of Orange, and a partner in the Yellow Pine Paper Mill. He became one of the wealthiest and most successful manufacturers in the United States. He helped to secure a deepwater channel from Orange to the Gulf during the development of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and to replace a ferry on the Sabine River with an iron bridge to connect Orange to Louisiana. Brown and Stark used their own money to build the dump for the bridge approach on the Louisiana side.

Brown acquired large landholdings in Orange County and became a famous farmer, building water canals for rice growing, and clearing and cultivating many acres. He invested in the development of the area oil industry. On June 16, 1917, he died of cancer at his home at Green and Sixth streets. His widow, Carrie Brown, subsequently moved into John W. Link's mansion at Green and Ninth streets, bought for her daughter, Fannie B. Moore. Moore died of pneumonia on October 12, 1918, but Carrie Brown continued to live in the home until her death on October 3, 1941. All the family are buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

Gulf Coast Lumberman, July 1, 1917. Howard Williams, ed., Gateway to Texas: The History of Orange and Orange County (2d ed., Orange, Texas: Heritage House Museum, 1988).

  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners
  • Agriculture
  • Business
  • Politics and Government
  • Government Officials
  • Transportation and Railroads
Time Periods:
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era
  • East Texas
  • Upper Gulf Coast

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

Jeanette Heard Robinson, “Brown, Edgar William, Sr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 05, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994
July 1, 2022

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