Brown, Frank (1833–1913)

By: Frances K. Hendricks

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Frank Brown, county official, son of John D. and Sarah (Wade) Brown, was born on June 26, 1833, in Nashville, Tennessee. When he was two years old, he came to Texas with his parents, who were settlers in the Sterling C. Robertson colony at Old Nashville. In the winter of 1839–40 the family moved to Washington-on-the-Brazos, where the father died and Frank was carrier boy for the National Register. Mrs. Brown and her five children moved to Austin in 1846. From October 1848 to February 1849 Brown worked in the office of the Western Texian in San Antonio. He married Georgiana McLemore in Austin on January 1, 1856. Their family came to include twelve children, Brown's mother, an invalid sister, and an orphaned niece and nephew. Brown was elected county clerk of Travis County, probably in 1856, and was reelected in 1858 and 1862. He enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private, was honorably discharged as a captain of home guards at the end of the war, and was paroled early in July 1865. The same year he was appointed clerk of the district court and city alderman of Austin. From July 1865 until January 1867 he was associated with James A. Foster as publishers of the Austin Southern Intelligencer. Brown was commissioned clerk of the district court in 1866 and later elected to the post. He resigned in 1869, was reappointed, and resigned again the same year. He was clerk of the district court in 1873 and of the county court in 1876 and was reelected for each term through 1892. According to his own statement, in his old age he had served continuously for forty years. After Brown's retirement he compiled his annals of Travis County and the city of Austin. His manuscript is a storehouse of information about the history of the Austin area in the second half of the nineteenth century. He died at Austin at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Henry Hutchings, on January 27, 1913.

Austin American, January 20, 1924. Austin Statesman, October 29, 1899, January 28, 1913. Frank Brown, Annals of Travis County and the City of Austin (MS, Frank Brown Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). Galveston News, October 8, 1895.

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

Frances K. Hendricks, “Brown, Frank,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994