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William Laban Brown and A. R. Brown Family Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-0786

Scope and Contents

The William Laban Brown and A. R. Brown Family Papers provide a rich source of historical materials documenting the Brown family of Unicoi County, Tenn., and through the family's business and civic activities from the mid-19th through the mid-20th centuries, the history of Erwin, Tenn., and Unicoi County. Included in the collection are family personal and business correspondence, including Civil War letters written by William Laban Brown; business account books of Albert R. Brown, and photographs and photograph albums documenting the family from the Civil War era through 1910. Aside from family history, in-depth documentation is provided for A. R. Brown and Company, Erwin Development Company, Erwin Water Company, Unaka Academy, the business history of Erwin and Unicoi, Tenn., and Tennessee politics and government in the 1920s-1930s.


  • Creation: 1861-1985 and undated


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

The entirety of Series 1 is available digitally at the link above.


20.6 linear feet

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into eleven series, as follows: Series I, William Laban Brown Civil War Letters, 1861-1865, Box 1; Series II, A. R. Brown and Company Records, 1892-1985, Boxes 1-8; Series III, A. R. Brown Political Papers, 1916-1933 and undated, Boxes 8-9 and oversized Folder 1; Series IV, Alberta Brown Papers, 1927-1934 and undated, Boxes 9-11; Series V, Nancy Brown Family Papers, 1858-1912 and undated, Boxes 12-14; Series VI, William Henry Brown Papers, 1883-1900 and undated, Box 15; Series VII, Erwin Water Company Records, 1909-1948, Box 15-17; Series VIII, General Subject Files, 1886-1986 and undated, Boxes 18-20 and oversized Folders 1-3; Series IX, Patent Files, 1901-1948 and undated, Box 21-22 and oversized Folder 3; Series X, Artifacts, 1920 and undated, Box 23; and Series XI Photographs, undated, Box 24.

Method of Acquisition

The original donation of the William Laban Brown and A. R. Brown Family Papers was made to the Archives of Appalachia by Martha Brown Stromberg, Erwin, Tenn., on Februaruy 25, 2009, on behalf of herself and her sisters: Suzanne Brown Sumrall of Decatur, GA., and Alexandra R. Brown of Lexington, Va. Additional material was donated by Stromberg, Sumrall and Brown on December 1, 2009, March 15, 2010, and June 30, 2011.

Processing Information

Processing the collection was completed by Mary Dykes, Elizabeth Blair, and Ned Irwin in February 2011.

Ned Irwin
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of Appalachia Repository

PO Box 70295
344 J.L. Seehorn Jr. Rd.
Johnson City TN 37614 USA