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CSU Archives

J. Rhodes Browne and Rhodes Browne Papers (MC 201)


Biographical Sketch

John Rhodes Browne (1819-1900) was born in Taunton, Massachusetts and learned the cotton manufacturing trade in New York and North Carolina before moving to Columbus, Georgia in 1851 to install machinery at the Eagle Mill, where he later became mill superintendent.

Although born and raised in New England, Browne threw in his lot with his adopted state during the Civil War, being appointed a colonel on the Governor's staff. After the burning of the Eagle Mills in April of 1865, he helped in their rebuilding.

He left manufacturing to become president of the Georgia Home Insurance Company.  He organized the National Bank of Columbus in 1876 and became its president.  In addition to his banking and insurance interests, he was also president of the Columbus Manufacturing Company, Swift Manufacturing Company, a director of the Muscogee Mills, Tallassee Falls Manufacturing Company, Hamburger Cotton Mills and was the owner of the Steam Cotton Mills.

The Browne family attended Trinity Episcopal Church. John Rhodes Browne had two sons, Henry Glover Browne (1850-1895), and Rhodes Browne (1865-1936).   Upon his father's death Rhodes Browne became the president of the Georgia Home Insurance Company.  He later became president of the First National Bank, Home Savings Bank of Columbus, Muscogee Bank and Trust, Provident Loan and Investment Company, Bull Creek Sand and Gravel, and Bull Creek Farms.  He served as Mayor of Columbus from 1908-1911.

Scope and Content

The J. Rhodes Browne and Rhodes Browne Collection primarily consists of financial and legal records, documents of the Columbus, Georgia companies and holdings of John Rhodes Browne and his son, Rhodes Browne, and additional personal family records.  There are many folders on the genealogy of the family members.  There are also papers relating to the wives of both men, Roberta Harrison Yonge Browne (1841-1932) of Savannah and Nina Young Browne (1869-1946) of Lexington, Kentucky.  The earliest papers and receipts date to before the Civil War.

The folders in Box 1 and 2 are arranged in alphabetical order by topic with the date delineating the contents of the folder.  There is no division between the papers of John Rhodes Browne, the father, and Rhodes Browne, the son, except by dates on the folders.  Box 2 also contains the photos of the family silver collection which was compiled into the book, From London to Shanghai, 1780-1920.

Box 3, an over-sized flat box, contains over-sized items, photos, letters and newspapers.  Again the folders are in alphabetical order.  Additionally this box contains books belonging to the family including prayer books, hymnals and a date book.

Box 4 contains a number of miscellaneous items of the family; receipt books, an autograph album, scrapbook, medal pin, opera glasses, r. Browne's ring, and an iron locomotive replica, along with other momentos.


1841-1964                                               4 boxes (4 l.f.)

Note to researchers:

See also:

Royal Crown Cola Collection (MC 204)
Rhodes Browne Collection (SMC 3)


The items in the John Rhodes Browne collection were donated to the Columbus State University Archives by Sandra Strother Hudson of Watkinsville, Georgia, a great-great-granddaughter of J. Rhodes Browne, in 2005 and 2008.  Additional materials were added in 2016 and 2017.

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the John Rhodes Browne Collection must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives.  Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

J. Rhodes Browne and Rhodes Browne Papers

Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia

Box and Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1 – Bank Receipts, 1859-1933
Folder 2 – Bull Creek Farms (dairy), 1882-1938
Folder 3 – Bull Creek Sand and Gravel, 1909-1937
Folder 4 – Chattahoochee Falls Company, 1898
Folder 5 – Confederate States Bonds Accounts, 1865
Folder 6 – Eufaula Plantation, Alabama, 1863-1889
Folder 7 – Financial Statements of Rhodes Browne, 1926-1936
Folder 8 – First National Bank, 1900-1929
Folder 9 – First National Bank, 1930-1936, 1951
Folder 10 – First National Bank Statements for the estate of Rhodes Browne, 1936-1937

Folder 11 – Fulton National Bank, Atlanta, Georgia, 1929-1935
Folder 12 – Georgia Home Insurance Company, 1870-1938
Folder 13 – Homes Savings Bank of Columbus, 1927-1936
Folder 14 – Insurance Policies, 1842-1939
Folder 15 – John R. Slade (nephew), 1924-1938
Florida Property
Folder 16 – Maryland Manor Corporation Tampa, Florida, 1926-1929
Folder 17 – Nehi Corporation, 1929-1930
Folder 18 – Nehi Corporation, 1931-1932
Folder 19 – Nehi Corporation, 1933-1936
Folder 20 – Nehi Corporation (C. A .Hatcher Estate), 1932-1936
Folder 21 – New York Company Agreements Fishkill, New York, circa 1851
Folder 22 – Penn Mutual Insurance Company, 1911-1929
Folder 23 – Penn Mutual Insurance Company, 1930-1936
Folder 24 – Property Deeds, 1848-1869
Folder 25 – Property Deeds, 1870-1899
Folder 26 – Property Deeds, 1906-1916
Folder 27 – Property Deeds, 1920-1937
Folder 28 – Provident Loan and Investment Company, 1932-1935
Folder 29 – Receipts and Invoices-non-bank, 1873-1938 and Rental Properties, 1883-1919
Folder 30 – Rental properties, 1883-1919
Folder 31 – Sale of Slaves, 1853-1865 and Oath of Loyalty 1865
Folder 32 – Salisbury Factory, 1844-1849
Folder 33 – Stocks and Bonds, 1862-1936
Folder 34 –Historical publishing company and Columbus Centenary
Folder 35 – Louis and George Hamburger; Civil War letter and stock certificates
Folder 36 – "The Best Friend of Charleston" and Southern Railways (see model in Box 3)
Folder 37 – Sheet Music – Negro Spirituals – Nina Y. Browne

Box 2

Folder 1 – Browne family obituaries and memorials/tributes
Folder 2 – Browne family social clubs and activities
Folder 3 – Browne's City Commissioner resignation, 1930
Folder 4 – Businesses-clippings and notes, envelopes 1-2
Folder 5 – Daughters of the American Revolution
Folder 6 – Genealogy: Browne
Folder 7 – Genealogy: Harrison, Harlow, Warren, Hanson families
Folder 8 – Georgia Society of Colonial Dames
Folder 9 – Hanson family genealogy, original letters
Folder 10 – Henry Glover Browne (son of J. Rhodes and Mary Van Wyck Browne), 1887-1898
Folder 11 – Leila Slade Gallagher (granddaughter of J. Rhodes Browne), 1915-1925
Folder 12 – Nina Y. Browne papers, 1909-1929
Folder 13 – Nina Y. Browne papers, 1936-1948
Folder 14 – Personal papers of J. Rhodes Browne and his son, Rhodes Browen, 1865-1954
Folder 15 – Photos Friends/Family
Folder 16 – Photos of 1410 Stark Ave, Browne family home/ workers and family
Folder 17 – Photos – Rhodes Browne Jr. baby photos (2), 1892
Folder 18 – Photos – miscellaneous (3) is original of 1st National Bank, Columbus
Folder 19 – Photos – Nina Y. Browne – 9 photos
Folder 20– Photos – River trips - Apalachicola, FL
Folder 21 – Photos –Warm Springs, Georgia
Folder 22 – Raphael Moses, Jr., 1878-1880
Folder 23 – Residence of Rhodes and Nina Browne, 1410 Starke Ave – Deeds, architectural contracts and landscaping plan, 1927
Folder 24 – Residential remodeling contracts 1410 Stark Ave, 1926-1927
Folder 25 – Rhodes Browne funeral flowers, 1936
Folder 26 –Rhodes Browne – 6 photos
Folder 27 – Will of J. Rhodes Browne and settlements, 1898-1917
Folder 28 – Wills and settlements/Financial papers, 1848-1910
Folder 29 – Wills and Settlements/ Financial papers, 1911-1917
Folder 30 – Wills and settlements/Financial papers, 1922-1929
Folder 31 – Willa and settlements, 1930-1937
Folder 32 – Wills and settlements, post 1940
Folder 33 – Yonge family, Savannah, 1854-1894
Folder 34 – Yonge family genealogy

Folder 35 -- Photographs used in From London to Shanghai, 1780-1920:  Five Generations of Family Silver and the accompanying CD.

Folder 36 -- Newspaper advertisements of Columbus jewelers and watch makers.

Folder 37 -- Connections, Georgia in the World: the 7th Henry D. Green Symposium of the Domestic Arts.

Box 3

Folder 1 – Eufaula Plantation, 1863-1869
Folder 2 – Browne children's play photo; Marquis de Lafayette, George and Martha
Folder 3 – Floral parade-photograph, 1899
Folder 4 – John Rhodes Browne, 1899 photo
Folder 5 – Handwritten note: J. Rhodes Browne 1898
Folder 6 – Newspaper clippings – 1900, 1953, 1964
Folder 7 – Nina Browne's garden and Lily pool photos
Folder 8 – Nina Y. Browne photograph
Folder 9 – Nina Y. Browne photograph by Marceau Photography, New York Studio


The Order for Evening Prayer and the Order for Daily Morning Prayer, 1886
Reflections of the Morning After, Meader, Herman, 1903
Hymnal according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 1871
Hymnal according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 1880
The Sands of Time; A Book of Birthday Gems, 1885/1889
The Book of Common Prayer, 1868
Recessional, Rudyard Kipling, 1898 (inscribed to Mrs. Nina Browne)
Don't Fret, 1905
Additional Hymns Licensed for Public Worship in the Protestant Episcopal Church, 1868 (Inscribed Rhodes Browne 1872)
Tidewater Maryland by Paul Wilstach, 1931

Box 4

Folder 1 – Receipt book – household, 1936 and Valuable papers folder – empty
Folder 2 – black leather folder – empty; Check book of Rhodes Browne, trustee for J.G. McNulty – empty; Bank book for National Bank of Columbus, J. Rhodes Browne, 1910-1918
Folder 3 – envelopes separated from documents
Folder 4 – Autograph album, 1882
Folder 5 – Bank book –The National Bank of Columbus; Rhodes Browne trustee for Leila J. Slade; Receipt book-empty – Rhodes Browne, trustee for Leila J. Slade
Folder 6 – Postcards (3); Georgia Home Building, St. Elmo and Third Ave, Columbus
Folder 7 – Cookbooks

Culinary Echoes from Dixie. Vaughn, Kate Brew. 1914
Community Service League Cook Book
Cottage Herb Garden
For the Hostess, 1928; compliments of the First National Bank
Forty Famous Cocktails
Victory Gardens, Dept. of Agriculture, 1940s
Wells Dairies Cooperative Cook Book

Folder 8 – Photographs and Artifacts


Farmer's Market on 10th Ave, Kinfolk's Corner, railroad bridge, 1965


Pearl opera glasses, engraved "Nina"
Stationery embossed with initials RBM
Man's signet ring, black/gold with "B" and small diamonds
Iron model of "First Locomotive on Southern Railway System" given to Rhodes Browne, 1930
PEC Gold insignia pin for Rhodes Browne
Scrapbook-flowered cover – empty
Boxed Memory book for Mrs. Rhodes Browne 1869-Dec 4, 1946
Cardboard photo frame – empty
Leather zippered file embossed "RB"
Receipt book for Rhodes Browne, 1935-1936