William Thomas Brown was born on this day in 1866, in Mocksville, to Dr. and Mrs. William L. Brown.
His father was one of the pioneers in the tobacco industry, and was in business with his brother, forming Brown Brothers. William Thomas worked for this company after he completed his education. And, he retired from the business after the death of his associates.
He organized the Southern Chemical Company to give special study to the needs of North Carolina farmers in fertilizer formulas that would produce a fertilizer suited to North Carolina soils. He later sold this business to Virginia-Carolina Chemical Company, but remained as manager of the local plant.
He was also president and treasurer of Union Guano Company for many years. He retired from both companies in 1922 because of poor health.
William served on the board of directors for Wachovia Bank and Trust Company. He was also a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina railway.
William and his wife, Rebecca, lived in a brick home on the corner of Cherry and Fifth Streets. They sold their home at a public auction in 1920. The Robert E. Lee Hotel was built on this property. The Browns spent some of their time at their home in Morehead City.
William passed away in 1924.
Photo courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.