Source: North Manchester Journal, January 17, 1893

Messrs. J.A. Browne & Co. made a trip to Knox county, this state, last week to look at some timber land. While there they bought a tract of 880 acres of fine heavily timbered land, paying $15 an acre or $13,200 for the whole tract. It is their intention to move their band saw mill from this place to the land for cutting the timber. This will not be done however until their work here has been completed which will be in about six months. They think they have secured a bargain in the purchase as the tract is very fine fertile bottom ground and will make excellent farming land when cleared of its timber.

Source: North Manchester Journal, November 23, 1893

Their Business Improves
We had a little chat with Joe A. Browne, the lumberman, a few evenings ago and among the other things learned that his firm has recently bought a lot of over 300,000 sawed wagon felloes in southeast Missouri, enough for 11,000 complete wagons. Job Tilman, of Roann, has been sent down there and is getting the felloes on the market as fast as can be. Our talk finally drifted over on to political ground and Joe said:
"Do you know that the result of the late election has given trade a wonderful stimulus. I was in Chicago on the day of the election and for several days after and the change for the better was immediate. Men who refused to buy anything the day before, alleging a gloomy outlook, made up orders the next day and talked hopefully for future trade. There is no doubt that if Congress will let tariff tinkering alone the business interests of the country will soon revive."

"Then your business has been better since the election than it was before," was our inquiry, to which Mr. Browne responded most heartily: "I should say it was." He then went on to tell us how his firm had received more letters, telegrams, inquiries and orders in the two weeks since the election than in two months preceding. Since the election they have shipped twenty cars of lumber and wagon stock from their various shipping points and have received letters from all over the country from Boston to San Francisco asking for quotations or enclosing orders. And what is more, all communications have an entirely different tone from what they did during the fall.

Mr. Browne is an extensive lumber dealer and travels a great deal in all parts of the country. He is a shrewd and careful observer of business conditions and all things that affect trade and is of the opinion that the result of the recent election is the expression of the people in favor of a stable protective tariff, and all that is necessary to restore confidence and revive trade is to give notice that there will be no change in the tariff laws. In his travels over the country Mr. Browne has talked with business men in all sections and his opinions are entitled to a great deal of weight. His firm's business is one that easily and soon feels the effects of any depressing influences and the lumber trade can safely be called a barometer of business. speaking particularly of J.A. Browne & Co., they do a very large wholesale lumber business, buying and shipping from all parts of the country, and they are known in all lumber markets in the country. Their home office being here any increase in their business is bound to make itself felt in the community.

Source: North Manchester Journal, June 9, 1898

For some years J.A. Browne & Co., of this city, have been filling orders in car load lots for the Government. Last week they received an order for all they had in stock of axles and hounds. They loaded several cars at once and will load others as soon as cars can be had. The material, we learn, is distributed to shops on the various Indian Reservations, to be made up into wagons for the use of the Indians under treaty with the Government, in its policy of civilizing the Red Man.

Source: North Manchester Journal, June 22, 1905

TWO NEW CORPORATIONS--Change in Name But Same Owners and Managers

In the past week articles of incorporation have been taken out by two North Manchester enterprises, which while separate in name, are owned by the same stock holders and managed by the same board of directors. The J.A. Browne & Co., wagon wood finishers now becomes J.A. Browne & Co., Incorporated, and the Browne-Mills Electric company now becomes the Browne-Mills Electric company, Incorporated. Under the charter the first of these has the right to do business in the manufacture and sale of wood stock, to buy and sell timber land, and to own and operate saw mills. It is incorporated for $35,000. The electric company has the right to manufacture and sell light, heat and power and to do other business that properly goes along with such work. It is incorporated at $25,000.

So far as the general public is concerned these changes will make but little difference except in name. The men who were partners in the old concern will own all of the stock in the new, they being Henry Mills, J.A. Browne and F.A. Giddings. There is no stock in either of the companies being sold, and as each company has organized with a smaller capital than that actually invested the stock today represents more than its face value. It had been the intention to incorporate the two companies all under one name, but it was found that under the laws of the state it was impossible to incorporate a business that held a public franchise with another company. This made it necessary that the affairs of the lighting company be kept separate from the wagon wood factory, although the officers are the same for each.

The Wabash Plain Dealer speaks of the company now having a saw mill and lumber yards at North Manchester, and says that they will add the manufacturing branch of the business. In this it has the conditions reversed. J.A. Browne & Co. have not operated a saw mill here for nearly ten years, but have been engaged in manufacturing wagon wood work. The saw mill part of the incorporation is put in so that if in the future it becomes necessary to run such a mill in order to supply material for the factory that the company will have a right to go into the saw milling business.