George Young Browne Sr.
The Madison Home Journal November 30, 1878 via Early Morgan County, Georgia Newspapers / The 1870s Vol. 2 by Bonnie P. "Patsy" Harris. 2003.
In Memoriam. George Young Browne was born in the city of Philadelphia, on the 27th of March, 1812. His father having died when he was quite young, he was very early thrown upon his own resources. Thirsting after knowledge, he devoted to study all the time he could spare from his labors, having aid from Dr. Wm. T. Brantley, the Elder, to whom he recited at night. As he had the ability he aided his mother and the younger members of the family, securing for his brother the advantages of a collegiate education. A situation to a drug store being offered him he accepted it and soon became a skillful pharmaceutist; so that in a short time he gained a lucrative business. His health failing in consequence of close confinement, he determined to relinquish the business, for which he not only had great aptitude, but also much fondness, and to remove South. Going to Mobile he became book-keeper in a large mercantile establishment, and after some years engaged in business on his own account.
In 1841 he married Mary F. Dagg, daughter of Rev. John L. Dagg, D.D. His health again failing, he purchased a farm in Conecuh county and engaged in agriculture. Here he became a member of a small church without a pastor, and he proposed to the brethren that they should meet every Lord’s day for wor-ship. (He had professed faith in Christ at the age of fifteen and was baptised by Dr. Brantly, and had, wherever he lived, always identified himself with the people of God.) He or Prof. Loud (his uncle my marriage) read a sermon and had other religious services every Sabbath as long as they were connected with this church. The brethren, appreciating his abilities, urged him to take a school, and consenting, he removed to the county seat, Brooklyn, for that purpose. Here his success was such that he was soon invited to go to Evergreen, where a larger field of usefulness awaited him.
In the summer of 1848, being on a visit to his father-in-law, Dr. Dagg, then president of Mercer University, at Penfield, he was solicited to take a school there, and at the close of the year removed to that place and taught the following year. Some of the most prominent citizens of Madison attending the commencement exercises of Mercer University witnessed also the examination of his school, and so much were they impressed that, on their return they aroused the interest of others, raised the means to build a good house and invited Mr. Browne to come among us.
He came in January 1850, and his school was a success from the beginning. The next year it was found necessary to provide enlarged accommodations for the pupils who eagerly sought to be under his tuition, and the present building was therefore erected and a charter obtained from the Legislature and thus arose the “Georgia Female College.” Here he remained until Dec. 186??, and during this time the institution over which he presided was among the first, if not the first, of the Female Colleges in the South.
Going back to Alabama, he taught at Eufaula, Tuscaloosa, Tascumia, and considering the impoverished condition of the country with unvarying success. In December 1870, having been a second time invited to do so, he returned to Madison to take charge again of the Ga. Female College. Here he has since labored until failing health compelled him a year ago to resign its management to his wife, who has been his faithful and efficient assistant since he first took charge of the institution.
The brethren of the Madison Baptist church, appreciating President Browne’s qualifications, urged him, in 1857, to exercise his gifts, as opportunity offered, in the exposition of the Scriptures, and on the 1st of May, 1858, called him to ordination. Though he never gave up the school room or entered fully on the work of the ministry, yet from this time, as far as possible consistently with his other duties he devoted himself to the work. In Eufaula and afterwards here for a time he was both teacher and preacher, doing such pastoral work as he could, and laboring often beyond his strength to minister to the needs of others.
President Browne has been twice married; his first wife in 1849, and on the 23d of February 1851, he married Caroline N. Browne, who now mourns his loss. On the night of the 23d inst., in the sixty-seventh year of his age, the summons came and found him prepared...