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Charles F. Browning


Mr. Browning was born at Griswold, in this state, April 22, 1822, being a son of Hon. Welcome A. Browning, farmer. He was educated at the public and private schools of the town, taught school about two years, and at the age of twenty-three went to Middletown, and began a mechanical education with the Sanseer Manufacturing Company. He filled every position there, including the presidency of the company, and finally sold out the factory and business in 1871. He has manufactured iron castings, machinery, and numerous other articles in that line. 

In 1849 he was married to Sarah P. Lewis, only child of Elias Lewis of Middletown. She is still living. They have no children. He is connected with the society of the South Congregational church, Middletown; has no connection with orders or clubs. He was reared in the old democratic party and continued to act with that party until they abandoned the principle of free soil. In 1850 and '51 he became disgusted with both the old parties, and in '52 voted for John P. Hale for the presidency.

Early in 1856 he was one of the few who organized the republican party in Middletown, and has continued to act with that organization ever since. He has held various local offices in the town; was selectman for seven years, city councilman and alderman nine years, and a member of the board of education nine years. He is at present, and has been for the last fourteen years, treasurer of the city school district of Middletown. Early in the history of "the Industrial School for Girls" Mr. Browning was invited to accept the position of a director in that institution; soon after was appointed treasurer, which position he now holds. For some years he had especial charge of the new buildings, during and after their erection. Three of the large buildings and the reservoir were constructed under his supervision. By taking advantage of the market, and close personal attention, he succeeded in reducing the cost of a home from $22,000 to $10,500. 

He was formerly a director of the old Hartford & New York Steamboat Company, also of the Middlesex Quarry Company, and the Middletown Ferry Company, a director and president of the Middlesex Manufacturing Company, and is connected with several others in various capacities. He retired from active life as a manufacturer in 1877, and has been since that time occupied with settling estates and the other matters above referred to.

Mr. Browning was major of the old Eighteenth Regiment, Connecticut state militia, at twenty-one years of age. In the late war of the rebellion he was an ardent supporter of the government, contributing liberally to the cause, though unable to take an active personal part in military service. He placed a man in the navy at his own expense, while he remained at the factory and made battery trimmings for the army.


SourceIllustrated Popular Biography of Connecticut - 1891 Compiled and Published by J. A. Spalding Hartford Conn.  Press of the Case, Lockwood and Brainard Company 1891

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