Open main menu

BROWNE, Mrs. Mary Frank, philanthropist, born in Warsaw. Wyoming county, N. Y., 9th September, 1S35. She is the youngest daughter of Dr. Augustus Frank, who was born in Canaan, MARY FRANK BROWNE.jpgMARY FRANK BROWNE. Conn., and Jane Patterson, of Londonderry. N. H. Andrew Frank, father of Dr. Augustus and grand-father of Mrs. Browne, was a German, coming to America before the formation of the United States government. Professors and men of position in the schools and German universities were connected with the Frank families of the Old World. After the completion of Mrs. Browne's education she was engaged in teaching in Warsaw for a time, in the school established under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church. Her home remained in Warsaw until 1858, when she was married to Philo D. Browne, a banker of Montreal, Canada. Then began her life of regular, organized Christian activity. She was prominent in the organization of the Young Women's Christian Association of Montreal, and served as its president during its first years. She assisted in forming the Ladies' Canadian Foreign Missionary Society, and was one of its officers. Mrs. Browne aided in establishing and was one of the managers of the Infants' Home in Montreal, and was one of the founders and officers of the Canadian Board of Missions. She removed to California in 1876, where, with her husband and family, she made her home in San Francisco. There she found new fields of usefulness. She at once organized the San Francisco Young Women's Christian Association, and for years was its president When, later, she had her home in Oakland, Cat, she remained its vice-president and one of its most active workers. In 1877 she was elected president of the Woman's Occidental Board of Foreign Missions, an office which she now holds. Many perplexing social and political Issues have come into the deliberation of the Occidental Board. The entrance into this country of Chinese women at first, and later the coming of Japanese women of the same class, the management of the home which is intended to be their asylum from slavery, the cases in courts where young Chinese girls are called to appear scores of times before they are finally awarded to the guardianship of the home, as in the famous case of the Chinese child, Woon Tsun, are some of the most perplexing questions for the society. In her broad, catholic spirit. Mrs. Browne was ready to help forward the Hyacinthe movement, under the patronage of Pere and Madame Hyacinthe. She has been a constant writer for periodicals and is the author of the interesting temperance book, "Overcome " portraying the evils of fashionable wine-drinking and intemperance. She assisted in organizing the noble army of Christian temperance women of California into the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and served the union as president for several years. She was also editor for a considerable period of the organ of the society in California. In 1877 she organized the Young Women's Christian Association in Oakland, in the suburbs of which city is located her "Highland Park" home. Of that organization she is now president A home for young women, a day nursery for poor laboring mothers, a kindergarten and station for gospel services are some of the plans provided for in the new building about to be erected by that association. For several years she was president of "The Ebell," an art and literary society in Oakland. The first free kindergarten in Oakland had its inception in Mrs. Browne's Bible class of young ladies. She is the mother of three children, two sons and one daughter.