The E. R. Brown Furniture Company has been serving Southern Illinois since 1914 with the finest in home furnishings and utmost in values – a record 89 years of growth and progress during the years in which West Frankfort and Southern Illinois have forged ahead as a prosperous industrial center and trade metropolis.
The company was established by a West Frankfort man named E. R. Brown in 1914. Mr. Brown was born on a farm near West Frankfort, in 1886, to George and Florence Karnes Brown. He led the company’s store through its modest beginning, salvaged it during the depression and guided it through World War II. E. R. Brown died at the age of 77 in 1963.
At first the store sold only wooden furniture items such as chairs, tables and cabinets. Later the store expanded its inventory to include hand wringers, coal heaters and other early appliances.
The good fortune of the company was changed when the Great Depression rolled through the economy. Some of the mines closed down putting thousands out of work. Some miners still worked but didn’t always receive their pay checks. E. R. Brown tried to help the people by waiting to collect until the paychecks came in. Sometimes he sold items completely on credit even though local banks had closed down, taking all of the store’s account with it. Through all the hard times, E. R. Brown Furniture Company survived, helping along the community as it went.
After World War II, Mr. Brown’s two sons, Robert L. (Bud) and Warren, and his son-in-law, Jim (Uncle Jim) Gray became associated with the business. West Frankfort House Furnishing Company opened in 1946. The Maple House, a model home showing the latest in furniture styles, was opened in 1955. A Waterbed Gallery was added in 1983 and another expansion occurred in 1990 when the main building was enlarged to include Mike’s Confectionery – the social gathering place for three generations of teen-agers.
The E. R. Brown Furniture Company has assumed a role of leadership among Southern Illinois home furnishing establishments. Fine furniture styling, high quality values and honest dealing have paid off through the years.
Today the business is operated by Warren Brown’s sons, Sloan Brown and Andy Brown.
The E. R. Brown Furniture Company has truly enjoyed a remarkable experience during the wonderful years of co-existence with West Frankfort and Southern Illinois.