Robert T. “Popoo” Brown

Robert Tillman Brown Sr.
From Page 903
The History of South Carolina

Biographical Volume
The American Historical Society, Inc.
New York

1934

Robert Tillman Brown –Strenuous activity punctuated the career of Robert Tillman Brown, of Sumter, for the better part of ten years beginning in 1908, when he became a member of the national Guard, the military phase of his career being concluded at the close of the World War. In business and also in public activities Mr. Brown has kept abreast of his fellows and since the close of the great international conflict in which he had a prominent part he has carried on an enterprise here that has grown to large proportions under his guidance. As proprietor of the R. T. Brown Tire Company, which conducts a service department and covers a wide district in this section of the State, he gives employment to ten or more men and has made an outstanding success of the enterprise.

He was born in Clarendon County November 23, 1890, a son of Daniel W. and Alice I. (Kolb) Brown. The Brown name is Scotch-Irish and his mother’s name, Kolb, is French. Mr. Brown is a grandson of John A. Brown, who was a farmer and served throughout the War Between the States in the Confederate Army. He married Mary Chewning of Clarendon County and they were the parents of three children; Fannie, Sally Ann, and Daniel W. The last-named was also a farmer in Sumter County. He was active in the affairs of the Methodist Episcopal Church, helped to organize and build the edifice at Pinewood and for years was the superintendent of it Sunday school. He also donated the land and built a church for colored people on his property. His children were; 1. Mary, married P.C. Mathews of Pinewood. 2. Lola B., married B.O. Cantey, of Sumter. 3. Perry M., a farmer and merchant who served as captain of Company H, 118th Infantry, during the World War and was with the American Expeditionary Forces in France for two years. 4. Robert Tillman, of whom further. 5. Daniel A., of Augusta, Georgia, who served with the 115th Engineers and is now invalided in the United States Veteran’s Hospital at Augusta, Georgia. 6. J. Clifton, proprietor of the Wilard Service Station in Sumter. 7. Vivian Lee, engaged in the lumber business at Elenton. He served with the Aviation Corps of the United States Army in France for more than a year. 8. Walter M., engaged in the automobile business at Springfield. 9. Ruby, married Wash Patrick, a merchant of Charleston.

Robert Tillman Brown was educated in Sumter County. He was graduated from the Sumter High School as senior officer of the military department and winner of manual of arms medal. He began business life as a clerk in the First National Bank of Sumter, eventually becoming assistant cashier. He joined the National Guard in 1908, was made a captain and went with his regiment to the Mexican border, serving through that campaign. (photo Capt. Brown on the right) Late, he was commissioned a captain in the American Expeditionary Forces and with it went to France, where he did staff duty during the year he remained overseas in the engagements at St. Quentin, Bellecourt and in the successful offensive against the Hindenburg Line. He also served in the Ypres sector and received a special Citation in the regimental history of the 118th Infantry. Honorably mustered out in 1919, he returned to Sumter and was offered his old position with the bank, but declined and entered business independently, founding the 1923 his present enterprise. All of Sumter County patronizes his service department while his vulcanizing and tire business is State-wide in its scope. He is president of the Retail Merchants Bureau of Sumter, is superintendent of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Sunday school, director of the Young Men’s Christian Association, organizer and chairman of the advisory board of the Salvation Army of Sumter, and is fraternally affiliated with Ancient Free Masons, Claremont Lodge, No. 64. He is also a member of the American Legion, was a charter member of the Kiwanis Club, and is a member of the board of stewards of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church of Sumter. He is also a charter member of the Cosmos Club, a literary club of Sumter.

Robert Tillman Brown married, June 11, 1913, Mildred Hall, of Sumter, daughter of Captain w. J. and Minnie S. Hall, and they are the parents of eight children: William H., Mildred, Robert Tillman Jr., Alice, Bettie, Jane, Murr and Thomas Edward. The family residence is maintained at No. 115 North Salem Avenue, Sumter.

 

State Legislature
From the 1940 Legislative Manual, 21st edition, 83rd General Assembly of South Carolina, at Columbia Second Session Commencing January 9, 1940, Biographies of Members, Rules and Committees:

, Robert Tillman (Sumter County) — Merchant firm of R.T. Brown & Sons, Inc. at Sumter: b Nov. 23, 1890 in Sumter Co: s. Daniel W. and Mary Alice (Kolb) Brown of Sumter Co. : g. Sumter High School. 1910: course Draughon’s Business College 1910-20 (Commercial Law and Bookkeeping Course) : Nov. 11, 1913, m. Mildred Hall of Sumter: Pres. and Owner R. T. Brown & Sons, Inc. : Pres. Sumter Retail Merchants Assn. 1928-35: State Pres. and Natl. Director Natl. Assn of independent Tire Dealers, 1936-38: State Director, S. C. Independent Merchants Assn. 1937-1939: member Bd. of Governors Sumter Club of Rotary International 1937 -38: Supt. Sunday School and member Bd. of Stewards Trinity Methodist Church since 1921: Mason, World War Veteran, Capt. Commanding Co. “L” 2d S. C. Inf. Mexican Border 1914-17: Capt. Inf. Headquarters Co. 118th Inf. 30th Div. Camp Sevier, Greenville with A. E. F. May 1917 to April 1919 as Regimental Supply Officer and on 30th Divisional Staff: filled position of Lieut. Col. under British chart of organization: previous service in House 1939.