Ebenezer Brown (Affectionately known as ‘Eb’) was born on the 13 October 1877 to Thomas Rogers Brown and Catherine Rogers at the little Presbyterian Mission Station, Blythswood, near Butterworth in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
After his father’s death the family moved to King Williamstown. (this is unconfirmed, they may have moved earlier.)
The family were well known in King Williamstown and took a very keen interest in the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Eb took a leading part in the affairs of the church and became an elder and was also superintendent of the Presbyterian Sunday School.
Eb joined the staff of Baker, King and Company of King Williamstown on his 14th birthday. The company moved it’s head office to East London in 1919.
A valued member of the staff, he witnessed the death in his office on February 1893 of the firm’s founder Mr. H.H.C. Baker. Eb was the last remaining link with the early days of the business which began in 1861.
He retired as manager of one of the firm’s most important departments in June 1951, completing nearly 60 years of service with the firm.
He married Alice Mary Lynn a daughter of Captain Lynn who for many years was head of the Police in King Williamstown.
They had three children, Mr. Donald Lynn Brown, Dr. Andrew Lynn Brown, and Mrs. Winifred Lynn McDonald.
“A senior member of Baker, King, and Company paid tribute to Eb’s memory. He said the firm had never had a more conscientious and loyal servant, who was widely read and well-informed and commanded the respect of everyone. He took a great interest in the ‘native’ people.”
Reference to HHC Baker’s death in the Queenstown Free Press (as transcribed by Sunelia Heath)
Friday, February 17, 1893
Quite a gloom was cast over the town on Tuesday afternoon last when it became known that Mr. H.H.C. BAKER, of the grand old Kaffrarian firm BAKER, KING and Co. had suddenly expired that day in King Williamstown. From letters since received in town it appears that Mr BAKER was in his office attending to business, as was his wont, and whes in conversation with Mr VAN REENEN andother gentleman he suddenly passed away. Mr BAKER had suffered from heart disease for some time and his end though terribly sudden was not altogether unexpected, his medical advisers had frequently tried to persuade him to retire, but the old gentleman took too keen an interest in the welfare of his firm to give up business. A firm, the foundation of which he had laid in King some thirty years back and which now ranks as one of the first in South Africa. He was a shrewd business man, very popular in the commercial world, of a kindly and liberal disposition, always ready to lend a helping hand above all a man of sterling integrity, a citizen of whom King was rightly proud. Mr BAKER also took a great interest in all matters connected with sport. The Border Rugby Football Union were fortunate in being able to call him their first President, the fine Challenge Cup now held by the “Swifts F.C.” was presented by him. Mr BAKER was twice married, he leaves a widow and six children to mourn his untimely end. To the widow and bereaved family we tender our sincerest sympathy in their trouble.