Oliver H. Brown, born in Farmingdale, Monmouth County in 1852, led a life of devoted service to Spring Lake – and New Jersey – throughout his life. Elected in 1896 as a member of the New Jersey State House of Assembly, he was selected to be one of only 20 delegates to the 1900 Republican National Convention that nominated William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt for the Republican presidential ticket. His dedication to Spring Lake is best demonstrated by his simultaneous holding of the offices of Mayor of Spring Lake, and a member of the New Jersey State Senate. Oliver Brown’s service to Spring Lake was not limited to his political career.

His early career began in the retail industry. After a trip to Europe, he returned to New Jersey to begin his own retail establishment in 1882. He "wanted to cater to people of refinement and culture" (Spring Lake Gazette, July 6, 1923) and purchased three lots on Third Avenue for his own store, O.H. Brown’s Furniture. He later served as President of Spring Lake’s First National Bank, founded in 1901.

But one of his greatest legacies – the dedication of the Spring Lake Community House in 1923 – was also one of his last. He died in North Spring Lake in 1924, after a full lifetime of service and dedication to Spring Lake.

 

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