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W. Melvin Brown, Jr., papers

 Collection
Identifier: AMN 1119

Collection Overview

The collection contains materials relating to the personal and professional life of W. Melvin Brown Jr. It includes personal documents, correspondence, photographs, printed materials, as well as various other materials pertaining to Brown's professional and civic endeavors. Materials in the collection date from the early 1950s until the year 2005, with bulk dates spanning the years 1975-1994.

Series 1. Biographical includes a scrapbook containing obituaries, photographs and other memorabilia from Brown and his family, as well as newspaper and magazine clippings concerning Brown and his company, American Development Corporation (ADCOR). The series encompasses Brown's many accolades, certificates and plaques, which were given to him throughout his professional career-including his induction into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame, his high school diplomas and Master's degrees. Additionally, it contains visual material, such as photographs dating from Brown's high school days in the early 1950s; up until before his death in 1994, as well as a recorded interview and video profile for Legacy of Leadership, a 26-part series honoring South Carolina Business Hall of Fame laureates. Speeches and essays written by Brown, as well as datebooks and his graduate school transcripts can also be found in the series. The series also contains items from Brown's funeral services in 1994, including memorial books and visitor's registries.

Series 2. Professional Career and Affiliations is comprised of materials dealing with Brown's work at ADCOR and various other community and professional organizations including the South Carolina State Public Service Authority, the Board of Directors of NationsBank, the Athenian Social Club, and the Board of Visitors at Clemson University.

Series 3. Financial contains fiscal records and documents, like tax receipts, home mortgages and real estate appraisals. ADCOR's consolidated financial statements and profit sharing plan can also be found in this series.

Series 4. Periodicals, Bound Items and Ephemera consists of magazines, journals, other bound items and ephemera including Brown's 1964 Master's thesis from Atlanta University, issues of Black Enterprise magazine, a calendar commemorating his professional accomplishments and miscellaneous identification and membership cards belonging to him and his wife.

Series 5. Correspondence is comprised of Brown's personal and professional correspondence, as well as posthumous correspondence, such as condolence letters addressed to his wife after Brown's death in 1994.

Series 6. Brown Family includes W. Melvin Brown III's report cards and a biographical sketch on the Brown family, entitled, To Walk with Kings and Not Lose the Common Touch.

Series 7. Oversize Material contains a large banner advertising an A.M.E. church Pentecost event.

Dates

  • 1951-2005

Creator

Access Restrictions

Box nine is restricted.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

W. Melvin Brown, Jr. was born on February 19, 1934 in Charleston, SC to William and Eva Taylor Brown. He graduated from Immaculate Conception High School and received a BS from South Carolina State College. Brown later acquired a Master of Science from Atlanta University, a MBA from Webster College, and an Advanced Studies degree from Boston University.

Brown married Juanita Washington, also a Charleston native and high school science teacher, on June 4, 1960. They had two children, Tamara Theresa Brown and William Melvin Brown, III. He taught science in Atlanta and Charleston and was Metropolitan Life Insurance Company's first black insurance consultant in Charleston-- before forming the American Development Corporation (ADCOR) in 1972. ADCOR, a defense manufacturing firm in North Charleston, is one of the largest African-American owned firms of its kind. ADCOR first appeared on Black Enterprise Magazine's Top 100 Black Businesses in the U.S. list in 1978 and remained there until Brown's death in 1994.

In addition, Brown served on the boards of a number of Charleston and South Carolina institutions, including North Carolina National Bank (NCNB), Clemson University, Talladega College, the South Carolina Ports Authority, the Charleston Aviation Authority, Porter-Guad School, and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Brown was also a life member and former president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the Athenians Social Club, as well as past chairman of the City of Charleston Election Commission.

In 1993, Brown became the first African-American to be inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame and on June 4, 1994, he was inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame. Brown died on June 7, 1994 at age 60.

Extent

5.55 linear feet (10 archival boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

William Melvin Brown, Jr. was born on February 19, 1934 in Charleston, South Carolina to William and Eva Taylor Brown. He graduated from Immaculate Conception High School and received a BS in Science from South Carolina State College. Brown later acquired a Master of Science from Atlanta University, a MBA from Webster College, and an Advanced Studies degree from Boston University. Brown married Juanita Washington, also a Charleston native and high school science teacher, on June 4, 1960. They had two children, Tamara Theresa Brown and William Melvin Brown, III. He taught science in Atlanta and Charleston and was Metropolitan Life Insurance Company's first black insurance consultant in Charleston-- before forming the American Development Corporation (ADCOR) in 1972. ADCOR, a defense manufacturing firm in North Charleston, is one of the largest African-American owned firms of its kind. Brown served on the boards of a number of Charleston and South Carolina institutions. In 1993, he became the first African-American to be inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame and on June 4, 1994, he was inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame. Brown died on June 7, 1994 at age 60.

The collection contains personal documents, correspondence, photographs, and printed materials relating to Brown and his family-- as well as his many professional and civic endeavors. Materials in the collection date from the early 1950s until the year 2005, with bulk dates spanning the years 1975-1994.

Collection Arrangement

1. Biographical, 1973-1997, undated

2. Professional Career and Affiliations, 1983-1996, undated

3. Financial Records, 1977-1995, undated

4. Periodicals, Bound Items and Ephemera, 1964-2001, undated

5. Correspondence, 1981-2005

6. Brown Family, 1975-1992, undated

7. Oversize Material, 2001

Bibliography

Sources consulted by Ardra Whitney Avery Research Center preliminary finding aid: W. Melvin Brown (1934-1994) Collection Avery Research Center vertical file folders: W. Melvin and Juanita Brown
  • Avery Research Center preliminary finding aid: W. Melvin Brown (1934-1994) Collection
  • Avery Research Center vertical file folders: W. Melvin and Juanita Brown

Processing Information

Processed by Ardra Whitney, 09, 2012

Encoded by Ardra Whitney, 09, 2012

Edited by Aaron Spelbring, 11, 2012

Title
Inventory of the W. Melvin Brown, Jr. Papers, 1951 - 2005 AMN 1119
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Processed by: Ardra Whitney; machine-readable finding aid created by: Ardra Whitney
Description rules
DACS
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture Repository

Contact:
125 Bull Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424 United States
843-953-7608