(May 3, 1910-July 2, 1989). A graduate of Shortridge High School, Brown attended Butler and Indiana universities and the Benjamin Harrison Law School. From 1935 to 1940 he owned the H. D. Brown Casket Company.

Brown’s political career began in 1932 when he was elected GOP precinct committeeman. From 1940 to 1948 he served as 7th Ward chairman (bounded by Washington Street to the south, Pennsylvania Street to the west, St. Clair Street to the north, and Pine Street to the west). He was director of the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles from 1944 to 1948. In 1948, Brown ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer. From 1950 to 1958 he served as Marion County Clerk, and in 1958 he ran unsuccessfully for County Assessor.

From 1954 to 1956 Brown was the 11th District chairman. From 1956 to 1962 he served as chair of the Marion County Republican Party. In November 1962, Brown was elected state chairman of the Republican Party but resigned in May 1963, following months of conflict with conservative members of the state leadership. Having returned to his post of county chairman, Brown resigned in 1966, effectively ending his public career.

Brown’s defining moment in politics came in the 1952 presidential election. He was the first public official in Indiana to support Dwight Eisenhower’s nomination as the Republican candidate for president. This angered party insiders who had endorsed Robert Taft’s nomination. Eisenhower’s primary victory established Brown as a leader in state Republican politics, but it was also the first engagement in a sporadic feud between Brown and the conservative wing of the Republican Party that continued to plague his public career.

Revised February 2021

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