(Oct. 2, 1875-Jan. 10, 1941). A native of Madison, Indiana, Jessica Christian moved to Indianapolis in 1890 with her parents. Following graduation from Shortridge High School, she attended Butler University where she was a founder of a chapter of Pi Beta Phi. After graduation in 1897 she married Demarchus C. Brown, then professor of Greek at Butler and later state librarian for 20 years. She received her M.A. degree from Butler and taught French there from 1919 to 1923 and 1939 to 1941. In 1936 the university awarded her an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.

Perhaps her greatest contributions to the city, however, resulted from her great love of travel. Brown made over 20 trips abroad, including journeys to Europe, Africa, Japan, India, Australia, and Jerusalem. These trips provided the material she used in lectures throughout Indiana and other states. She spoke on the Chautauqua circuit for several years and briefly had her own radio show, “Our Lovable Gadabout,” on Wire. Brown also offered a lecture series at Butler, sponsored by Eli Lilly, from 1936 to 1940, and held memberships in numerous women’s organizations.

Revised April 2021

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