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Crumbs from the Cracker Barrel

May 15, 2002

Located in southern Washington County, the town of Brownsville was named after John Brown, the son of Tobias Brown, who operated a tannery in the heart of the community. John Brown followed in his father's footsteps at the tannery, which also housed the town's post office.

It was in 1830 that President Andrew Jackson appointed John Brown as Brownsville postmaster, a position he held under 15 different presidents. With the election of Grover Cleveland in 1884, Brown relinquished the position, but not before he achieved the distinction of being the oldest postmaster in terms of service and age in the country.

In 1891, President Benjamin Harrison appointed Brown's son, Cornelius, as postmaster in Brownsville, and in 1898, Cornelius' son, George T. Brown, became postmaster until his retirement in 1940. Brown's retirement ended the family's service of more than 100 years as Brownsville postmaster.

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