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Cemetery Art, ca. 1906
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J. Henry Brown Monuments, Incorporated, Richmond. Order Book, ca. 1906.

J. Henry Brown (1859-1921) was a Richmond stonemason and monument designer whose work can be found in cemeteries and on buildings throughout Virginia. Because Brown was working during the period between 1897 and 1911 when Virginia's Bureau of Vital Statistics recorded neither births nor deaths, the inscriptions for gravestones and cemetery monuments contained in his records are particularly valuable as a resource for family and local history research.

After a brief partnership with Walter R. Harwood, Brown managed a succession of businesses. He served as president or general manager of the Virginia Granite Company, the Capitol Granite and Monument Works, and J. Henry Brown and Son. Twelve order books, kept from 1899 to 1920, contain detailed design sketches of each commission he received, including dimensions, specifications, and inscriptions, as well as information regarding the person or organization commemorated in the work. Among the sketches are designs for the monuments of James C. Deaton (1849-1906), a physician, and William H. Beveridge (1840-1903), attorney-at-law.

Location: Acc. 23985