Glendale, California Biographies

Ralph W. Browne

††††††† Ralph W. Browne, who is one of Glendaleís able photographers, is a native of Iowa. He was born at Osceola, August 18, 1873, a son of Plyn W. and Marjorie (Burns) Browne. He is descended from an old Virginia family on his fatherís side, whose lineage in America is traceable to the pre-Revolutionary days, member of the family having fought in the Revolutionary War. His paternal grandfather, John L. Browne, was a pioneer of Burlington, Iowa. He was one of the original boosters of Abraham Lincoln for President of the United States, and financed the famous log cabin presidential campaign for Lincoln through Iowa and Illinois. He took up arms against the South during the Civil War after which he went to Iowa and became a leading citizen and capitalist of Osceola. He was a Mason of high standing and at the time of his death had been elected to take the Thirty-third Degree in Masonry. Plyn W. Browne was also a veteran of the Civil War, and going to Iowa with his father after the war, became a large landowner and successful cattle raiser at Garden Grove, making his home at Osceola.

††††††† The subject of this review received his preliminary education in a private boarding school for boys, which was supplemented with a college course in which he majored in English and chemistry and also towards photography, and upon his return from college he opened a photographic studio in his home city, which he conducted for two years. Being desirous of learning the ways of different photographers and thereby become more proficient in his profession he spent the next three years in travel though the Middle West and was employed in many different studios. For the next three years he was a demonstrator for the Seeds Dry Plate Company of St. Louis, Missouri, which took him over Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. From 1902 to 1911, he was head operator for the Clyndest Studio, Washington, D. C. He came to Los Angeles and for seven years was located at 718 South Broadway, where he conducted an art store and specialized in home portrait work. Disposing of his Broadway business, he went to Banning, California, for a year, and resided on his ten acre almond ranch, which he still owns. He came to Glendale and purchased the Cooksey and MacMullin photographic studio at 215 North Brand Boulevard, where he has since been located. He enjoys an enviable reputation in his profession, having had his work accepted and exhibited in the salons of the big cities of Europe and the United States. He is a Master Mason, a member of the Eastern Star and White Shrine. At Los Angeles on October 24, 1914, Mr. Browne married Grace R. Houston, a native of Elmira, New York. Mrs. Browne belongs to the Eastern Star and the White Shrine.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 458-461.†