Brownfield, Thomas J. (1853 - September 11, 1931)
PIONEER REAL ESTATE BROKER AND
FOUNDER FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY IS CALLED IN DEATH "TOM"BROWNFIELD CAME TO CONVERSE COUNTY TWENTY YEARS AGO AND ALWAYS REMAINED A LOYAL FRIEND TO THE COMMUNITY; FUNERAL HELD MONDAY AFTERNOON It was 20 years ago that Thomas J. Brownfield, veteran real estate, livestock and insurance broker, came to Douglas to make his home, but his death Friday evening, then, came as does a distinct loss, to a legion of friends.
Douglas Enterprise - September 15, 1931Thomas J. Brownfield was born at Smithfield, Fayette county, Pa., in 1853. When he was but five years old his parents moved to southeast Iowa and there he lived with his parents on a farm and grew to manhood, attending school at Montrose and later at the Riverside Institute near that place. In 1877 he was married to Miss Emma Myers and to them three sons were born:Theodore C., Robert R. and George R. In 1879 he emigrated to Grand Island, Neb., then a small town, and he engaged in farming and school teaching, securing the seventh first grade certificate ever issued in Hall county, Nebraska. During vacations he became interested in fire insurance and very successfully operated an agency. In 1886 he organized the Farmers Union Fire Insurance company and for 29 years was its general manager. In 1897 he moved the company from Grand Island to Lincoln, that state, and reorganized it as a capitalized stock company under the name of the Union Fire Insurance Co. of Lincoln, Neb., as it is still operated. It became one of the leading companies of the West.
While at Grand Island he lost his wife and three years later married Miss Mary G. Filsinger of Alda, Neb. To them a daughter, Edna Marie, was born at Lincoln.
In 1911 he disposed of his interests in the Union Fire Insurance company and came to Douglas and began ranching, later selling his ranch and stock and establishing a real estate, livestock and insurance exchange which he operated until his death.
He was always interested in the welfare and progress of Douglas and Wyoming and gave unstintingly of his time and resources. When the LaPrele dam and irrigation project was being undertaken he took an active part in the promotion. He also served as a member of the town council and school board for several years.
Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at 2:30 at the Christ church Episcopal, with Dr. Manfred Lilliefors conducting. Interment was in Douglas cemetery.