Rev. C.I. Brown, D.D.

President  1904-1913 ​

Rev. Charles Ira Brown had been a Findlay College Board of Trustees member since 1896 and was president of the board when President Manchester resigned in 1904. He was unanimously elected as the fifth president of the College. Brown focused on securing a firm financial base for the College and on programs involving institutional repair and growth. Aided by a return to reasonable prosperity in the national economy, President Brown was a successful fundraiser and the endowment increased to $104,755 during his presidency.

Loving both the College and the Church, he gave freely of himself in the interest of their growth. Like Latchaw, Fox and Manchester, he served as pastor of the College Church in addition to his presidential duties. After working all week for the College he was known to stay awake all night Saturday working on his sermon for Sunday services in the College chapel. At the Sunday services, his daughter, Ruth, played the organ while his son, Harry, pumped the bellows. His wife, Susie Hoffman Brown, was active in College and town affairs and was president of the Women's General Missionary Society of the Churches of God. 

In 1906, Brown purchased the downtown business school known as Yocum's Business College, apparently in part with his own money and moved it to the College campus. He was the first president to live in Carrothers Home of the President after the frame house at 1113 North Main Street was donated by former trustee George Carrothers​ in 1907. As president, Brown also served as secretary of finance in the early 1900s when the College's secretary of the board and treasurer made a number of bad investments through a shell company called American Finance resulting in an estimated loss of $18,750. Though blame fell mainly to the board secretary, Brown resigned shortly after the incident, the offices of president and financial secretary were divided, and the College began to employ an accounting firm to audit the books. After leaving the presidency, Brown was appointed to the Ohio Civil Service Commission, and later he moved to Defiance, Ohio, where he became editor of the Defiance Crescent News.​

​​​​Brown (front left) and his family from left to right Harry, Ruth, wife Susie and Frances.