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NELSON BROWNING. As money, or any other medium of exchange, is the lifeblood of business and commerce, it is evident that bankers, who manage a.nd control the circulating medium, stand related to the public as the physician who has his finger on the pulse of the patient and has the power of controlling his constitution for better or worse. No member of the business community has a greater responsibility than the banker, and any community or city is much to be congratulated which has at the head of its finances men of thorough training, stanch ability and moral dependability. A banker who is closely typical of what is required in the financial manager and leader to inspire and retain business and commercial confidence is Nelson

p. 668

Browning, organizer of the First National Bank of Christopher and first president of the institution.

Mr. Browning is native to this district, his birth having occurred five miles south of Christopher, January 4, 1857, the son of Elijah and Mary (Edden) Browning. The father, who survives in honored citizenship, is a farmer, now retired, and makes his home at Mulkeytown. He has been very successful and is a Democrat in his political allegiance. He is a son of Gilbert Browning, a native of Tennessee, and one of the first settlers of Franklin county. Gilbert Browning came to this locality in the prime of life and lived and died on a farm he secured from the Government. He died at the age of seventy-five years and was very well and favorably known, and for years served in the capacity of justice of the peace. The subject's mother was a native of Franklin county.

Mr. Browning received his education in the public schools and his early years were spent amid the rural surroundings of his father's farm early becoming familiar with the many secrets of seed-time and harvest under the tutelage of that gentleman. He early in life became ambitious to establish himself independently and by the exercise of industry and thrift was eventually in a position to buy a farm of his own. He raised stock and engaged in its commerce and a few years later embarked in the dry goods business in Mulkeytown. Subsequently he disposed of that interest and went into the hardware business at Benton. He has always been successful, from the first evincing a sound commercial and executive faculty which brings all his ventures to fruitful issue. In 1906 he organized the First National Bank of Christopher and became its first president. This thriving monetary institution has a capital of twenty-five thousand dollars, a surplus of ten thousand and deposits amounting to two hundred thousand dollars. He also owns considerable real estate in Christopher.

In 1880 Mr. Browning laid one of the most important stones in the foundation of his success by his marriage to Mary A. Jones, daughter of B. S. Minor, an early settler of Franklin county and a very successful farmer and stock raiser, known all over the country. Of the children born to their union, two sons are living, Ernest and Fred. Mr. and Mrs. Browning are zealous members of the Christian church. In politics the subject has Democratic convictions, but takes in public affairs only the interest of the intelligent voter. He has never found the honors and emoluments of office tempting and has never run for office. For a number of years, however, the office of mayor was bestowed upon him by the people and he has also served as supervisor of Six Mile township. He has extensive agricultural holdings and is one of the principal stock-holders in the bank of which he is president. He started in life limited in capital, but has been very successful and is now one of the wealthiest and most substantial men in this section of the county, to whose interests he is very loyal, and to the prosperity of whose institutions he is ever ready to lend his support.

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