Brown Family

A Southern Indiana rock star sings “Born in a small town…I cannot forget from where I come from…”

Three generations of Bulldogs for Life share memories that have been blessed upon them. Families share memories and when these three generations get together, they will always have lots in common and being Bull Dogs is a shared blessing that’s helped shape them for life.

Jim Brown (CHS 1945), Son John (CNHS 1977) and Grandson Will (CNHS 2003) grew up in our small town with huge values and today have helped shape the industries’ they serve.

Jim “Gramps” after graduating from CHS decided his future was not in the farm fields but in bringing the farm fields to the people.  Opening one of the first modern day supermarkets in Columbus, Marsh Supermarket on State Street, Gramps was also involved in his First Christian Church leadership and helped lead Cub Scout Pack 52, the Order of DeMolay and various other character building organizations for youth. Still active today at 94, he has received the Governor’s Golden Hoosier Award, serves on the Honor Guard for the American Legion and has volunteered with Housing Partnerships.

Jim Brown yearbook photoGramps Brown credits many of his teachers who convinced him he could do anything in Columbus that he wanted and in particular praises his high school Men’s Dean J.R. Ross and History teacher/Football Coach Glen Adams for keeping him focused on school work and graduating and not just dropping out and going off to war.

Son John, after graduating from Ball State University, served on the staffs of Governor Orr, Lt. Governor Mutz, and Vice President/President George H.W. Bush. His dream come true when Arvin Chairman Jim Baker asked him to come home to Columbus to be Vice President of Investor Relations. Serving Columbus was an honor which included being elected to four terms on the Columbus City Council and being Chairman of the Board for the Foundation of Youth where he spent many years as a child. John led the community efforts to build a new FFY.  In addition he also served as the President of the Arvin Foundation. He now heads the 2nd largest Independent Automobile Association in the United States and was recently named CEO of the Year.

John Brown yearbook photo

John Brown, second to right

Son John praises in particular his “in and out” of the classroom experience learning to be part of a successful and focused team, which would benefit more people than individual accomplishments would. Physiology teacher and Coach Bill McCaa instilled these values in him and he credits his former coach for his success.

Grandson Will, after graduating from North, played football for DePauw University. After graduation, he took his leadership talents to Washington, DC. There he received the prestigious Bryce Harlow Foundation Scholarship from Catholic University and earned his Masters in Presidential and Congressional Studies, where he now serves on the Alumni Board.  Will served on Capitol Hill in another Bull Dog’s office, Congressman (and future Vice President) Mike Pence before joining the private sector as member of the US Travel Association Staff. Will also serves as a member on the TSA Aviation Security Advisory Committee and serves as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

Will Brown yearbook photo

Grandson Will remembers his early Bulldog leadership training coming from Coach Tim Bless where winning wasn’t just a motto but a mindset and a focus on preparation that sets up success. Coach Bless prepared Will to deal with high pressure negotiations and policy discussions that are at the pinnacle of accomplishment in Washington, DC.

Three generations of Bulldogs for life have carried on the legacy of their family tree tracing back to the Columbus area since 1855. They have been passing down from generation to generation…the Golden Rule for Success. “In everything you do, do unto others what you would have them do to you.” Duty to you and your neighbor is a fundamental ethical principle.

Brown family brick at Columbus North High School

As the song goes, “I was born in the small town…and that’s good enough for me.”