Brown Family History: Hobbies and Interest of Lewis Brown

My maternal grandfather Lewis Sherman Brown, had many occupations and interests throughout his adult life. He and his wife had many long time friends who they would entertain as often as possible. They worked hard and enjoyed their free time. I'd like to share some of the interests of Grandpa Lew.

Lewis Sherman Brown and his horse Don
Lewis Brown with his beloved Don, ca 1941

Around 1941, Lewis owned a horse named Don. His adored horse stayed at Walters Riding Academy (I couldn't find a directory listing for this). Louise could never ride Don but Lew could. It is believed that keeping the horse became too expensive for the newlyweds and was sold. \
Also in the early 1940s, Lew was a hot bread truck driver. His wife Louise related, "We were pampered back then! Lew would delivered fresh, hot bread once or twice a day to the customers on  his route. The company wouldn't give men a route unless they were married. So after we were married he got a route of all about $15 a week."

Apparently Lew was really good at selling bread because he won two Polaroid cameras and numerous cash prizes from his job. When the company canceled his route, Louise remembers they treated Lew so well. Eventually that company moved north and went out of business., 1949 Columbus City Directory
Record for Swan Bowling Alleys

During the years of 1943 to 1945, Lew went off to serve in the Army as an auto repairman. After the war, he managed the Swan Bowling Alleys located on the corner of Parsons and Jenkins in Columbus, Ohio. He ultimately held the position of Assistant Bowling Manager. The alley used to hire boys to set the pins, in the days before the days of automatic pin setter machines. Swan Lanes had a bar and eating area, with a short order cook, in the front.

Ruslter, Bowman, Lew Brown , Morbitzer, Jim Cimeron at Bowling Chammpionship
Championship ABC National Tournament, ca 1950
left to right: ?, Ruslter, Bowman, Lew, Morbitzer, Jim Cimeron

Lew's two young girls remember spending a lot of time at the bowling alley. Both Lew and Louise were part of bowling leagues. Lew was really skilled and won many prizes from the weekend competitions he entered. He won several watches, money and silver tea service.

Borden's Identification Badge
Borden's Identification Badge

Borden's 22 Years of Service Patch
Borden's 22 Years of Service Patch

Around 1956, Lew's brother Gene helped him get a job a Borden's Milk Company in Columbus, Ohio. He would work as a home delivery milkman for the next 22 years. Lew would deliver glass bottles of fresh milk daily. When a customer finished the milk bottle, they would set the empty bottle outside their home. Lew would drive by, pick up the empty glass bottles and pass of filled, fresh bottles of milk.

Lew, standing, about 1960
after playing ball with his buddies

Lew loved to golf, bowl and watch football. He also enjoyed playing baseball with his buddies. He was a huge Cleveland Browns fan. One thing enjoyed the most was being an usher for the Ohio State University football stadium.  He did this when his milk route had Saturdays off. It was perfect, he got paid for watching the game! Unfortunately, the company changed Lew's day off to Wednesday, so Lew could no longer ushered for OSU. But, if the delivery truck had a radio, he would certainly have tuned in to listen to each Buckeye game.

Master Mason Certificate for Lewis Brown
Lewis Brown joins the Master Masons

In 1954, Lew became a Master Mason. He would attend meetings at South Gate Lodge No. 692. This association provided opportunities for his daughters to participate in Job's Daughters. One year, his eldest daughter became the Queen. His next daughter was part of the court. His association in the Masonic Lodge also connected him to the Scottish Rite, Aladdin Shrine, and Southeast Shrine Club. This is jumping ahead a bit, but in 1974 he was received into the Aladdin Shrine organization.

Aladdin Shrine Certificate, Record for Lewis Brown

In 1972, Lew became president of the male only Swan Club social and service organization. Swan Club sponsored the Little League, Babe Ruth League, and sometimes a bowling team. They also gave out Christmas and Thanksgiving baskets.

Columbus, Ohio Swan Club Presidents
Swan Club Officers when Lew Brown became President in 1972.
Lew is in the front row with the very distinctive jacket.

My mother remembers a large number of different pictures taken of him with the Swan Club. The thing that stood out was that he always wore the same jacket in every picture! Additionally, mom remembers the above picture as the "Past President's" photo. Although it was taken when Lew became president, most of the men in this picture eventually held the position of president for the club.

Lew and Louise Brown
1972 Swan Club Party

If you ask Lew's three daughters what talent their father had that they liked the best, it would be his dancing ability. Lew liked ball room dancing and his wife said he was really good at it. All of his daughters remember him dancing with them when they were young. When I meet Grandpa Lew, that's the first thing I will ask him. Grandpa, will you dance with me?


  1. A wonderful way to remember your grandfather - you really "put the meat on the bones." Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. That really means a lot. I keep thinking I share to much at times. And then not enough at others. When you leave a comment, I know I've done well. Thanks.

  2. I really enjoyed your post about your grandfather. It made me feel like I knew him. I just started blogging and I have been trying to read a lot of other peoples blogs to get a feel for how other people present their history. It just amazes me how different and personal every one is. I will be back to read more.


    1. Betty. Thanks for the read and the compliment. That means so much. I didn't know this Grandpa as he died when I was two. So I have had to rely heavily upon my mother and aunts for his story. Thankfully I asked a lot of questions of my mother before she passed away this year. Sadly, she wasn't able to read what I wrote to make sure I got it right. But I appreciate your feelings and I hope you'll enjoy more. Welcome aboard.


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