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Alfred Jerome Brown Papers

Identifier: MS-034

Scope and Content

The Alfred Jerome Brown papers contains information such as Dr. Brown’s obituary and copies of his publications dating from 1906 through 1941. Many of his publications dealt with a wide variety of surgical techniques and other medical procedures and treatments. In addition to his writings covering modern medical practices, Dr. Brown also published articles dealing with early surgical methods.


  • 1919-1943


Biographical / Historical

Alfred Jerome Brown, M.D., was born August 27, 1878, in New York City, the son of Edward Flint Brown and Eleanor Bonney. Alfred Brown attended New York City High School and later graduated from Yale University in 1899 and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1903. On July 11, 1906, Dr. Brown married Grace Elting Overton in Plainfield, New Jersey. He began his medical career with surgical training and appointments at the Presbyterian Hospital and Dispensary, Vanderbilt Clinic Dispensary, and Bellevue Hospital. Dr. Brown was the Surgical Director of the First Surgical Division, Columbia University Division of Bellevue Hospital, where he taught the first war surgery class in the United States. He was also an anatomy instructor at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Brown served during World War I by enlisting in the United States Navy in May of 1917 and was assigned as an instructor in the War Department and Surgeon General’s Office. As a major in the Army Medical Corps, he served as Chief of the Surgical Service of Debarkation Hospital #2, Staten Island, New York. In France, he served as Chief of Surgical Services at the Hospital at Brest, Chief of the Surgical Service of Evacuation Hospital #37, and as Consulting Surgeon to the 40th Division in France.

After being discharged from his military service in 1919, Dr. Brown moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where he joined the University of Nebraska College of Medicine staff that same year. While at the college, Dr. Brown served as Assistant Professor from 1920, Associate Professor from 1927, and Surgery from 1934 until 1943, after which he became Professor of Surgery Emeritus.

Dr. Brown was a member of the American Surgical Association, Western Surgical Association (Past President), Central Surgical Association, International Society of Surgery, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, American Association of Railway Surgeons, American Association of Anatomists, American College of Surgeons, American Board of Surgery (Founders Group), the Omaha-Douglas County Medical Society (Past President), Omaha Mid-West Clinical Society (Past President), and a member of the Honorary Societies Alpha Omega Alpha and Sigma Xi. He also served as the first Director of the Medical Division of the Civil Defense and Disaster Organization until February 1952. Dr. Brown retired from active practice in 1954.

Dr. Brown authored numerous articles on general surgery and was the author of early surgical history entitled “Old Masterpieces in Surgery,” which were published each month for four years (1924-27) in Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, and later in book form in 1928. He was a collector of medical incunabula, and his medical library was one of the finest for rare and old books. He was greatly interested in copper plate engraving and designed bookplates for various individuals and the University of Nebraska College of Medicine Library. A complete collection of his work is in the print room of the New York Public Library. Dr. Brown was also noted for his interest in restoring old clocks, which he could repair when others failed. He also built live steam locomotives in model railroading and enjoyed field and duck hunting.

In 1956, he and Grace Elting Brown moved to Asheville, North Carolina. After two years, the couple moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where they spent the last four years of his life near one of their daughters. Dr. Brown died on Sunday, August 21, 1960. Following his death, he was cremated and later buried in New York. He was survived by his wife and two daughters, Eleanor Bonney Dowling (Lyle Dowling) of New York and Katherine Frances Pyper (Walter Wood Pyper) of Council Bluffs, his sister, Mrs. Feiek of Redington Beach, Florida, and five grandchildren.


.48 Linear Feet (Legal-Sized Hollinger Box 10360HG [15.75d, 10.25h, 5.75 w inches] extent measured by width)

Language of Materials


Guide to the Papers of Alfred Jerome Brown
Revised by DH
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
3rd Edition

Revision Statements

  • 02-2008: Compiled by MPC
  • 11-2010: Revised by JSS

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Robert S. Wigton Department of Special Collections and Archives Repository

Robert S. Wigton Department of Special Collections and Archives
986705 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha NE 68198-6705 USA