The San Juan & Tellurton Railroad Don Brown

01/09/09

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Donald G. "Don" Brown (1925-1985)

Donald G. Brown earned a degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana.  He entered the management training program in AT&T's Long Lines Division and was life-long employee.

In 1955 he was stationed in Kansas City, Missouri.  There, he and his wife, Sandy, met fellow Kansas City-area newcomers Ginny and Shelly Levy.  With no relatives in the KC area, both couples grew close as their families grew.  Don and Sandy, with daughters Beverly, Elizabeth and Peggy, spent many holidays and vacations together with the Levy family.  

As Don's career with AT&T advanced, he was moved between different departments within the company and was transferred back-and-forth across the country.  The close relationship between the Levy's and the Brown's continued throughout the years, surviving Brown family moves, first to St. Louis, back to Kansas City, then to San Francisco, and finally, New York. 

Don was passionate about railroading (of both the model and full-scale prototype varieties).  He was very active in model railroading groups wherever he lived and actively "rail-fanned" across the USA.  Although he never built his own layout,  Don was quite a collector of O-scale equipment (both standard and narrow gauge).   Narrow gauge items were especially dear to him.  Due to his special interest in the equipment used in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  Don operated a sideline business, called San Juan Engineering.  This company designed and marketed On3 craftsman kits of facilities used by the railroads of the San Juans. 

Don continued to collect O-scale railroad equipment, books and memorabilia until his death in 1985.  Don's extensive collection of two hundred and twenty-four books on railroads was donated to Lehigh University in 1987.   Sandy passed on to Don's railroad friends his collection of models, with the exception of the narrow gauge engines.  She knew that Don had hoped the narrow gauge equipment would be passed along within the family as his legacy.   Unfortunately, there were no close relatives who shared Don's passion for On3 model railroading.  When Sandy learned of Shelly Levy's renewed interest in model railroading (sparked by his grandson), she decided that Don would have been pleased to have the equipment go to Shelly. 

Don's fine collection of On3 engines, along with the plans, kits and other materials from San Juan Engineering became the starting point for Shelly's elevation from "amateur" status into the ranks of "serious" model railroaders.  The "San Juan" portion of the San Juan and Tellurton Railroad name is continuing homage to the importance of Don's contribution to the SJ&T.

Donald G. "Don" Brown (16 kb)

Don Brown, owner of San Juan Engineering (and life-long railroading fan)

Click on the image to see high resolution version.

 
To see a list of the books donated to the Lehigh collection, click here.  Click on <Advanced Search>, enter "Brown gift" into the "word(s) and phrase" box, and click on the <Search Catalog> button.  Entrees #11 to #234 in the list are Don's legacy.

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