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History

Historical Significance

Official Title of Home for Landmark Designation:   Benjamin Brown House


Architectural style:  Eclectic, Queen-Anne Victorian


Architect:  Balcomb & Rice, active the last 15 years of the 19th century in Denver; firmed spawned William Fisher (their sketch on display in the living room)


Original Owners, Brown family:
Annie Dickinson (b. 1866, d. 1943) (aka Annie Brown aka Annie Morris), 1888 to 1943

  • She lived in the house from 1888 to her death in the home in 1943
  • She came to Denver as a newlywed with Benjamin.  Nicknamed "Dick Dick".
  • Annie was revered and loved by everyone around her, including her staff.
  • She hosted parties for Denver society; Temple Buell attended the Christmas party, where the Brown family egg nog was served (recipe available).
  • Her letters remain in the house; the corresponding letters that went back to Charleston, WV remain in archive there.
  • She is very fondly remembered by her great grandkids and great-great grandkids even today (I've had about a dozen of her descendants over to tour and discuss as recently as 2017).
  • She was a modern woman-of-the-world and toured the world collecting antiques.  I've seen evidence she went to Europe and Asia with Ben at least a couple of times each, and I believe believe she continued to travel the world in the 37 years she lived at Marion after he died.
  • Kids were J Fredrick Brown II, Sallie (who was married in the home in the 1920s), and Mary (who married Charles Lowell).
  • Annie was the daughter of Captain Henry Clay Dickinson, a confederate captain.  She wrote the memoir to his diaries from Marion from the Civil War and we keep a copy up on the third floor.  Available on Amazon.
  • Buried at Fairmount cemetery on Alameda, in plot 2 just behind the Ivy Chapel, along with Ben, her son J Frederick Brown II, and his wife Lucille.  Her tombstone reads "Fully she lived".
  • Annie did a lot of additions to the home over time.  It was just the core main house at one time early on, but progressive additions of the various sunrooms happened during her ownership, both right around the turn-of-the-century and in the 1930s.
  • Her only son was J Frederick Brown II (b. 1891, d. 1954), a Yale graduate, with a masters degree in mining and engineering.  He built the home next door at 430 Marion in 1926.


Benjamin Beuhring Brown (b. 1863 to d. 1906)

  • Financial benefactor of the family
  • He came with Annie to Colorado (initially Colorado Springs) in 1887 or so and moved into Marion in 1888, at the time a rural country estate outside Denver.  I've never seen indication whether he commissioned it or whether he bought it after it was built.
  • Both Annie and Ben grew up in Charleston, West Virginia and retained close ties throughout their lives back to Charleston.
  • His initials BB appear in the stained glass at the front of the house.
  • He was trained as a lawyer and distinguished himself at a young age in Virginia, but did not practice law in Denver; he became a banker and businessman and founded one of the most successful copper/coal companies of the time.
  • He nearly lost everything in the silver crash of 1893.
  • He was a son of James Henry Brown and Louisa Mayer Beuhring, and brother to James Frederick Brown (namesake to own son), and as Uncle to his own namesake Benjamin Beuhring Brown II.  
  • Ben's grandfather was also named Benjamin Brown.
  • Part of the "first family" of Virginia with ancestors traceable back into the early 1600s and the commonwealth's founding.
  • Died in Nice, France late in 1906, finally succumbing to his tuberculosis, at just 43 years of age. 


Harold Morris

  • Was married to Annie after Ben died and lived in the home for an unknown time.  I believe she divorced him, though her tombstone indicates she still went by Annie Dickinson Morris, then says "Wife of Benjamin Brown".

Steeped in history, this home was designated an historical landmark in 1997. This property has transferred owners only four times in 134 years dating back to the well-known Brown family who built the home starting in 1883.


History buffs are welcome to read old letters from the original owners and their descendants,  enjoy looking at early pictures of past residents and imagine you are one of Denver’s most successful turn-of-the-century bankers or socialites.

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