Joseph O. Brown

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This article is about the mayor of Pittsburgh, for other people named Joseph Brown see Joseph Brown (disambiguation).

Joseph Owen Brown (January 8, 1846 – March 15, 1903) served as Mayor of Pittsburgh from 1901 to 1903.


He was born on January 8, 1846 in what is today East Deer Township, Pennsylvania, just north of Pittsburgh. He served as Prothonotary of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania from 1880 until 1887. His first political position in Pittsburgh was Director of Public Safety, a job he obtained in 1887.

Mayor Joseph Brown's administration battled rampant vice within the city with differing degrees of success. The incompetence of the rank and file law enforcers in the city was displayed for everyone to see when the Biddle Brothers made a daring escape from the Pittsburgh jail. The Frick Building was constructed on Grant Street during the Joseph Brown term.[1]

He died in office from heart failure on March 15, 1903. He was buried at Bull Creek Cemetery, not far away from his hometown, Tarentum, Pennsylvania.

See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Adam M. Brown
Mayor of Pittsburgh
Succeeded by
William B. Hays


  1. ^ "The Spectator and the Topographical City", by Martin Aurand, page 38.