Joseph Mackey Brown, Governor

Is your surname Brown?

Research the Brown family

Joseph Mackey Brown, Governor's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Joseph Mackey Brown, Governor

Also Known As: "Little Joe Brown"
Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Canton, Cherokee, Georgia, United States
Death: 1931 (80)
Marietta, Cobb, Georgia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph E. Brown, Governor, U.S. Senator and Elizabeth Brown
Husband of Cora Ann Brown
Father of Joseph Emerson Brown; Cora McCord Brown; Charles McDonald Brown and George Marion Brown
Brother of Elijah Alexander Brown; Julius Lewis Brown; Charles McDonald Brown; Mary Virginia Connelly and Franklin Pierce Brown

Managed by: Scott David Hibbard
Last Updated:

About Joseph Mackey Brown, Governor

Joseph Mackey Brown (December 28, 1851 – March 3, 1932) was an American politician and implicated as one of the ringleaders in the lynching of Leo Frank.

He served two non-consecutive terms as the 59th Governor of Georgia, the first from 1909 to 1911 and the second from 1912 to 1913.

Early life

Brown was born in Canton, Georgia and was the son of Georgia's Civil War Governor Joseph E. Brown. The family nickname of the younger Brown was "Little Joe Brown".

After graduating from Oglethorpe University in 1872 (where he joined Chi Phi Fraternity), Brown attended Harvard University for a time to study law. He continued his studies at his brother's Georgia law practice and passed the bar in 1873; however, he never practiced law due to failing eyesight. He continued his studies at an Atlanta, Georgia business college and became a clerk with the Western and Atlantic Railroad. During his career at the railroad he rose to the position of traffic manager for the company, and he married Cora Annie McCord.


In 1904, Brown was appointed to the Georgia State Railroad Commission by then-Governor Joseph M. Terrell. That appointment was rescinded in 1907 when the new Governor, Hoke Smith, removed Brown over disagreements about passenger fares.

Brown exacted revenge by running against Smith in the 1908 gubernatorial election and winning. Smith again won the governorship in the election of 1910 by beating Brown in the democratic primary and in the general election in which Brown ran as an independent. Smith left before the end of his second term to assume the United States Senate seat that became vacant upon the death of Alexander S. Clay, and Brown ran unopposed to become Governor again for the rest of Smith's original term.

Brown faced Smith once again in the 1914 election for the Senate seat previously filled by Smith. Smith won that election.

view all

Joseph Mackey Brown, Governor's Timeline

Canton, Cherokee, Georgia, United States
January 17, 1890
Age 39
Marietta, Cobb, Georgia, United States
Age 80
Marietta, Cobb, Georgia, United States