Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
GUY C. BROWNE, cashier of the
Columbia Valley Bank, Wenatchee, Chelan county was born in Portland, Oregon,
August 9, 1877. His father, J. J. Browne, one of the leading citizens
of Spokane, is a native of Greenville, Ohio, and was born April 28,
1843. He worked his way first through Wabash College and afterwards
the University of Michigan, graduating from the law department. He
was married in 1874 to Miss Anna W. Stratton. Their wedding journey
was a trip across the plains. The fall of the same year they made
their new home in Portland, Oregon. J. J. Browne made a trip through
eastern Washington in 1877, and seeing the vast possibilities of the Inland
Empire he decided at once that there he would make his home. The
next year, Guy then being one year old, his parents moved to Spokane Falls,
then little more than a camping ground. Mr. Browne at once became
a power in the little community growing around the falls. He acquired
large holdings of real estate in the center of what has become the prosperous
and beautiful city of Spokane. He platted Browne's Addition and Browne's
Second Addition, and laid out and still owns most of Central Addition.
He owns a large farm on Moran prairie less than five miles from the center
of the city. He is also interested in many enterprises in the northwest
and is president of two banks, the Columbia Valley Bank at Wenatchee, and
the Couer d'Alene Bank & Trust Co., Couer d'Alene, Idaho. From
the first he had absolute faith in the future of the country and has always
been the first to give his time and money to assist in its upbuilding.
Guy C. Browne laid the foundation of his education
in the Spokane public and high schools to which were added the advantages
of the Michigan Military Academy at Orchard Lake, Michigan, and the Washington
Agricultural College at Pullman. During his school days he spent
some time in newspaper work and left Pullman to accept the position of
mining and sporting editor on the Spokane Daily Chronicle.
He has always taken an active interest in athletics and is an athlete of
no small ability and reputation. During his school years when bicycle
racing was at its height he for several years held the championships for
the Pacific northwest. Browne and his racing partner, Johnnie Campbell,
not only won in Washington, but likewise the important races and championships
in Oregon and British Columbia. He was one of the charter members
of the Spokane Amateur Athletic Club, and was a director in the club for
a number of years. He was one of the leaders in forming the Wenatchee
Amateur Athletic Club in which he is a director and officer. As mining
editor of the Chronicle,
and also to investigate and report on properties
for investors, he visited most of the important mining camps in the
In 1897 Mr. Browne led a party to the gold
fields of Alaska, going in by the Ft. Wrangle, Stickeen River, Teslin Lake
route. During the winter of 1897-98 his party was continually on
the move, their home during the cold northern winter being their tent.
That winter, pulling their provisions and outfit, they traveled on snow
shoes more than six hundred miles. During the later part of February
he made a trip out in the interest of his party. He and a companion,
without tent or stove, made the one hundred and fifty mile trip from Telegraph
Creek, British, Columbia, to Ft. Wrangle, Alaska, in the remarkably short
time of five and one-half days.
Instead of returning by the Stickeen route
he, with his brother, Earle P. Browne, led a party overland by pack train
via the old Telegraph trail. It is estimated that twenty-five hundred
pack animals and five hundred men started on this trail that year.
Less than five hundred horses got through alive. Of the men less
than two hundred persevered. Some of the balance died, more turned
back, and many gave up and headed for the coast. The energy and resourcefulness
displayed by the Browne party is best shown by their success. They
left Spokane May 14, 1898, and reached the end of the sixteen hundred mile
journey over mountains, across rivers, and through swamps on September
12. This was the best time made on the trail.
On his return he was connected with his father's
real estate and investment business in Spokane for more than a year.
May 1, 1899, he was united in marriage to Miss Cary E. Mayer at the residence
of the bride's parents near Spokane. She is a native of Illinois.
Her father, John Mayer, was an old timer in Spokane, owned large property
interests on Half Moon and Four Mount prairies and was for a time commissioner
of Spokane county. She is a graduate of the Spokane high school and
attended the Washington Agricultural College. They have a son, Karl
Guy C. Browne's first trip to north central
Washington was in 1891, when, with his father, he made the trip over the
mountains from Ellensburg. Reaching the Columbia river a few miles
below the present site of Wenatchee, they went up that river to Chelan.
They spent two weeks on that beautiful body of water and returned to Spokane,
across the Big Bend plateau. They were both much impressed with the
country, so much so that J. J. Browne decided to become interested in it.
He foresaw that there was sure to be a city near the mouth of the Wenatchee
and the next year when the Great Northern road seemed to be assured he
established the Columbia Valley Bank. It was opened in the old town
in the spring of 1892, which makes it the oldest bank in north central
Washington. When the railroad was completed and the town moved to
its present location, the bank secured one of the best corners, and built
one of the first brick blocks as its home. For more than ten years
it was the only banking institution in Wenatchee. Guy C. Browne early
became interested in the bank, and in April, 1896, was first elected to
the board of directors. In the fall of 1900, he moved to Wenatchee
and assumed the active management of the bank. Under his careful
and businesslike management the Columbia Valley Bank has had a continuous
and substantial growth. Besides its large capital a good sized surplus
has been built up. Recently a savings bank department has been added
with a school savings system in connection. Mr. Browne has great
faith in Wenatchee and north central Washington. Both he and the
bank have the entire confidence of the community they have helped to build
up, and both are always ready to assist any legitimate enterprise that
has for its object the upbuilding of Wenatchee or north central Washington.