Brown Endowment helps preserve Dr. Walter Reed house

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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MURFREESBORO – Dr. Walter Reed will forever be remembered for his breakthrough research that helped to conquer yellow fever.

Now, thanks to an endowment given by Grace Brown in memory of her late parents, Bynum Rhodes Brown and Shirley Graham Brown, the Murfreesboro Historical Association (MHA) can continue their work in preserving the legacy and history of Dr. Reed during the time he spent living in Murfreesboro.

The MHA held a reception on Wednesday, April 4 celebrating the endowment of the Dr. Walter Reed house. James Moore, MHA President, welcomed everyone and gave remarks about the contributions that the Brown family has made to the Murfreesboro community throughout the years.

Moore noted that Bynum Brown was a Murfreesboro native, and was a life-long resident of the town with the exceptions of his time at Riverside Military Academy in Georgia, his service in the U.S. Army during World War II, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After college, he opened the Bynum R. Brown Insurance Agency in Murfreesboro which he ran until 1991. He was a member of the Murfreesboro Town Council, and served on five occasions as the chairman of the Chowan University Board of Trustees. Chowan’s Aquatic Center is named for him.

Shirley Brown, a native of Windsor, graduated from Meredith College and began her career teaching in Murfreesboro. Later, she obtained her real estate broker’s license and operated a very successful real estate business in Murfreesboro.

Bynum and Shirley Brown were both active members of the Murfreesboro Historical Association, Murfreesboro Baptist Church, and other community organizations.

Dr. Walter Reed lived in Murfreesboro at two different periods in his life – early childhood and as a young adult – during the time his father, Reverend Lemuel Sutton Reed, was serving as the minister at the Murfreesboro Methodist Church. He married his childhood sweetheart from across the street, Miss Emily Lawrence.

Walter Reed went on to become a world renowned doctor of medicine. Two months before his 18th birthday in 1869, he became the youngest-ever recipient of a M.D. degree from the University of Virginia. He furthered his education at New York University before joining the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1875.

The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland is named in his honor.

Groups may contact the Murfreesboro Historical Association to arrange tours of the Dr. Reed House and other MHA properties. The Reed House Annex is also available for rental. There is a meeting room, large screen television for presentations, and a kitchen facility.