Red letter days on a calendar signify important days like holidays and Sundays. December 7, 1941 was such a red letter day for Fairmont. In the early morning hours Dr. John P. Brown - physician, promoter, developer, entrepreneur - died at age 77. He was the last of the prominent businessmen, farmers and professionals who together incorporated our community as Union City in February, 1898. A. J. Floyd, Elijah Fisher, A. L. Jones, Alonzo Thompson, P. R. Floyd and Evander McDaniel all played significant parts but Dr. Brown was the star.
He bought and sold property, built homes and buildings for rent, operated a drug store, operated multiple real estate companies, partnered in multiple tobacco warehouses, and owned and operated Fairmont's first public cemetery. Above all, he was a promoter of and advocate for Fairmont. A multi-term mayor and town councilman, he always tried to put Fairmont in the most favorable light. As he traveled the U. S. he sent back letters to the Robesonian detailing where he had been and who he had seen, always keeping his name, and Fairmont's, in the public eye.
Brown's passing left a void which no one person could fill. It took Charlie Stafford, Pitt Fisher, Averette Mitchell and P. R. Floyd, Jr. to replace his efforts in our community. Less than twelve hours after his death the United States was plunged into its second world war of the twentieth century when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. For Fairmont, its first champion had died and the United States must fight a major war for the second time in less than twenty-five years.