J. Sidney Brown (1833-1913) joined his brother, Junius F. Brown in Kansas, to operate a sawmill. In 1893, he started his own mercantile business, the J.S. Brown & Bro. Mercantile Company located in Denver, CO with J.F. Brown as vice president. The business expanded to 24 cities throughout Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. After the death of J. Sidney Brown in 1913, the company name was changed to the J.S. Brown Mercantile Company.
The materials originate from the White Oaks, NM location, which includes a ledger (1891-1901), three day books (1891-1895), and a record of sales and purchases for this general merchandise store. Each entry gives a person's name, items purchased or sold, and the amount. The ledger contains an alphabetical index by surname.