Betty B. Cohen

BROWN, CARRIE BERTHA PFEIFFER (1886–1977). Carrie Brown, clubwoman, the daughter of John and Sophie Pfeiffer, was born in Carrizo Springs, Texas, on August 8, 1886. When she was five years old she and her family moved to Encinal; later they settled in San Antonio. Carrie was educated in the San Antonio public schools and at the University of Texas in Austin, where she was active in the student council and received her B.A. in 1906. Two years later she married Alexander A. Brown, a young physician with a practice in general medicine. They had three children. The Browns surrounded themselves with an outstanding library of fine books and collections of art, china, and antique furniture. Carrie worked with the San Antonio Kindergarten Association, the nonsectarian Immigrant Night School established by the National Council of Jewish Women, the City Federation of Women's Clubs, the Crippled Children's Association, the Bexar County Medical Auxiliary, the PTA, and the Texas Children's Home-Finding Society. She served as president or board member in each of these associations. The state chapter of the American Association of University Women was organized in San Antonio in her home. She served as a charter member, as secretary, and three times as president. From 1941 to 1943 she was president of the Texas State Division of AAUW. Those were the war years, and the organization was involved in war-connected activities.

Portrait of Coke Robert Stevenson
Portrait of Coke Robert Stevenson. Image courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Her involvement in such educational matters as women on college faculties, child labor bills, education for dependent children, and teacher recruitment resulted in her election to honorary membership in the Delta Kappa Gamma Society. When a vacancy occurred on the University of Texas Board of Regents, Mrs. Brown's many friends urged Governor Coke Stevenson to appoint her. She would have been the first woman to hold the position, but the time was not yet ripe for such an action.

Grave of Carrie Brown
Photograph, Grave of Carrie Brown in San Antonio. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Carrie Brown was a charter member and president of the San Antonio Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. She was a member of Congregation Temple Beth-El and a director of its Sisterhood. She died on June 1, 1977, in San Antonio of a heart attack.


Ruthe Winegarten and Cathy Schechter, Deep in the Heart: The Lives and Legends of Texas Jews (Austin: Eakin Press, 1990).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Betty B. Cohen, "BROWN, CARRIE BERTHA PFEIFFER," accessed July 19, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on May 18, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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