My Contribution: I was a dedicated teacher in Harrisburg for decades, an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary, and a committed leader in Harrisburg’s education circles.
My Legacy: I continued the legacy of my father, Cassius Brown, Sr., in social activism and leadership in Harrisburg’s educational arenas. I served as a leader in pedagogical innovation and a teacher in advocacy for African American schools in Harrisburg.
About Me: “Miss Ida Brown, who teaches a lower grade room at Wickersham, has originated a set of ‘thinking problems’ for her pupils, by the use of which, she hopes to raise the ‘standard of intelligence’.” Harrisburg Telegraph, February 25, 1922.
Full Name: Ida E. Brown; Ida Brown Colley
Birth Date: November 30, 1875
Death Date: May 4, 1961
Place of Birth: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Race: Black (1880 and 1900 Federal Census), “Mulatto” (1910 Federal Census), White (superimposed over the faded, original markings for “Mulatto” in the 1920 Federal Census), “Negro” (1940 Federal Census).
Places of Residence: 644 Walnut Street (1880), 414 Walnut Street (1900), and 267 Briggs Street (1910, 1920), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Cincinnati, Ohio (1927-1937); 611 Forster Street (1940), 1537 N. 6th Street (1959), and 269 Briggs Street (1961), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Connection to the Old Eighth Ward: Resident on Walnut Street and Forster Street; attended Capital Presbyterian Church; taught in Lincoln School and Day School
Family Members: Father: Cassius M. Brown, Sr. Mother: Amanda Cornelia Grey Brown. Siblings: Singleton Brown, Richard S. Brown, Charles Sumner Brown, Howard D. Brown, Cornelia Brown Jenkins, Cassius M. Brown, Jr. Husband: Edward Duval Colley, Sr. (m. June 11, 1927 – September 13, 1959).
Education: Central High School graduate. Student at Columbia University, Butler College, and Chicago University.
Occupations: Teacher at the Lincoln School, William Howard Day School, and the Wickersham Annex School.
Church Membership: Capital Presbyterian Church
Activism: Elliott Association, American Legion Auxiliary (vice president); Wickersham Teachers’ Association (president).
Connections: Cassius M. Brown, Rev. William H. Marshall, Harry Burrs, Jessie Matthews, Charles Crampton, W. Arthur Carter, John P. Scott, Prof. Morris H. Layton, Leslie Marshall, Esther Popel.