William E. Brown, Jr. (May 1, 1896 - December 8, 1970) was first elected mayor of Ann Arbor in 1945. Vowing to "run the town like a business," Brown worked tirelessly, doubling the size of the city to encourage new housing and "clean" industries. During his tenure the city of East Ann Arbor was annexed. He addressed downtown's growing parking problem by introducing parking meters that then helped pay for the country’s first municipal parking structure— standing until recently at First and Washington.
- William E. Brown, Jr., Ann Arbor District Library
- The Unsinkable Mayor Brown, May 1990
- Political Graveyard
Brown, William E., Jr. (1896-1970) — of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Mich. Born in Lapeer, Lapeer County, Mich., May 1, 1896. Son of William E. Brown, Sr. and Grace (Palmer) Brown; married, October 12, 1920, to Eleanor Shartel. Republican. Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; automobile dealer; insurance business; mayor of Ann Arbor, Mich., 1945-57; defeated, 1957. Presbyterian. Member, Elks. Died in 1970. Interment at Forest Hill Cemetery, Ann Arbor, Mich.