In 1936, a 450-acre plot of land was selected for a Memorial Home for aged Masons at the wishes of Otis Avery Browning. Browning, a prominent Toledo businessman, book publisher, civic leader, and Mason, set forth the plans for this Home in a will he prepared in 1922, creating a trust for the Otis Avery Browning Masonic Memorial Fund. Browning’s memorial fund grew from the time of Browning’s death in 1923 until 1979, when ground was broken for the construction of a Retirement Community for Master Masons, their wives and their widows. The formal dedication took place on July 26, 1981 and the first resident moved in in October 1981. His will states, "It is one of the chief purposes of my will, that I may become an instrument, under God's directing care, in providing for the erection and maintenance of a home for aged people, where they may be properly cared for and with all modern comforts."
As we reflect back on the 40 years Browning has been in existence, we beam with pride when we think of how the organization has remained mission-based, true to the wishes of Otis Avery Browning. Our most recent memories that will be added to the rich history of the campus was when the world as we knew it halted to keep our people safe. During that time, The OMH Foundation and their generous donors stepped up with tablets to keep community members engaged and connected with the outside world while sheltering in place.
This blip in the long history of Browning will be remembered and we all dream of the day where we can celebrate 40 years of service to Northwest Ohio’s senior citizens. We’d like to thank everyone who has been instrumental in the momentum of making Browning a destination for retirement, but also to those whom we’ve not yet had the chance to meet!