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Why SI - E.R Brown Furniture

December 18, 2023

Known as “the furniture capital of Southern Illinois,” West Frankfort, Illinois has a long history of furniture stores lining Main Street. That story begins with E.R. Brown, a West Frankfort native that opened the first furniture store in town back in 1914. In the store’s early days, it only sold wooden furniture items, but the store then expanded the inventory to include such items as coal heaters and appliances.

For more than 100 years, E.R. Brown Furniture has not only managed to survive the peaks and valleys throughout the history of the community but has also played a pivotal role as an economic stabilizer when the fallout from coal mine closures took the jobs of thousands of miners.

When banks began closing their own doors and consequently the accounts, E.R. Brown began offering in-store credit to those who otherwise could not make purchases without the help of outside lenders. This business move solidified the company’s role as a community partner whose purpose was to not only sell high quality furniture but provide exceptional customer service.

Today, E.R. Brown Furniture can still be found on Main Street in downtown West Frankfort. The business now includes Kyle and Matt Brown, the great-great grandsons of E.R. Brown, who work alongside their father Sloan to continue serving West Frankfort and Southern Illinois.


Q & A With Sloan Brown

Why Southern Illinois?

Our history is deeply rooted in the many generations of Southern Illinoisans. We have survived two World Wars, tornadoes, coal mine strikes and then closures, and the Great Depression and Recession. Southern Illinoisans appreciate and are dedicated to local well-established businesses, especially those which offer quality and unmatched customer service.

What does “the furniture capital of Southern Illinois” mean to you?

In Southern Illinois, when someone is looking for furniture, they know where to go and its convenient to have multiple stores that offer multiple brands. Throughout the years, E.R. Brown has expanded, first adding West Frankfort House Furnishings in 1946. Most recently, the family purchased BFJ Interiors in 2016, bringing West Frankfort’s furniture display to over 100,000 square feet with more plans to expand in the future.

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