Helen Dobson Brown (1908-2003) was a full-time clerk at the California State Library, and part-time camellia enthusiast and
playwright. She authored several plays in the late-1930s which were performed at Sacramento venues. Her papers consist of
handwritten and typescript drafts of these plays and some printed programs for the productions.
Helen Dobson Brown was born Helen Mildred Dobson on March 5, 1908, in Anadarko, Oklahoma, to Reuben and Blanch Dobson. The
family moved to Sacramento in 1913, and according to Helen, Christian Science came into her life around this time after she
was healed of infantile paralysis by a Christian Scientist friend. Helen went on to attend Sacramento High School, where
she was active in theater and Le Cercle Francais, the school's French Club. After high school, she worked as a book repairer
and clerk at the California State Library. Brown was a part-time playwright, as well, and penned and copyrighted several
works in the late-1930s, including "Fads, Frivols and Cheers of Forty Hectic Years," performed for the California Library
Association conference in Sacramento in 1935, and "Saga of Gold," performed at Memorial Auditorium for a Sciots convention
in 1936. Helen married widower Richard Coon Brown (1905-1986) around 1944, and he turned her onto a decades-long love of
camellias. She later joined the Northern California Camellia Society and wrote a column for California Life on the flower.
Helen Dobson Brown resided in Sacramento for 90 years and died on January 3, 2003.