Grafton Tyler Brown was born to two free parents in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1841. In the 1850s he left Pennsylvania to go out West and found work as a lithographer. When Brown moved to San Francisco he started working for lithographer Charles Kuchel. When Kuchel passed away Brown purchased his lithography business and renamed it G.T. Brown & Co. His company produced amazing bird’s-eye view panoramic maps among other things. In the 1890s, Brown moved to Minnesota where he would live out the rest of his days.