BRAINARD, SILAS (19 February 1814-8 April 1871) turned an avocation for music into a business that supplied Cleveland with much of its early musical scores and instruments.
The son of a merchant, he was born in Lempster, N.H., the son of Nathan and Fanny (Bingham) Silas. He was educated at New Hampton in the same state. He came to Cleveland in 1834 with his father and started in the grocery business as N. Brainard & Son. An accomplished flutist, the younger Brainard also became active in the city's embryonic musical circles. He joined the CLEVELAND MUSICAL SOCIETY and began arranging music for its members. In 1836, he started his own music business, which eventually became an institution under the name S. BRAINARD'S SONS.
Beginning with the retailing of music and musical instruments, Brainard added a publishing business in 1845 and purchased Watson's Hall at the same time, running it as Melodeon Hall and later Brainard's Hall (see GLOBE THEATER). A house organ which he began in 1864 as Western Musical World became one of the country's leading music publications under the name Brainard's Musical World. Although once regarded as having few peers as a flutist, he apparently subordinated his performing talents to the demands of his business. He was noted as the author of a Violin Instruction Book and numerous musical arrangements, some of which appeared under an assumed name.
Brainard married Emily C. Mould and together they had seven children: Charles, Henry, Fanny, Emma, Arthur, Annie, and Laura. He died of inflammatory rheumatism in his residence at 348 Prospect Avenue, and was survived by all four of his sons. Brainard was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.