Charles Emory Brouse was born in Ohio but by the time he graduated from high school had moved to Nebraska. In 1892, Brouse came to the Moreno Valley area with his parents. There he worked on a ranch and clerked in a store.
Moving to Riverside, Brouse decided to improve his position, taking classes at Riverside Business College and joining the Orange Growers Bank as a bookkeeper. When the bank failed as a result of embezzlement of funds by Cashier Tom Hays, Citizens Bank (later called Citizens National Trust and Savings) took over and Brouse joined the new management. Brouse worked his way up to vice president and succeeded W.B. Clancy as president when Clancy died suddenly.
Brouse was active in community affairs, serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club and as a founder of the Community Foundation. He was a board member of the Boy Scouts Council and Southern California Automobile Club and belonged to the Evergreen Masonic Lodge #259. He was also a major donor to the first Student Center at the University of California, Riverside.
As the founder, with his wife Clara, of the Community Foundation in 1941, Brouse made perhaps his greatest contribution to the Riverside community. According to the foundation, “Brouse’s original bequest established an endowment to benefit students attending Riverside City College, and the foundation’s primary purpose was focused on funding this and other scholarships. In the years that followed, the foundation gradually adopted a broader focus – funding health and human services, civic benefit programs, arts and culture, and a variety of other causes.”