James H. Brooks

JAMES H. BROOKS, a leading farmer of Cherokee County, living on one of the finest 160-acre farms in Sheridan township, is a native of Hart County, Kentucky. He is a son of Rev. Joshua Brooks, a sketch of whose family is found in another part of this volume in the biography devoted to Floyd W. Brooks, our subject's brother.

James H. Brooks was born October 7, 1841, at a time when only subscription schools flourished in his native State, and had little opportunity for acquiring even a common-school education. His earlier years were spent in very hard work on the farm, and not until he grew to manhood did he have a chance to acquaint himself with books. At the age of 19, he left home and lived in another section of the State until the breaking out of the Civil War.

In April, 1864, he enlisted in Company D, 60th Reg., Illinois Vol. Inf., at Mount Vernon, Illinois, and was with the 14th Army Corps. Most of the time of his enlistment was spent in Georgia, where he was with Sherman in his famous "March to the Sea," afterwards taking part in the Grand Review at Washington, D. C. He was later mustered out at Louisville, Kentucky, and discharged at Springfield, Illinois.

Mr. Brooks' marriage occurred in 1867, the bride being Almira Woodworth, of Athens County, Ohio. To this union six children have been born, namely: Charles H., a graduate of the State Normal School at Emporia, now the principal of Spring Hill School, Johnson County, Kansas; Lydia, wife of C. A. Rule, of Mannford, Oklahoma; Albert, a farmer of Sheridan township; Fred, who is farming on the old home place; Lucina, wife of C. Wise, of West Mineral; and Nina L., who lives at home.

Mr. Brooks and his wife came to Cherokee County, Kansas, April 1, 1880, and for the first two years of his residence here he rented the farm that he operated. At the end of that time, he purchased the 160 acres of land where he now lives. It was the usual wild land of the West, with some little breaking done by a former settler, and without fences, roads or buildings. Mr. Brooks put forth his best efforts to make of this a home for himself and family; that he succeeded in so doing is proved by the appearance of the place as it is to-day, with its cultivated acres, its pastures and its orchards of various fruits. Besides general farming, our subject raises a great deal of stock, and has in his possession, some throughred Angora goats.

In politics, Mr. Brooks is a Socialist, and fraternally a Mason, his membership being in the lodge at McCune, Kansas. He is also a member of the A. H. T. A., No. 1O, of which he has been president for a number of years. Many times Mr. Brooks has occupied positions of trust; at the present time, though retired from active work on the farm, he is president of the Mutual Rural Telephone Company, which was organized in 1902. A well read man, who unaided acquired an education, he is one of the most progressive farmers of this section, always bringing to his work the knowledge acquired by his extensive reading. His acquaintance reaches beyond the limits of his county, and he is highly esteemed by all who know him.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Christopher Collinsworth, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, Mar. 6, 1997


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