Andrew Chambers Brooks


Andrew Chambers Brooks

Oshkosh, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 27 Dec 1937 (aged 72)
Cogswell, Sargent County, North Dakota, USA
Burial Cogswell, Sargent County, North Dakota, USA
Memorial ID 112876642 View Source
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From "The History of Frances Amelia Adsit (Frances A. Brooks)" by Jan Patrick Mongoven in 2011.]

Andrew Chambers Brooks was born December 12, 1865, at Nekimi, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, immediately south of Oshosh. He came of age on the farm at Nekimi and was educated in the public schools at Oshkosh. He then migrated with his parents and siblings to untamed Dakota Territory in 1884.

Andy homesteaded 160 acres in the southeast quarter of section 30 at Forman Township. Along with his father's adjacent properties in the same section, the railroad station and tiny "community" known as Brookland was created. In Minnesota during the early 1890s, Andy met Mary Anna Stein, the daughter of German immigrants. They married in 1894 at her home in Holdingford, about ten miles north of St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Andy and Mary had nine children, seven of whom reached adulthood. All of them were born at Brookland: Gilbert (who died at 18 months of cholera infantum, during an epidemic that claimed the lives of many infants and toddlers in the mid-1890s), Leo, Iva, Donald, Clarence, Bernice, Walter, Geraldine, and Chester (who died at 5½ years, after his appendix ruptured). Geraldine outlived all of them, as her husband Henry Kersting reached 100 years and she 105!

When the 1900 census was reported, Andy and Mary were in their home at Brookland. Andy farmed, while Mary kept house. In the census, Mary claimed she had four children with three still living, as little Gilbert had been taken during the cholera outbreak. Andy's elderly parents, Gilbert and Frances, and his oldest brother, William Gilbert Brooks, rounded out the Brookland household.

Grandmother Frances (Adsit) Brooks passed away in the years preceding the 1910 census. The report shows Gilbert, 86, with Andy, Mary, and seven grandchildren who ranged in age from fourteen to two. Andy handled the brunt of the farm work, as Mary kept house and the children assisted with day-to-day chores.

After Grandfather Gilbert died in 1917, Andy assumed full control of Brookland. The 1920 census has Andy, Mary, and five children from 12 to 20 years of age in the home. In addition, Mary's widowed, 75-year-old, immigrant mother, Anneta Stein, had joined the family.

Andy sold off much of his Brookland property by 1930 and lived as a "retired" farmer. The census shows him at 64 with Mary (60) and son Walter (24) in the household. No occupations were listed for them, but they owned their home worth $2,500 – above the median for homes in the township as the Great Depression set in. Another tidbit of information can be gleaned from the census – the Brookses owned a radio set, whereas many of their neighbors did not.

Around April 1934, Andy and Mary left Brookland and purchased a place in Cogswell. Andy died in the village two days after Christmas Day, on December 27, 1937. He was 72 and left Mary and seven children to mourn his passing. Mary survived him by nearly twenty years. She lived to age 87, before passing away at Cogswell on June 29, 1957. They are buried in Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery, a mile or so west of Cogswell.


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