Jane “Jennie” Brooks Macphail

Nekimi, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 16 Feb 1948 (aged 83)
Seattle, King County, Washington, USA
Burial Cremated
Memorial ID 198347747 View Source

Jane (Jennie) S. Brooks was born February 29, 1864, at Nekimi, just south of Oshkosh. She attended public school in Oshkosh and helped pioneer Dakota Territory with her parents and siblings in 1884. She lived with them at Brookland.

On June 26, 1889, Jennie married a Canadian immigrant, John C. Macphail. He lived in Harlem village, six miles north of Cogswell. The wedding was at her home at Brookland and was conducted by the Reverend John Mulholland, Minister of the Gospel at Forman’s Congregational Church. Nellie Brooks and Elmer Soule served as witnesses.

John owned Harlem’s City Drug Store, as shown in an 1888 newspaper ad. But the 1900 census shows the couple at Forman – the village of Harlem, it seems, was quietly dying. Several years earlier, the Soo Line railroad tracks had been laid east to west through Cogswell, six miles south of Harlem. And the Northern Pacific line was built east to west through Stirum, two miles north. So, the people of Harlem moved elsewhere. The Macphails went several miles southwest to Forum. A piece in Recollections: Cogswell 1886-1986 tells us that John worked as a druggist in Forman village. By 1907, according to Frances Brooks’s obituary, they lived in Fargo, North Dakota. In 1910, John and Jennie were in Fargo, where John was a druggist in one of the city’s drug stores.

Within a few years, the Macphails moved 40 miles west to the town of Buffalo, North Dakota. Their 19-year-old nephew, Leo Brooks – Andy’s oldest son – lived with them and learned the trade while working at his Uncle John’s drugstore. The Council of the American Pharmaceutical Association held its convention at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City on August 27, 1919. The session’s printed minutes included John Macphail from Buffalo, N.D., who’d traveled by train to attend. John and Jennie were still at Buffalo when the 1920 census was written, and John remained a druggist. They were there as of the 1925 state census, although her name was given as Jane, and when the 1930 census was taken, the couple was still at Buffalo. John still worked at his drug store, while 65-year-old Jane kept their home in order. John C. Macphail died at Buffalo at age 68, on February 16, 1931, and was buried there.
After 1935, Jennie moved to Seattle. In 1930, her oldest brother, William, had lived with his wife, Mellie, at 1117 E. Cherry. After Mellie died in the spring of 1932, Jennie joined her brother in a home at 3209 62nd S.W. She cared for him during his final illness in 1941. Jennie wasn’t well in her final months, as she suffered from arteriosclerosis and diabetes and had been under Dr. Elizabeth Peterson’s care for nearly a year. Two weeks shy of her 84th birthday, she experienced a sudden fluid buildup in her lungs. Jane (Jennie) Brooks Macphail died shortly after midnight in Seattle, on February 16, 1948. She had no children of her own to assist with matters, but her niece, Erna May King, a Spokane teacher and a daughter of Jennie’s sister, Mattie, was with her at the end. Erna was the informant on the death certificate. Jennie’s remains were cremated by Bleitz West Home Chapel in Seattle.

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