Albert Preston Brooks

Photo added by Lester Letson

Albert Preston Brooks

  • Birth 1 Jan 1857 Laurens, Laurens County, South Carolina, USA
  • Death 9 Jan 1935 Taft, Kern County, California, USA
  • Burial Fresno, Fresno County, California, USA
  • Memorial ID 40930710

A California pioneer whose established reputation for clean, upright living, and plain, honest dealing brought him the honors of responsible office and made him
prominent in Fresno and this entire revenue district, is Albert P. Brooks, whose interesting association with California began on August 9 in the great boom year of 1887. He was born at Laurens, S. C, the son of William J. Brooks, a native of that place and a farmer who enlisted in
General Kershaw's brigade in July, 1862, and served until he was killed on Sunday, December 13, 1862, on Mary's Heights at Fredericksburg. Mrs. Brooks was Sarah J. Miller before her marriage, and she also was a native of Laurens County, S. C, in which state she was reared on a farm. She married a second time, and with her husband, J- H. Anderson, and her four children by the first union and three children by the second, came to Fresno. The children of the first marriage are Albert P., J. B. and W. W. Brooks, all of Fresno, and Frances M., who became Mrs. Martin of Fresno. Born on New Year's Day, 1857, Albert Brooks was reared on a farm and attended a private school, remaining at home until he was sixteen years of age. He then went to the high school at Cokesbury, S. C, for a couple of years, after which he returned to farm work. Later he leased a farm and engaged in the raising of cotton, corn and stock ; and he is today well posted on cotton culture. January, 1885, he went to Nashville, Howard County, Ark., and for a couple of years worked as a bookkeeper in a hardware store. In August, 1887, Mr. Brooks came West direct to California and to Fresno, having here an uncle, D. J. McConnell, widely known as a worthy old settler; and soon he was appointed deputy tax collector under Jim Mead. He served for about eight months, and was then made deputy superintendent of schools under B. A. Hawkins. From 1890 until the beginning of 1893 he was bookkeeper to the firm of McConnell & Hague, merchants on Mariposa Street. In August, 1894, he was named for the office of United States gager, for the first district of California, extending from San Francisco to San Diego. He was appointed by John G. Carlisle, Secretary of the Treasury, and made his headquarters at Fresno. He continued to serve under President McKinley ; and in 1907 he was made United States storekeeper gager of the first district by Leslie M. Shaw, under President Roosevelt. In September, 1909, after a service of fifteen years and a month, in which he had been repeatedly honored for his exemplary administration of office, he resigned. During this time Mr. Brooks had become interested in horticulture; and having improved an orchard at the corner of Palm and Olive Streets, he built an ornate residence, and finally sold the property at a good profit. Then he bought the corner of Chittenden and McKinley Avenues, and improved the same by planting vines and sowing alfalfa. He had forty-four acres of stubble field and hog wallow; but he worked hard and steadily at it, and finally developed it into a vineyard thirty-seven acres in size, devoted to muscat and Thompson grapes, while on the remaining acres he raised alfalfa. His resignation from public office was due to his desire to give closer attention to his viticultural interests. Mr. Brooks has been married four times, each marriage bringing it's measure of happiness. The first ceremony took place in South Carolina in 1879, when he was joined to Nannie Shell, who died on January 13, 1882. His second marriage occurred at Fresno, in September, 1890, when he chose for his bride Miss Dora Harbison, who was born in Johnson County, Ill, and by whom he had three children: William Arthur, who is a bookkeeper at the Concoran office of the San Joaquin Light & Power Company; Audrey, a stenographer with the Smith Lithograph Company; and Charles Bartlett, who is with Bixler Cleaning Company in Fresno. Mrs. Brooks died in 1900. At his third marriage Mr. Brooks led to the altar Mrs. Carrie B: Gillispie, of Washington County, Pa., who breathed her last in 1912. His last marriage took place at Orosi in February, 1916, when Miss Winnie Liebau, who was born in Elk County, Kans., became his wife. She is the daughter of William and Minnie (Weide) Liebau, and came to Tulare as early as 1904, when her father engaged in viticulture. She was educated in Kansas, and bespeaks all the graces of the women of that state. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks belong to the Methodist Church South, on whose official board he has served for some years. Mr. Brooks was made a Mason in Recoverv Lodge, No. 31, F. & A. M., at Greenville, S. C, on May 6, 1878, and since 1887 has been affiliated with Fresno Lodge. No. 247, F. & A. M. He was made an Odd Fellow at Nashville, Ark., and at the same place joined the Knights of Pythias. After he had settled in Fresno, he became a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and also joined the Woodmen of the World through Alanzanita Camp, No. 160. at Fresno. A Democrat, and working spiritedly as such in national politics, Mr. Brooks has always loyally supported local movements irrespective of party lines.


Family Members

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  • Maintained by: John Roberts
  • Originally Created by: Lester Letson
  • Added: 21 Aug 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 40930710
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Albert Preston Brooks (1 Jan 1857–9 Jan 1935), Find A Grave Memorial no. 40930710, citing Mountain View Cemetery, Fresno, Fresno County, California, USA ; Maintained by John Roberts (contributor 47098841) .