Francis Elmer "Frank" Brooks

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

(March 6, 1874 - December 1, 1958)


Johnny & Margaret Thon Files
March 19, 2007


Frank Brooks. Area Pioneer, Dies Mon.

Thon Book No. 1
When Frank Brooks, 84, died at his ranch home about eight miles north of Guernsey at 1:00 a.m. Monday, this area lost one of its few remaining pioneers. Funeral services will be held from the Peet Chapel in Lusk at 2:00 p.m. this Thursday. Death was attributed to a heart condition caused by old age.

In the later part of February 1888 Frank and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Luther Brooks, and brothers George and William landed in Manville. The Brooks family had come west in two emigrant cars. They settled on a homestead two miles west of Manville. As a boy one of Mr. Brooks' first jobs, was working as a stable boy for the famous Cheyenne-Deadwood stage line.

Mr. Brooks and Alice Johnson were married in Fort Scott, Kansas April 28, 1897. they had four children: Mrs. Edward (Gertrude) Hybbert, Schubert, Minn.; F. Everett Brooks, Lusk; Mrs. Warren J. (Verona) Kelley, Aurora, Colo.; Edmund Brooks, deceased.

In either 1888 or 1889 Mr. Brooks sold his original homestead and started ranching about six miles south of Manville. He operated this ranch until 1949 when he sold it and moved to Torrington. A few years ago he bought his present ranch north of Guernsey.

"The Legend of Rawhide" meant a great deal to Frank Brooks and despite his age, he played in it every year except one. The year he didn't play in it he decided that he would watch it from the grandstand. Part way through the performance he became excited with the show, left his grandstand seat, went into the arena and took his usual place driving a covered wagon.

He devoted many years of service to the public schools having served as both treasurer and president of the Jireh school district board.

For a number of years he operated the only cheese factory Niobrara county ever had. The business was operated from a stone building in Manville which still stands just north of the Chicago and Northwestern railroad tracks. While operating this business he promoted Saturday night dances and was superintendent of the Methodist Church Sunday School. In addition to cheese he also produced ice cream and other dairy products.

In 1936 Mr. Brooks became associated with U.S. Senator Frank A. Barrett, in the sheep business. This business operated until 1949 when it was sold to the late Sam Joss. Undoubtedly it was through the partnership, known as Barrett and Brooks, that Senator Barrett gained much of his knowledge of the wool industry. Barrett's knowledge proved to be of great value to all American woolmen for he was able, both as a Congressman and Senator to help favorable wool legislation become law.

Mrs. Brooks died in October, 1923. In January, 1930 he and Mrs. Helen McCann were married in Sterling, Colo.

In addition to the survivors listed above he is survived by his wife; two step-sons, Fred Mulhback of Torrington and Allen Mulhback of Casper; three grandchildren, Dean of Scottsbluff, Donald of Manville, and Edmund who just recently received his release from the service; two great-grandchildren, Gary of March Field, Calif. and Sharon of Ft. Morgan, Colo.


Thon Book No. 1
Year 1958
Funeral Services for Frank Brooks Are Held Thursday

Funeral services were held Thursday afternoon from the Peet Chapel for Frank E. Brooks, pioneer resident of this area, who died December 1 at his home north of Guernsey. Rev. Jacob Nein officiated. Burial was in the Lusk Cemetery.

A mixed quartet composed of Mrs. A. F. DeCasatro, Mrs. Otha B. Holcomb, Don Unruh and E. E. Davenport sang "Beyond The Sunset" and "The Old Rugged Cross." Mrs. J. P. Watson was organist.

Active pallbearers were Kenneth Hughes, Bernard Thon, Robert Grove, C. E. Marvin, Levern James and Fred Kettler. Honorary pallbearers were Frank Barrett, Dan Smith, Charles Gaukel, D. A. Shoopman, Orville Dryer, C. W. Irwin and Charles Hitshew.

Francis Elmer Brooks, son of Luther and Sarah Noble Brooks, was born March 6, 1874 in Stark County, Ill. He moved to Wyoming with his parents in February of 1888. They homesteaded in the vicinity of Manville. He received his education in Manville and joined the Methodist Church there.

April 28, 1897 he married Lutie Alice Johnson. They were the parents of four children. Following his marriage he homesteaded near Manville . Mrs. Brooks died in 1923. In 1930 he married Helen McCann.

Survivors include his wife; three children, Mrs. J. Ed Hybbert of Sherburn, Minn.; F. Everett Brooks of Lusk; and Mrs. Warren J. Kelley of Aurora, Colo. One son James Edmund previously died.

Two step-sons, Fred Muhlback of Casper; four grandchildren and two great grandchildren, a brother, William Brooks of Torrington also survive.








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