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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



Two different eras in his life found Mr. Brickell a newcomer ii Sacramento. The occasion of his first trip to the west occurred during 1858, when he followed the usual tedious and even dangerous mode of travel across the plains and eventually landed in an aspiring town of tents, the temporary abode of a cosmopolitan throng of people attracted to the coast by the discovery of gold. Returning to his old home in the middle west during the year 1865, he passed many years of energetic activity in Michigan and Missouri, and not again did he return to the far west until he was practically' about to retire from business activities, having disposed of his farm in Missouri. The second trip was radically different from that made forty-five years before. All of the comforts of twentieth century travel were his to enjoy. Nor was the city of his destination at all similar to the hamlet of his memory. No old familiar faces remained to greet him. Beautiful homes had replaced the temporary abodes of his former experiences. Substantial business blocks had replaced the shacks of the '50s. On every hand were evidences of wealth and culture. With gratification he viewed the remarkable transformation wrought by the energy of citizens during the passing years when the west was coming into her own.

Among the thirteen sons and daughters forming the family of Thomas Jefferson and Elizabeth Brickell there are nine still living, and one of these is Jerome F., who was born and reared on the old homestead near Niles, Mich., and attended the schools of that city and Kalamazoo. Upon starting out for himself he came to California in 1858 and engaged in teaming between Sacramento and the mines of Placer county, continuing in that occupation until he re- turned to Michigan in 1865. Meanwhile, in 1861, he married Miss Mary A. Collier, who was born in Massachusetts, but accompanied relatives to California at a very early age and grew to womanhood in Placer county. For a time she taught school there. Upon his return to Michigan Mr. Brickell engaged in the livery business at Niles for five years. Next he removed to Missouri and bought a raw tract of two hundred and eighty acres, to the development of which he devoted many years of unwearied toil. When eventually he felt himself no longer equal to the many responsibilities connected with agriculture he disposed of his holdings in Missouri and in 1903 again came to Sacramento, this time establishing a home in Oak Park and investing largely in property at this point. The results proved the wisdom of his investments. Early in 1907 the Oak Park Realty Company was incorporated, with Jerome F. Brickell as president and Thomas E. Brickell as secretary. While still connected with the business, Mr. Brickell has retired from heavy responsibilities and is in a financial position to enjoy the fruits of his former efforts. The firm has handled an immense amount of real estate and has largely limited its efforts to Oak Park, the upbuilding of which it has promoted in a material degree.

During the period of his residence in Missouri Mr. Brickell was a local leader of the Democratic party. While he was never an aspirant for office, he maintained a deep interest in public affairs, and at one time, upon the solicitation of leading Democrats of Macon county, he consented to accept the nomination for county treasurer. Duly elected to the office, he filled it for four years with marked efficiency. His interest in educational movements was unchanging. For years he served as one of the school directors of his township. In religion he favors Baptist doctrines and gives generous support to the missionary movements of the denomination.

Edgar J. Brickell, son of Jerome F. Brickell, was born at Niles, Mich., February 17, 1867, and received a public school education in Missouri, later attending a college at Dixon, Ill., from which he was graduated in 1890. After leaving college he was employed in the express and freight department of the Burlington Railroad Company for four years. Next he spent three years as a clerk in a clothing and men's furnishing store, while he also taught school in Macon county. Mo., for four years. The mercantile business at Clark, Mo., engaged his attention for five years, and for three years he con- ducted a grocery in St. Louis, Mo., from which city, in 1908, he came to Sacramento for the purpose of identifying himself with the Oak Park Realty Company. During February of 1911 he severed his connection with the real estate firm and opened a modern grocery on the corner of Thirty-fourth street and Park avenue, where now he has built up a gTOwing trade, and he holds a reputation for honesty in all business transactions. Like his father, he is of the Baptist faith, and like him, also, he favors Democratic principles in politics. In fraternal matters he holds membership with the Knights of Pythias. During 1891 he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth M. Clarkson, who was born and reared in Macon county. Mo., and received a fair education in the schools of that locality. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011