WILLIAM A. BROOKS, an honored old citizen of Pleasant Township, was born in Clinton County, N.Y., November 28, 1822, and was the son of Gehial and Rebecca (Anson) Brooks, who were also natives of the State of New York. His boyhood was spent on a farm in his native county. At seventeen years of age he accompanied his widowed mother to Madison, this state, where they remained some five or six years, and during that time he was chiefly employed at the carpenter's trade. In 1850, the family settled on a farm in Jennings County, this state. On the 10th day of June, of the same year, he was married to Eliza J. Griffith [sic-see footnote]. She was born in Jennings County, Ind., and was the daughter of Thomas and Hannah Griffith. In 1855, Mr. Brooks removed with his family from Jennings County to Johnson County, and he has ever since been a resident of Pleasant township. His occupation has been that of a farmer, and in this pursuit he has been successful. He owns a first-class farm of 100 acres, two and one-half miles southeast of Greenwood, which is in a good state of improvement, and nearly all of which is in cultivation. Upon this place he settled when he first came to the county, and he continued to occupy it until 1878. His first wife died October 4, 1864, and on the 20th day of June, 1877, Mr. Brooks was married to Mrs. Ann Brewer. She was born in Mercer County, Ky., March 29, 1825, and was the daughter of Henry R. and Elizabeth (Smock) Comingore, both of whom were natives of Mercer County, Ky. Her father was the son of Henry and Rachel (Brewer) Comingore, the former a native of Holland, and the latter a native of Pennsylvania. Her mother was the daughter of Jacob and Ann (Banta) Smock, who were, respectively, natives of Pennsylvania and Mercer County, Ky. The father and mother of Jacob Smock were natives of Holland. On the 18th day of February, 1847, Mrs. Brooks was married to John C. brewer, who was a native of Mercer County, Ky., born January 8, 1821 and was the son of Abram and Ann (Cozine) Brewer. John C. Brewer died January 24, 1874, after which his wife remained a widow until her marriage to Mr. Brooks. The first marriage of Mr. Brooks resulted in the birth of six children: Henry W., Jane E., Charlotte S., Albert R., Hannah R., and Mary E., of whom Charlotte S. and Mare E., are deceased. The first marriage of Mrs. Brooks resulted in the birth of eight children: Mary A., born March 26, 1848; Sarah Elizabeth, August 29, 1849; Laura J., February 3, 1852, deceased; Macella A., January 17, 1854; Eldora, January 11, 1856; Laura M., December 29, 1857; Charles E., May 18, 1861; John Edward, July 3, 1864. The wife of Mr. Brooks is a member of the Presbyterian Church; he is a member of the Baptist Church, and in politics, he is an ardent republican. Mr. Brooks is a director and heavy stockholder in the Whiteland Fruit Packing Company, a history of which appears elsewhere. He is an influential and reliable man, and he and wife are highly respected.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker
Banta, D.D. History of Johnson County, Indiana, pp 773-774. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888.
Note: William A. Brooks married Nancy N. Griffith on 9 June 1850, according to the Jennings County, Indiana marriage records available from the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah (film number 1405173). This information is confirmed by the 1850 US Federal Census for Campbell, Jennings, Indiana and 1860 US Federal Census for Pleasant, Johnson, Indiana. The latter census confirms that Thomas and Hannah Griffith are Nancy's parents as they are living in William and Nancy's household. Eliza J. Griffith is a niece of Nancy N. (Griffith) Brooks and the daughter of Nancy's brother, William H. Griffith. Eliza would have been 9 years old in 1850, when the William Brooks wedding would have taken place.