Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma
The town of BROOKSVILLE (December 18, 1909 - February 28, 1955), was located four miles southeast of Tecumseh and 12 miles southwest of Shawnee. Brooksville was first named Lelian, Oklahoma Territory. The name was changed to Sewell, in honor of a white doctor who owned land just north of the settlement, when the Santa Fe put in a switch and more people moved to the area. Not long after that the named was changed once again and was called Brooksville to honor A.R. Brooks, a cotton buyer and farmer and the first Negro in the neighborhood. Alfred H. Brooks also was the first postmaster. And the post office was the last one authorized in this area before Oklahoma Territory became a state. Brooksville was a prominent Negro school community. Brooksville once had a Santa Fe railroad station, three hotel, and two stone mills and was a busy cotton shipping point. Brooksville had three churches: The CME Methodist, The Holiness, and the St. John Baptist. The town also had two doctors at one time. Organization in the town included Masonic, Odd Fellows, Knights of Phthians of Phthias, Knights of Tabor Lodge, the Literary Society, The Court of Calanthe, The Eastern Star, The Grand High Preceptre, and The Wispering Hope Club.
The first two-story hotel and a pool hall were built by Jedson White in 1907. Two other hotels and a boarding house were added a short time later along with a boarding house. Brick buildings were the Farmers Union Grocery and Larkins Grocery & Drugstore. Other buildings included the Taylor, Millines, Smith & Brown; Edwards, Cooks, Edgenton, Hicks, and House Grocers and the Bocots Drug Store.
The "negro school" was located on the Santa Fe by "Little River" and was named Banneker. The building was erected entirely by Negro contractors and labor as a result of Rosenwald aid fund. It housed six well equipped classrooms, and auditorium, library, domestic science and manuel training rooms. The building burned and was replaced by a building which later housed the community center and was named Carver school.
St. John Baptist Church of Brooksville which was dedicated in 1906 began from a small group of residents meeting under a brush arbor, led by Rev. Jedson White and Mrs. Sarah Richardson Bales.
Adapted from THE SHAWNEE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
program September 2007. The source for the program was the POTTAWATOMIE
COUNTY HISTORY BOOK and the LOCALIZED HISTORY OF POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, OKLAHOMA
TO 1907, by Charles W. Mooney.