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Shepherd Brooks.

The late Shepherd Brooks, one of Medford's best-known citizens and a member and benefactor of the Medford Historical Society, accepted Pilgrim Tercentenary membership in the New England Historic Genealogical Society in the summer of 1919, soon after that new form of membership was instituted by the society [p. 12] in order to commemorate the three hundredth anniversary of the Landing of the Pilgrims by the establishment of a Pilgrim Tercentenary Memorial Fund for the benefit of the Society, and the following memoir of him appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 77, pp. lxv-lxvii (supplement to the issue of April, 1923) and is reprinted here by permission.

Shepherd Brooks, A. M., of Boston and Medford, Mass., a Pilgrim Tercentenary member since 1919, was born in Baltimore, Md., where his parents, Gorham and Ellen (Shepherd) Brooks of Boston and Medford, were temporarily residing, 23 July 1837, and died in Boston 21 February 1922.

He was a member of an illustrious Massachusetts family, of which the immigrant ancestor was Thomas Brooks, an early settler of Watertown, who was admitted a freeman 7 December 1636 and soon afterwards removed to Concord, where he was constable in 1638 and later deputy and captain. In 1660 he and his son-in-law, Timothy Wheeler, bought four hundred acres of land in Medford; but he continued to reside in Concord, and died there 21 May 1667. Among his children by his wife Grace, who died 12 May 1664, was Caleb, born, probably in England, about 1632, who removed from Concord to Medford and died 29 July 1696, aged 64. His two wives, Susanna and Hannah, were sisters, being the daughters of Thomas Atkinson; and by the second wife, Hannah, he had two sons, Ebenezer of Medford, whose grandson, John Brooks (1752-1825), was the wellknown Governor of Massachusetts, and Samuel of Medford, who was born 1 September 1672 and died 3 July 1733. This Samuel married Sarah Boylston, daughter of Dr. Thomas Boylston of Brookline and sister of the wife of his brother Ebenezer; and their son Samuel of Medford, who was born 3 September 1700 and died 5 July 1768, was by his wife, Mary Boutwell of Reading, the father of five children, one of whom was Rev. Edward [p. 13] Brooks of Medford, A. B. (Harvard, 1755), A. M. (ib., 1760), who was born 4 November 1743 and died at Medford 6 May 1781. For a few years after his graduation at Harvard Edward Brooks was librarian of Harvard College, and in July 1764 he was settled as pastor at North Yarmouth, Me. Here, however, Mr. Brooks's somewhat liberal theology proved unacceptable to his flock, and in March 1769 he was at his own request dismissed from his pastorate and returned to Medford. He took an active part in the stirring events of 19 April 1775, and in 1777 was appointed chaplain on the frigate Hancock, which was captured by the British off Halifax, Mr. Brooks being held for some time as a prisoner. By his wife, Abigail Brown, whom he married in September 1764, daughter of Rev. John and Joanna (Cotton) Brown of Haverhill and great-great-granddaughter of the famous Puritan teacher, Rev. John Cotton of Boston, Mr. Brooks had two sons and two daughters. His second son, Hon. Peter Chardon Brooks, who was born at North Yarmouth 6 January 1767 and died in Boston 1 January 1849, was named for one of his father's Harvard classmates, Peter Chardon, who died prematurely in the West Indies in October 1766, the son of an eminent Boston merchant of Huguenot descent, whose house stood at the corner of the present Bowdoin Square and Chardon Street, on the site recently occupied by the Bowdoin Square Baptist Church. The family of Rev. Edward Brooks was in straightened circumstances after his death; but the young Peter Chardon Brooks, starting in business in Boston about 1789 as a marine-insurance broker, rose to be one of the most eminent merchants of Boston, and accumulated a fortune. He resided in Boston in the winter, and passed his summers on his ancestral acres in the western part of Medford, where he built a large mansion house. At various times he held public office in the Commonwealth, serving in both branches of the State Legislature, in the Executive Council, and in the Constitutional Convention of 1820. [p. 14] In 1792 he married Ann Gorham, daughter of Judge Nathaniel of Charlestown. Of their large family of thirteen children, Charlotte Gray Brooks became the wife of Hon. Edward Everett, and Abigail Brown Brooks the wife of Hon. Charles Francis Adams, son of President John Quincy Adams. Gorham Brooks of Medford, son of Peter Chardon Brooks, was born at Medford 10 February 1795, entered Harvard College, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1814 and that of Master of Arts three years later, and died 10 September 1855. He married, 20 April 1829, Ellen Shepherd, who was born in Louisiana 22 August 1809 and died II August 1884, daughter of Resin Davis and Lucy (Gorham) Shepherd. Their only daughter died in infancy; but their eldest son, Peter Chardon Brooks, A. B. (Harvard, 1852), A. M. (ib., 1871), who was born at Watertown 8 May 1831 and died in Boston 27 January 1920, married, 4 October 1866, Sarah Lawrence, daughter of Amos Adams Lawrence, A. B. (Harvard, 1835), A. M. (ib., 1838), and was a well-known and public-spirited resident of Boston and Medford, while their younger son, Shepherd Brooks, is the subject of this memoir.

He was prepared for college by Dr. Samuel Eliot of Boston, entered Harvard, and received there the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1857 and that of Master of Arts in 1872. Only two of his Harvard classmates of 1857 survived him.

After leaving college, Mr. Brooks passed the winter in New Orleans, and in the autumn of 1858 went to Europe, where he remained two years and travelled extensively. His freedom from financial cares made it possible for him to spend a winter in the South whenever he wished and to travel at will in this country and abroad. In the spring of 1872 he joined a pleasure party that journeyed to the Pacific coast, and thus met his future wife, who was also a member of the party.

Although he had made a special study of architecture, he did not follow up this subject as an active profession. [p. 15] He had a house in Boston and a beautiful estate in the western part of Medford, where he indulged his tastes for rural life and raised extensive crops of the highest quality. The Brooks estate was one of the show places of Medford, and was famed throughout the East. It possessed also much historic interest, and evidences of the old-time canal, the Indian monument, and the slave wall could until recently be found there. He was a leading citizen in the home town of his progenitors and one of its principal benefactors, and was identified with many of its institutions.

He married in Boston, 10 December 1872, Clara Gardner, daughter of George and Helen M. (Read) Gardner of Boston, who survives him, together with a son, Gorham Brooks of Boston, A. B. (Harvard, 1905), and two daughters, Helen, wife of Robert Wales Emmons of Boston, A. B. (Harvard, 1895), and Rachel, wife of James Jackson of Westwood, Mass., A. B. (Harvard, 1904), who is at present Treasurer and Receiver-General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Funeral services for Mr. Brooks were held in King's Chapel, Boston, and his body was placed in the family tomb in Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford.

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