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
, 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
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
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
, 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 great-great-granddaughter of the famous Puritan
teacher, Rev. John Cotton
, 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
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 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
, 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
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
, while their younger son, Shepherd Brooks, is the subject of this memoir.
He was prepared for college by Dr. Samuel Eliot
, 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.
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.
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
, who survives him, together with a son, Gorham Brooks
, A. B. (Harvard, 1905), and two daughters, Helen, wife of Robert Wales Emmons
, 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
, and his body was placed in the family tomb in Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford