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McLean County, Illinois
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PRESLEY T. BROOKS, a retired farmer now living in ease and comfort in the village of Stanford, is wisely enjoying the fruits of his early toil and taking satisfaction in the consciousness of a well-spent life.

He was born in Hart County, Ky., Nov. 9, 1821, being the son of Miles and Lucy (Pullian) Brooks, both natives of Virginia. The father was born Dec. 1, 1781, and the mother Aug. 5, 1784. Miles Brooks disposed of his possessions in Kentucky in 1828, and started for the prairies of Illinois, stopping during the winter of that year and the summer of 1829 in Indiana.

In the fall of 1829 he came into Sangamon County, where he remained until December, and then entered a tract of land in what is now Allin Township, this county, to which he removed his family and where he established a comfortable home. There he spent the remainder of his days, dying in 1840.

He was prospered in his farming and business transactions, and at the time of his death was the owner of 500 acres of choice land with modern improvements. Mrs. Brooks survived her husband about three years and died Feb. 11, 1844. They became the parents of eleven children, as follows: America was born March 12, 1806; Elizabeth, April 2, 1807; Virginia, Oct. 10, 1808; Millie, June 16, 1810; Benjamin P., March 24, 1812; Elzey, Oct. 12, 1814; Sarepta S., Aug. 26, 1817, Zerilda, Oct. 19, 1819; Presley T., Nov. 9, 1821; Lucy A., May 17, 1825; Martha D., March 21, 1823.

In Kentucky the parents were connected with the Baptist Church, but after their removal to Illinois became members of the Christian Church.

The subject of this history was reared by his parents, received a very limited education in the common schools, and after attaining his majority was married, Dec. 29, 1842, to Miss Eliza S. Larison. They located in Allin Township, on Government land, and in 1848 entered the land that he located on in 1842. Mr. Brooks purchased additional land, until he became the possessor of 480 acres, which he brought to a state of good cultivation and erected upon it a handsome and commodious farm dwelling, with a good barn and all necessary out-buildings.

He donated one acre of this for a cemetery and for a school building. He has been a useful and valued citizen since coming to this community and held the offices of Constable, Justice of the Peace, Township Supervisor, Assessor, and Treasurer, being the incumbent of the latter office for a period of eighteen years. As a Magistrate he officiated twenty-five years.

He has always been greatly interested in the temperance movement. In early life he affiliated with the Democratic party but has now identified himself with the Prohibitionists. Both Mr. Brooks and his wife are members of the Christian Church.

The family of Mr. and Mrs. Brooks consisted of ten children, of whom eight are living, namely, Catherine, Miles, Maiy, Abel, Rachel, Lucy A., Millie and Ella. The deceased are, America A. and an infant son which died unnamed.

Besides his town property Mr. Brooks owns 480 acres of land in Allin Township, on sections 29 and 32, 160 acres of which land he purchased on a soldier's warrant for the sum of $112.

[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]


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