Chemung County NY
History of Tompkins, Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga 1879
Page 234 - Elijah Brooks Biography
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1879 Four County History - Table of Contents
Typed for Tri-Counties by Janice Walker
Formatted by Joyce M. Tice
Hon. Elijah P. Brooks was the third son of Dr. Theseus Brooks, and was born in the town of Edmiston, Otsego Co., N.Y., March 4, 1819.

There were four sons and one daughter, -Henry S., Thomas J., Elijah P., William A., and Roxanna.  William A. is the only surviving child.  The mother died in October, 1877, in Elmira, in the ninety-first year of her age.  The family removed to Big Flats, this county, about the year 1823, living there thirteen years, and coming to Elmira in 1835, where the head of the family, Dr. Brooks, died about the year 1858.  Elijah P. Brooks, after receiving a common-school education, commenced learning the wagon-making trade; which continued for a number of years.  Young Brooks proved himself a hard student, and after his admission to the bar worked with a diligence that soon brought him into prominence, and laid the foundation of that professional success the fruits of which in after-years he so lucratively reaped.

His uprightness of character, his application, his thorough comprehension of the duties and demands of his honorable profession, all formed elements of success, and united to these were sagacity and ability.

He had fine business qualities, and by judicious investments subsequently added to his fortune, the basis of which was formed in the active prosecution of his profession.  He was a man of brilliant intellect, of large acquirements both generally and in his profession, and possessed in a peculiar degree those elements which attract and delight in social life.

The business life of Judge Brooks covers the whole period of the growth and prosperity of Elmira, out of its position as a secluded rural village of two thousand people to a busy and bustling city of twenty thousand.  In every enterprise calculated to foster that growth he has been an active participant.  His public spirit was marked and unflagging, while his judgment and shrewdness in business matters were seldom or never at fault.  He was successful as a business man in his profession and in political life.  He enjoyed a full share of public honors, and discharged every duty, public or private, with scrupulous fidelity, and with ability ever manifest and recognized.

He became active in politics, and for years was one of the honored leaders of the Republican party in Western New York.  During the war Judge Brooks patriotically and actively interested himself in sustaining the government, and was one of a committee of influential citizens who gave assistance to raise regiments and enable the district to fill its quota of troops.  He was elected county judge and surrogate of Chemung County in 1860, acceptably and creditably serving four years as such.  For several years he was one of the canal appraisers of this State, being appointed March 22, 1865.  He was also a member in 1857 of the State Constitutional Convention.

He married, Aug. 30, 1842, Prudence Ann, a daughter of Gabriel Sayre, who lived in the town of Chemung.  His brother, William A., also married a daughter of Mr. Sayre.

Judge Brooks died at his residence on College Hill, in Elmira, May 19, 1878.  Mrs. Brooks survives her husband, with a family of four children, -Mrs. Charles A. Willis, Fanny, Charles, and Tracy B., a lawyer of this city.

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