LORENZO BROOKS, of Vinton, is numbered among the early settlers of Benton County. He is a native of Genesee County, N. Y., born Feb. 11, 1818, and is a son of Rev. Bethuel Brooks, a native of New Hampshire. His grandfather, Levi Brooks, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and served until its close. He held the rank of captain. His grandfather also participated in the War of 1812, with the rank of major. He was for many years a resident of Chenango County, N. Y., and received a large pension from the General Government. Bethuel Brooks married Mary Hadley, a native of Vermont, but who at the time of her marriage was living in Chenango County, N. Y. They were the parents of nine children, all of whom lived to maturity — Delia, wife of Ira French, of Broome County, N. Y.; Lorenzo, of Vinton; Rev. Asa, now in Broome County; R. Wesley, now in Tioga County, N. Y.; Franklin, now in Broome County; Sophia, wife of Lorenzo Eastwood, of Allegheny County, Pa.; Leroy, now in Broome County, N. Y.; Mary, wife of Francis Fenner, of Broome County; Diana, who married a Mr. Hatch, who died in Chenango County, N. Y. Rev. Bethuel Brooks was an ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in early life was a Jackson Democrat, but on the organization of the Republican party became one of its strong advocates. Soon after his marriage he moved to Genesee County, N. Y., and subseqnently to Broome County, in the same State, where he died. At the time of the removal of the family to Broome, County. Lorenzo was but four years of age. He there grew to manhood, his educational advantages being limited to the common school, which he attended in winter until he was thirteen years of age. Being the eldest son and his father a minister of the Gospel and away from home most of the time, the care of the family necessarily devolved upon him.
On the 7th day of November, 1839, he was united in marriage to Miss Jane S. Pease, born Feb. 4, 1820, in Cortland County, N. Y. She was a daughter of Rev. Chester and Mary (Ferguson) Pease, natives of Connecticut, and was one of a family of eight children — Phena, wife of Nelson Livermore, who died in Hancock County, Iowa, Dec. 28, 1885; Eliza who died in 1842: Sarah, who died when fifteen years of age; Jane S.; Dr. Henry, who died in 1853; Alfred, who died Jan. 1, 1884; Charles, now in California; Dr. Benjamin F., now in Williamson County, Ill. Mr. Pease was a Methodist preacher and filled the pulpit for many years, being ordained in 1841. He was an ardent and successful worker, a man above reproach and highly respected. In 1852 he removed his family to Williamson County, Ill., and was appointed State Agent of the Bible Society. He died in 1856. Mrs. Pease died at the home of her daughter, in this county, in 1873.
Mr. and Mrs. Brooks first settled in Broome County, N. Y., where three children were born to them — Mariamne, Dec. 11, 1842, now the wife of Dr. A. J. Dickinson, of Huron, Dak.; Charles H., born April 13, 1845, and died Sept. 15, 1880; Chester B., a farmer, of Benton County. In 1852 the family moved to Williamson County, Ill., where they remained about three years, and then came to Benton County, Iowa, locating in Benton Township, on section 32. For his first eighty acres of land he traded a span of horses and wagon. He built a frame house on this land, which was among the first erected in Benton Township. Mr. Brooks went to work to improve the farm while Mrs. Brooks taught school two terms, for which she received enough money to buy their first cow. After coming to this county two more children were born to them — Dr. Alfred Leroy, born June 6, 1858, a graduate of Rush Medical College and now residing in Audubon County, Iowa; Emory L., born July 20, 1860, a graduate of the Iowa State University, and who is now engaged in the practice of dentistry in Vinton.In politics Mr. Brooks is a Republican and has held several local offices of honor and trust, having been County Supervisor and Justice of the Peace. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In August, 1884, he moved to Vinton, and, with his estimable wife, is now leading a retired life, enjoying the fruits of their labor.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 244-245.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.