A Narrative History of The People of Iowa


THOMPSON L. BROOKHART has been engaged in the practice of law at Washington, judicial center of Washington County, since 1911, save for the interval of his World war service, and here he was junior member of the representative law firm of Brookhart Brothers, in which his coadjutors were his two brothers, Smith W. and James L., until November 11, 1926, at which time the firm was dissolved by the death of J. L. Brookhart.
Mr. Brookhart, who is of German Swiss lineage, was born on the parental home farm near Slema, Van Buren County, Iowa, March 14, 1886, and is a son of Abram C. Brookhart, who was born in Ohio and there acquired his early education, and who, in 1850, accompanied his parents on their removal to Missouri, where the family gained pioneer precedence in Scotland County, and whence he later, went forth as a loyal young soldier of the Union in the Civil war, he having served three years as a private in the Seventh Missouri Cavalry and having taken part in the various engagements in which this command was involved.  After the close of the war he returned to the old home in Scotland County, Missouri, where was solemnized his marriage to Miss  Cynthia A. Wildman, and they came to Iowa and established their home in Jefferson County, whence they later removed to Van Buren County.  Abram C. Brookhart was a farmer by vocation during virtually his entire active career, his political allegiance was given to the Republican party, and after coming to Iowa he served several terms as township trustee.  He was long and actively affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic.  The death of Mr. Brookhart occurred in 1920, when he was venerable in years, his wife having passed away in 1916.  Of the ten children all survived the honored parents:  Smith W., who was senior member of the law firm of Brookhart
Brothers, of Washington, Iowa; Newton D., of Pocatello, Idaho; James L., of Washington, Iowa, now deceased; Odes E., of Des Moines, Iowa; Miss Della E., of Chicago, Illinois; Mrs. Myrtle Poole, of Washington, Iowa; George W., of Nampa, Idaho; Mrs. May Quinn, of Columbus Junction, Iowa; Miss Lillian E.,  of Pocatello, Idaho; Thompson L., immediate subject of this review.

Thompson L. Brookhart passed the period of his childhood and early youth on the old home farm in Van Buren County, and there he attended the public schools until 1903.  He then came, in 1904, to his present home City of
Washington, and here he was graduated in Washington Academy, as a member of the class of 1909, he having in the meanwhile served as clerk and student in the local law office of his brothers, Senator Smith W. Brookhart and James L. Brookhart, his former law partners.  In 1906-7 he taught in the rural schools of Washington County, and in 1909 he entered the law department of the University of Iowa, in which institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1911, his reception of the degree of Bachelor of Laws having forthwith been followed by his admission to the bar of his native state and by his admission to partnership in the law business of his brothers at Washington, where he continued in the active practice of his profession, as junior member of one of the strongest and most influential law firms in this part of the Hawkeye State.  He is serving as United States referee in bankruptcy for the southern district of Iowa, and is an active member of the Washington County Bar Association and the Iowa State Bar Association. While a student in the law college of the University of Iowa Mr. Brookhart was a member of the Zetagathian Society, and in 1910 was a member of the 'varsity football team.  In his junior year at the university he supplemented his financial resources by serving as janitor of the law
building.  Mr. Brookhart is a stalwart in the ranks of the Republican party and has been influential in its Iowa councils, though he has manifested no desire for official preferment.  His Masonic affiliations include his membership in Kaaba Temple of the Mystic Shrine, in the City of Davenport; Des Moines  Consistory No. 3, Des Moines, Iowa, and the York Rite bodies at Washington, Iowa.

When the nation formally entered the World war Mr. Brookhart was one of the first Iowa volunteers.  May 12, 1917, he enlisted in the United States army, and he attended the Officers Training Camp at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, where, August 19, 1917, he received commission as second lieutenant and was assigned to the Motor Transport Corps.  In May, 1918, he was advanced to the rank of first lieutenant, and in the following July he accompanied his command to France, where he was stationed at Tours in the office of director of Motor Transport Corps, under Gen. M. L. Walker.  He was thus placed at the time the armistice brought the war to a close, and at Camp Dodge, Iowa, he received his honorable discharge in January, 1919.  He was one of the organizers and is an honored and popular member of Leon Beatty Post of the American Legion, in his home city, and he served two years as a member of the executive committee of the Iowa State Department of the American Legion. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. August 11, 1924, marked the marriage of Mr. Brookhart to Miss Winifred Virginia Anderson, of Cedar Rapids, and she is the gracious and popular
chatelaine of their pleasant home, at 936 South Iowa Avenue.  They have no children.


~ source: A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, ETC., by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc. Chicago and New York. 1931
~ transcribe by Debbie Clough Gerischer for the Great War