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Archives & Manuscripts

Brooks Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-252
The collection contains the papers of five generations of the Buck, Brooks, and Butler families of New England and the Mid-West, including extensive correspondence, pictures, writings, business papers, some diaries, and genealogical material. Most prominent are the papers, particularly correspondence, of Morgan and Frona Marie Brooks. One of their children, Charles Franklin Brooks, became a member of the Society of Friends shortly after his marriage to Eleanor Stabler. Their daughter, Barbara, married Edward H. Kerner, and she was active in Quaker concerns, particularly peace.

The collection is organized into the following series and subseries:
  1. Correspondence sent
  2. Correspondence received
  3. Miscellaneous correspondence
  4. Edward H. Kerner professional papers
  5. Miscellaneous

Dates

  • 1790-1992 (bulk 1832-1960)

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Extent

32 Linear Feet (61 boxes)

Overview

The Brooks Family Papers contain extensive correspondence, diaries, and other papers from multiple generations of the Buck, Butler, and Brooks families of New England and the Mid-West and the Kerner family of Delaware. Most prominently represented are Morgan Brooks (1861-1947), a professor of engineering, and his wife, Frona Marie (Brooks) Brooks (1861-1947). One of their children, Charles Franklin Brooks (1891-1958), became a member of the Society of Friends shortly after marrying Eleanor M. Stabler (1892-1986) in 1914. Their daughter, Barbara Brooks (1922-2007), married Edward H. Kerner, and she was active in Quaker concerns, particularly peace. Also included in this collection are business, legal, genealogical, and professional papers of family members.

Biographical / Historical

Morgan Brooks (1861-1947) and Frona Marie (Brooks) Brooks (1861-1947) are central figures in the Brooks Family collection. They descended from the Brooks, Butler, and Buck families of New England.

Frona's grandfather, Charles Buck (1798-1863), married Sophronia Herrick (1803-1841) in 1825. The couple had three children, Charles W. Buck (1833-1933), a Unitarian minister; Robert Herrick Buck (birth name Jedidiah), who invested in Colorado gold mines; and Charlotte Frances Buck, (1828-1907). In 1852 Charlotte married Boston attorney Benjamin Franklin Brooks, and the couple had four children: Frona Marie Brooks, the only child to marry, Arthur, Esther Clara Herrick Brooks, M.D., and Franklin Herrick Brooks. Morgan's grandfather, Caleb Butler, married Clarissa Varnum, and they had a daughter, Frances Butler in 1822. Frances married Francis Augustus Brooks, a Boston, Mass., corporate attorney and railroad president, in 1847. This couple had three children: Charles B., Frederick, and Morgan Brooks. The collection includes correspondence among these family members and a great deal of professional correspondence and documents, mainly from Charles W. Buck, Benjamin Franklin Brooks, Franklin Herrick Brooks, and Francis Augustus Brooks.

Morgan Brooks and Frona Marie Brooks were married in 1888. They moved to Urbana, Illinois, shortly after their wedding where Morgan became a nationally known professor of engineering. Morgan and Frona had eight children, all of whom survived into adulthood: Henry Morgan (1889-1948), married Ruth Hayford in 1911; Charles Franklin Brooks (1891-1958), married Eleanor M. Stabler, and they had seven children; Frances Brooks (b. 1893) married Lincoln Colcord in 1929; Frederick Augustus Brooks (1895-1967), married Harriet Kinley in 1921 (divorced) and, secondly, Margaret H. Ward in 1929; Roger Brooks (1896-1957) married Anne Goebel in 1921 (divorced) and, secondly, Janet in 1928; Edith Brooks (1889-1952); Frona Marguerite Brooks ("Margie") (1901-1985), married George Hughes in 1924. The couple had two daughters, Ann and Octavia ("Taffy") before they divorced in 1927; she then married Richard Rice; Dorothy Prescott (b. 1905), married Joe Thomas in 1931.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Barbara Kerner and other members of the Brooks family, 2003 (Accession number: 2003-015)

Donor: Winifred and Benjamin Kerner, 2007, 2008 (Accession number: 2007-021, 023, 2008-010)

Related Materials

RG5/234 Stabler Family Papers: A closely related collection, includes additional correspondence from the Brooks and Stabler families.

Eleanor Stabler Brooks Papers at Radcliffe Archives

Charles Franklin Brooks Papers at Harvard University Archives

Separated Materials

Photographs stored in PA 129: Organized in groups of loose photographs and albums. Arranged in series by family groups, residences, and albums.
  1. Small album (~4 x 6), leather cover, cardboard gilt-edged. Inscribed "From Harry To Charlie." Pictures of Brooks children (series 1) and their grandparents, aunts, and uncles (series 2). Location: Box 4
  2. Large album (~9 x 12), leather cover, cardboard gilt-edged pages. Mostly pictures of grandparents, aunts, and uncles (Series 2), with some of the Brooks children with their parents (Series 1), and some of more distant relatives (cousins, great-uncles, etc.) Location: Box 5
  3. Medium-sized album (~7 x 11), black cover, black paper pages, bound with string. Inscribed "Some Photographic Reminiscences For Mother From Charlie." Pictures from C.F.B's childhood and young-to-middle adulthood, of his siblings, his parents, himself, his wife, and his children. Location: Box 4
  4. Large album (~9 x 12), black cover, black paper pages, bound with string. Pictures of Brooks children (Series 1) on trips abroad and at lake in Minnesota, as well as some early pictures of their spouses and children (Series 2). Location: Box 4
  5. . Medium-sized album (~7 x 11), purple cover, black paper pages, bound with string. Pictures from Brooks children's (series 1) summers at lake in Minnesota, of the Brooks children as young adults, and of Charles's family (Series 2) when his oldest children were little. Location: Box 6
  6. Small album (~6 x 7), leather cover, cardboard gilt-edged pages. Pictures of Frona Marie Brooks as a young girl, her siblings, her friends from high school, and a number of other unidentified women. Location: Box 6
  7. Large album (~9 x 12), black cover, black paper pages, bound with string. Pictures from Brooks family's (Series 1) trip by steamer to India and China. Location: Box 7
  8. Medium-sized album (~7 x 11), black cover, black paper pages, bound with string. Pictures from Brooks children's (Series 1) childhood, adulthood, and families. Many pictures are duplicated in loose photo collection. Pictures of Frederick and his daughters, who do not appear elsewhere. Also includes height and weight chart of Brooks family (Series 1). Most photos unglued from pages, and many pages loose. Handle with extreme care. Location: Box 8
  9. Medium-sized album (~7 x 11), black cover, black paper pages. Cover says "Frona M. Brooks." Assorted pictures from Brooks family's (series 1) trips abroad and to the lake in Minnesota, with a few of Ann Hughes and of Dorothy's children. Location: Box 7
  10. Large album (~9 x 12), black cover, black paper pages, bound with string. Pictures from Brooks family's (Series 1) trip by steamer to Egypt and around Europe. Location: Box 9
  11. Large album (~11 x 14), black cover, black paper pages. Pictures from Brooks family's (series 1) trips to Europe, Asia, and the Minnesota lake. Album coming apart and many pages disintegrating; handle with care. Location: Box 10
  12. Small album (~4 x 6), black paper pages with plastic covers, red spiral binding. Pictures of mountains, animals, and an unidentified little boy. Location: Box 6
  13. Small album (~4 x 6), black paper pages with plastic covers, red spiral binding. Pictures of mountains, a cathedral, and a stagecoach. Location: Box 6
  14. Small album (~4 x 6), black paper pages, black cover. Snapshots of Brooks children (Series 1) having fun in Urbana, at picnics, on rooftops, with friends, etc. Also includes a few of Henry's daughter Elizabeth as a baby. Location: Box 6
  15. Large album (~10 x 13), black paper pages, black cover. Pictures (mostly postcards) from trip to Europe. Many pages disintegrating; album unbound. Handle with extreme care. Location: Box 10
  16. Medium-sized album (~7 x 11) black cover, black paper pages, bound with string. Pictures of Brooks family's (Series 1) residences. Location: Box 9

Processing Information

The bulk of the papers were received in 35 cartons and boxes in 2003. They were sorted into family groups, and the pictures were removed to PA 129. Series 1 contains the papers of Charles and Eleanor Stabler Brooks, the parents of Barbara Brooks Kerner, the donor, and they are directly linked to the Stabler Family Papers, a collection given to Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College in 2002-2003. Series 6: Franklin Herrick Brooks and Benjamin Franklin Brooks Business and Legal Papers (2 boxes) is partially processed and stored in archival cartons. A folder of material concerning the pacifist activities of E. Russell Stabler was transferred to the Stabler Family Papers, RG 5/234. In December 2007 and March 2008, papers from the estate of Barbara Kerner were given to the Library by her children. The Delaware Draft Counseling Service records were transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. The Barbara Brooks Kerner Family Papers, Ser. 7 (6.5 linear feet) were processed in 2010. A nephew of Barbara Kerner retains some family letters which were separated from the collection in the transfer from the Kerner home to Friends Historical Library in March 2008.

Creator

Title
Finding aid for Brooks Family Papers, 1790-1992
Author
FHL staff
Date
2010
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2016: This electronic finding aid was updated in Summer 2016 by Abdulrezak Kemal in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace, to conform to current markup standards and the ArchivesSpace data model.

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