As the posting I’ve just linked above also states, in his collection of genealogical notes and documents entitled “Hope Family Notes [and] Notes on Aletha Sorrels Hope,” George W. Glass states that Rebecca Ann’s maiden name was Chiek, and he indicates that Alexander M. Brooks and wife Aletha adopted Rebecca Ann Chiek, who took the name Brooks when she married James Dallas Collier in Houston on 14 June 1869. Glass cites statements sent to him by Rebecca Ann’s daughter Mrs. Elta Gage of Los Angeles and her granddaughter Mrs. Carrol Rock of Woodville, Texas.
As the posting linked above also states, in 1896, Alexander left Houston to live with his adopted daughter Rebecca Ann and husband Dallas Collier in Warren, Tyler County, Texas, and died at their home on 8 February 1899, with Alexander’s obituary in the Houston Post on 13 February stating that Alexander had died at the residence of his daughter Mrs. J.D. Collier, with whom he had been living the last three years. A digital copy and transcription of this obituary are found in the posting linked at the top of the opening paragraph above.
The obituary of Alexander M. Brooks published in the Bastrop Advertiser on 18 February 1899 states, “Mrs. Collier at whose home Colonel Brooks died, was an adopted daughter,” and goes on to state that Alexander had only one child, a son Thomas Brooks, who married Miss Hill of Bastrop County and who predeceased his father by many years. A digital copy of this obituary is at the posting linked at the start of this posting.
The tombstone of Rebecca Ann Chiek Brooks Collier in Magnolia cemetery at Woodville, Tyler County, Texas, gives her dates of birth and death. She was born 21 May 1851 and died 11 March 1921. Federal censuses from 1860 to 1920 consistently give her place of birth as Texas. I have no information about her birth parents. Her Find a Grave memorial page states that she died at Silsbee in Hardin County, Texas. It has a photograph of her that is also found at the posting linked at the start of this posting.
Rebecca’s husband Dallas Collier was born 12 October 1844 at Blakely in Early County, Georgia, and died 30 November 1935 at Boston in Hardin County, Texas. These dates appear on his tombstone in Magnolia cemetery at Woodville, Texas, and the places of birth and death are in his biography on his Find a Grave memorial page. Dallas Collier’s parents were James Gwaltney/Gaultney Collier and Elizabeth Wynne Stewart, Georgia natives who are buried in Beech Creek Baptist cemetery at Spurger in Tyler County, Texas.
Dallas Collier’s Find a Grave memorial page has a tintype or daguerreotype photograph of him in a Confederate uniform, with a notation that he served in Co. B of Speight’s Battalion.
Thomas Jefferson Brooks
Early Life in Lawrence County, Alabama, and Tishomingo County, Mississippi
We’ve met Alexander Mackey Brooks’s son Thomas Jefferson Brooks in previous postings. As we’ve seen previously, he was born in 1835, per the 1850 federal census, or 1838, according to the 1860 federal census. His Confederate service papers, which will be discussed below, also give him an 1838 birthdate. As this previous posting notes, he’s enumerated on the 1850 federal census in the household of William Burke and Carolina Puckett Lindsey in Tishomingo County, Mississippi, aged 15, born in Alabama, with a notation that he had attended school in the past year. No surname is listed for him.
The posting I’ve just linked contains excerpts from a diary kept by Rev. Samuel Andrew Agnew, a Presbyterian minister who, along with his travel companion Mr. Robinson, stayed with Burke and Carolina in Tishomingo County, Mississippi, on 3 August 1854. As the linked posting notes, after having stayed with the Lindseys, Agnew returned home to Baldwyn in Lee County, Mississippi, and recorded in his diary some scurrilous gossip he had heard from a neighbor, Mr. Mayfield, about Burke, Carolina, and Carolina’s son Thomas.
Agnew stated that he had been told Burke and Carolina were not married, that they had been “too thick” and this had caused Alexander M. Brooks to leave for Texas and abandon Carolina, and that her son Thomas, who was, Agnew notes, Alexander M. Brooks’s son, was a thief. As the posting linked above states, Burke and Carolina had, in fact, married after Alexander M. Brooks abandoned Carolina, and the Alabama legislature granted her a divorce.
I myself am inclined to regard Agnew’s testimony here as dubious, since he’s repeating second-hand gossip, some of which is easily proven to be untrue. I also have some difficulty taking the testimony about Burke and Carolina’s married life and Thomas J. Brooks’s character seriously, when by Agnew’s own account, the family had taken him and Mr. Robinson, perfect strangers, in for a night, fed them supper and breakfast and lodged them, and refused any reimbursement for the hospitality. Under the circumstances, it seems to me more than a little churlish to return home and not merely entertain scurrilous gossip about such generous hosts, but to record it in a diary as gospel truth.
Move to Bastrop, Texas, in or by 1857, and Marriage to Martha Elizabeth Hill
As both the posting linked above and another one note, at some point between 1850 and 11 December 1857, Thomas J. Brooks had moved from Mississippi to Bastrop, Texas, where his father Alexander M. Brooks and his second wife Aletha Sorrells were living. We can know for certain that Thomas had moved to Bastrop by this date, since it was on that date that he married Martha Elizabeth Hill there, having filed for a license to marry on 8 December. And it seems very likely that Thomas was accompanied in this move by his mother and step-father, since Burke and Carolina appear on the 1860 federal census in Bastrop two doors from Thomas and his wife Martha. According to an article about Thomas Jefferson Brooks’s son Robert Alexander Hill Brooks published in the Austin American newspaper on 4 November 1916 as Robert ran for a Congressional seat, Thomas Jefferson Brooks settled in Bastrop County in 1857 (the digital image at top of this posting is the first part of this article).
Why did Burke and Carolina Lindsey and her son Thomas J. Brooks move to Bastrop, Texas, in the 1850s? The only plausible answer I can offer to that question is that Alexander M. Brooks, Carolina’s former husband and father of her son, and Burke’s former business partner, was living there at this time. There seems to be a story here, though I’m not sure I have enough information to tell it properly — perhaps a rapprochement of Burke, Carolina, and Alexander? An offer on Alexander’s part to assist his son in starting a married life? After 1860, Burke and Carolina vanish from all records I have found, and I never spot either of them on the tax list in Bastrop County. Thomas begins appearing there in 1858, after his marriage, and is taxed from that time forward up to his death in 1862 for an enslaved person.
Thomas Jefferson Brooks married into a locally prominent and prosperous family, and that is another indicator to me that his father Alexander, who was also prospering in Bastrop, may have introduced his son Thomas to Martha Elizabeth Hill and encouraged their marriage. Martha was the daughter of Middleton Milledge Meade Hill and Julia Foster Walker. Biographical information about Middleton M. Hill is found in History of Texas: Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties and in The Hills of Wilkes County, Georgia, and Allied Families. These sources indicate that he came to Texas initially from Marion County, Alabama, in 1835, buying a headright of land on the Colorado River twelve miles from Bastrop from General Edward Burleson. The “troublesome condition” of Texas then caused him to return to Alabama until 1838, when he moved to Texas with his family, erecting the third cotton gin and mill in Bastrop County in 1841.
Note that it was in 1838 that Thomas J. Brooks’s father Alexander also moved from Alabama to Texas. The Burleson connection also stands out here: as has been previously noted, the minister who married Alexander M. Brooks and Aletha Sorrells in Houston on 1 January 1849 was Rufus Burleson, a nephew of General Edward Burleson’s father James Burleson. And Charles Wesley Brooks, a first cousin of Alexander M. Brooks, married a daughter of James Burleson, Elizabeth Christian Burleson, who was a half-sister of General Edward Burleson, in Bastrop County two years before Thomas Jefferson Brooks married Martha Elizabeth Hill there. Once again: these pieces of information make me wonder if Alexander M. Brooks helped to arrange the marriage of his son Thomas to Martha Elizabeth Hill, whose father had ties to Edward Burleson.
Joining Middleton Hill when he came to Texas in 1835 was his brother Abram/Abraham Wiley Hill (1816-1884), who was a soldier in the Texas Revolution in 1836 and built a house in Bastrop County now on the National Register of Historic Places.
As I’ve also noted previously, the 1860 federal census gives Thomas J. Brooks’s occupation in Bastrop as a miller. Living next door to Thomas is the family of Robert H. Garrett, whose occupation is given on this census as l. miller, a designation I take to mean “lumber miller.” According to the previously cited 4 November 1916 article about Thomas’s son Robert A. Brooks as Robert ran for a Congressional seat, Thomas Jefferson Brooks was “a farmer and owner of a sawmill” in Bastrop County.
The Bastrop County tax list never shows Thomas Jefferson Brooks from the time he married in 1857 up to his death in 1862 owning a sawmill, or any property other than an enslaved person. As an astute reader of this blog, John Blythe, has pointed out to me, the 1860 federal industrial census (p. 1, line 6) for Bastrop County shows a William H. Garrett owning a sawmill in Bastrop County.
This William H. Garrett is the Robert H. Garrett of the 1860 census. The census taker has gotten his name wrong. If you check the 1850 federal census for Bastrop County, you’ll see that that census shows William H. Garrett born in 1815 in Virginia, with a wife Evaline. The 1860 census cited above shows Robert H. Garrett born in 1815 in Virginia with wife Evaline. These are the same man, William Hackett Garrett, who married Evalina Blakely in Bastrop County on 1 October 1843.
The 1850 federal industrial census for Bastrop County shows William H. Garrett as a wagon maker. Since by 1860 he owned a sawmill in Bastrop County, it appears he acquired that sawmill between 1850 and 1860. It’s tempting to think that, as he made plans to move from Bastrop to Houston in 1860, Alexander M. Brooks sold his sawmill there to William H. Garrett. It appears that Alexander’s son Thomas J. was working in that mill by 1860. I am hampered in researching this matter because the digitized copies of Bastrop County deed records are under lock and key at the FamilySearch site.
It’s also worth noting that also living next door to Thomas J. Brooks, his wife Martha, and their children Alexander and Eula Lee (Eulalie on this census) Brooks in 1860 is Martha’s widowed mother Julia F. Hill, with her unmarried children. Between Julia and Burke and Carolina Lindsey is the household of Isaac Griffin (or Griffith) John, a pioneer Methodist preacher of Bastrop County listed on the 1860 as “farmer & Meth. Preacher.”
Confederate Service and Death
On 18 January 1862 in Bastrop County, Thomas J. Brooks enlisted in Co. B of Texas’s 18th Cavalry (CSA), Darnell’s Regiment. As noted previously, the enlistment record shows Thomas aged 24 at the time of enlistment. Thomas’s military career was brief. His service papers state that he died 12 May 1862.
A letter written by Phil E. Baer of Paris, Texas, to Thomas J. Brooks’s son Robert A. Brooks of Bastrop on 13 November 1915, which was published in the Bastrop Advertiser on 26 November 1915, provides details of Thomas J. Brooks’s death. The Advertiser writes that Robert A. Brooks had met Phil E. Baer in Dallas prior to 13 November and had asked Baer if he might help locate the grave of Robert’s father.
Baer’s letter states that he had spoken with Col. Dehoney of Paris, who told him that Thomas J. Brooks had died at the home of Capt. Johnson of Paris, whose daughter Col. Dehoney had married. Dehoney was boarding with the Johnsons at the time of Thomas J. Brooks’s death. Phil Baer told Robert A. Brooks that a number of soldiers were lodged with Capt. Johnson at the time of Thomas J. Brooks’s death, and Thomas was buried in the “old graveyard, west of Paris,” and Baer would try to locate his grave.
The letter is followed by a note from the editor of the Advertiser, who states,
Thomas Brooks, or Tom Brooks, as he was familiarly called, will be recalled by many who are still living here and this county. He was the only son of Major A.M. Brooks, of Houston, Texas, whose home was always open to his friends from Bastrop county, and especially to Confederate soldiers. Often has the editor of this paper heard his father speak of Tom Brooks and of his tender regard for him.
A Find a Grave memorial page for Thomas J. Brooks, noting his burial on the Old City cemetery at Paris, Lamar County, Texas, states, “Thomas was one of 13 members of the 9th Texas Infantry [sic] CSA who died during a measles outbreak in 1862. A memorial to soldiers stands in the cemetery.” This memorial page has no tombstone photo, and unless I am mistaken, a tombstone for Thomas has not been found. A separate memorial page for Thomas in the same cemetery has a photograph of the memorial to soldiers mentioned in the memorial page cited previously. This memorial cites the names of ten men, evidently all Confederate soldiers, who died between 3 January and 12 May 1862 and who are buried in the cemetery, all, unless I am mistaken, in graves without markers.
Thomas’s wife Martha Elizabeth Hill was born 7 May 1839 in Bastrop County and died in the same county on 28 January 1887. She is buried in the Oliver (sometimes called Oliver-Hill) cemetery at Smithville in Bastrop County. For reasons unknown to me, her Find a Grave memorial page gives her name as Ivi E.B. Brooks. There is no tombstone photo on the page and I have not seen a photo of this tombstone.
Children of Thomas Jefferson Brooks and Martha Elizabeth Hill
Thomas Jefferson Brooks and Martha Elizabeth Hill were parents of the following children:
1. Robert Alexander Hill Brooks was born 28 August 1858 at Alum Creek, Bastrop County, Texas, and died 29 January 1938 at Bastrop, Bastrop County, Texas. A biography in Texas Under Many Flags provides information about Robert, noting his birth in Bastrop County on the date stated above, and his descent from the “famous Hill and McGehee families of Georgia.” The biography notes that his parents were Thomas Jefferson and Mattie E. Hill Brooks, and that he grew up on the farm of his grandfather Middleton Hill in Bastrop County. According to the biography, in January 1890 (the correct date is 12 February 1890), he married Sarah E. Parchman of Guadalupe County, daughter of Martin Van Buren Parchman and Phebe Brooks.
When the biography was published in 1930, Robert had been a lawyer at Smithville and Bastrop for nearly forty-five years, and had long been prominent in Republican politics in Texas, serving on the Republican executive committee of Texas and running on the Republican ticket for Congress in 1916. The previously cited 4 November 1916 article in the Austin American contains further information about this Congressional run. It states that in August, Robert A. Brooks had been nominated, unsolicited by Robert, to run as the Republican candidate for Congress against Congressman J.P. Buchanan.
An obituary of Robert in the Bastrop Advertiser on 3 February 1938 provides more biographical information. This source states that Robert Alexander Brooks was born in Alum Creek, Bastrop County, on 28 August 1858, and had died at his home in Bastrop on 29 January 1938, aged 79 years, five months, and one day. Alum Creek is 7 miles east of Bastrop, about halfway between Bastrop and Smithville, and is the vicinity in which Robert’s Hill grandparents lived.
The obituary states,
[Robert A. Brooks] was reared in a Christian home by a devoted widow mother. His father lost his life in the Confederate service. His mother died in 1887. He had one brother, Thomas Brooks, who died in young manhood, and his sister, Mrs. Eula Wilkes, died at Smithville ten years ago.
The obituary also states that Robert completed his education at Southwestern University in Georgetown and Sam Houston Normal in Huntsville. He began practicing law at Bastrop in 1884.
As the obituary notes, on 12 February 1890, Robert married Miss Sarah Elizabeth Parchman at Nixon (Gonzales County), Texas. (Note: the couple married at Seguin in Guadalupe County, according to their marriage license and minister’s return.) Robert and Sarah had sons Charles Martin and Robert Thomas Brooks, the older son having died 14 April 1925 leaving a wife, son, and daughter. Robert Thomas Brooks was living in Austin with his wife when his father died.
According to the obituary,
In his extensive reading, [Robert A. Brooks] read much of what is called “The Higher Criticism”, and Atheistic doctrine, and for many years it unsettles [sic] the early Christian belief, and teaching of his youth. It made him unhappy, and for a number of years, he was searching and groping to regain his lost faith in the Christian religion.
Robert’s family believed, however, that he had returned to the religious beliefs of his childhood prior to dying. The obituary concludes with information about his funeral (at his house in Bastrop), his survivors, and those attending the funeral. Robert and wife Sarah are buried in Fairview cemetery at Bastrop.
As an aside, higher criticism has nothing to do with atheism. It’s a method of reading the Jewish and Christian scriptures using critical historical and linguistic tools developed among German biblical scholars in the latter part of the 19th century that has long been accepted as a basis for biblical scholarship in all academically sound religion and theology programs. This scholarly method was, however, considered a threat by many American Christians in the early 20th century, and the movement called fundamentalism grew out of their reaction to higher criticism and their insistence that it is heretical.
Note that Robert Alexander Brooks attended Southwestern University at Georgetown, Texas, a number of years before his cousin John Lee Brooks, son of Charles Wesley Brooks and Elizabeth Christian Burleson went to Georgetown and also became enamored of higher criticism as a method of understanding scripture, a commitment that eventually ended his attempt to become a Methodist minister and resulted in his decision to study and practice law.
2. Eula Lee Brooks, second child of Thomas Jefferson Brooks and Martha Elizabeth Hill, was born 2 April 1860 in Bastrop County, and died at her home in Smithville, Bastrop County, on 19 January 1922. These dates of birth and death are recorded on her tombstone in Oliver cemetery at Smithville, the cemetery in which her mother is also buried. Eula Lee’s death date and place of death are also indicated by a death notice in the Houston Post newspaper on Tuesday, 24 January 1922, which states that she had died the preceding Thursday at her home in Smithville.
On 22 November 1876 in Bastrop County, Eula Lee Brooks married Allen Crosby Wilkes, son of Thomas William Wilkes and Sarah Crosby. Allen was born 21 October 1842 in Chester County, South Carolina, and died 30 December 1911 at Smithville, where he’s buried with wife Eula Lee in Oliver cemetery, with their shared tombstone giving his year of birth and death.
Eula Lee Brooks’s given name appears also as Eulalie on some documents.
3. Thomas Jefferson Brooks, the third child of Thomas Jefferson Brooks and Martha Elizabeth Hill, was born about 1862 in Bastrop County, Texas. This year of birth is indicated by the 1880 federal census, in which he appears in the household of his widowed mother Martha E. Brooks in Bastrop County along with his brother Robert. Thomas’s age is given as 18, and his occupation as farmer. The family of Martha’s brother Thomas Abraham Wylie Hill is enumerated on the same page of this census.
As noted previously, the obituary of Thomas’s brother Robert Alexander Hill Brooks in the Bastrop Advertiser on 3 February 1938 states that Robert’s brother Thomas “died in young manhood.” After the 1880 federal census, I find no record of Thomas. I suspect Thomas Jefferson Brooks is the J.T. Brooks buried in Oliver cemetery at Smithville in Bastrop County, according to Find a Grave. The Find a Grave memorial page for this person gives no information other than the name J.T. Brooks, and has no tombstone photo. Note that Thomas’s mother and sister Eula Lee with her husband Allen Crosby Wilkes are buried in this cemetery.
 1860 federal census, Harris County, Texas, Houston, 2nd ward, p. 406 (dwelling 876/family 874; 16 October).
 A digital copy of the original license and minister’s return from the Harris County, Texas, clerk’s office is available in the Ancestry collection Texas, U.S., Select County Marriage Records, 1837-1965: 1837-1870. See also Harris County, Texas, Marriage Bk. F, p. 98.
 George W. Glass, “Hope Family Notes [and] Notes on Aletha Sorrels Hope,” an undated collection of notes and documents compiled by George W. Glass, focusing largely on Brazos County, Texas, lawsuit, District Court case #2809, 15 March 1895-15 October 1897, Mary J. Harriman et al. vs. D.C. Giddings et al. Glass transcribed the trial documents, and the transcripts are accompanied in this collection by his genealogical notes about Aletha Sorrells and her five husbands. The original typescript and collection of documents that comprise this collection are held by Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research in Houston. The collection has been filmed and digitized by the Family History Library of Salt Lake City and is available digitally through the FamilySearch site.
 “A.M. BROOKS DEAD: An Old Citizen of Houston Passes Away at Warren,” Houston Post (13 February 1899), p. 8, col. 2.
 “The Death of A.M. Brooks,” Bastrop Advertiser (18 February 1899), p. 6, col. 4.
 See Find a Grave memorial page of Rebecca Ann Brooks Collier, Magnolia cemetery, Woodville, Tyler County, Texas, created by Beverly Singleton, with a tombstone photo uploaded by grace patterson.
 See Find a Grave memorial page of James Dallas Collier, Magnolia cemetery, Woodville, Tyler County, Texas, created by Beverly Singleton, with a tombstone photo by grace patterson.
 Ibid. The photo was uploaded by Beverly Singleton.
 1850 federal census, Tishomingo County, Mississippi, southern division, p.99 (dwelling/family 184; 20 September).
 Diary of Rev. Samuel A. Agnew, 3-4 August 1854, original in the collection of University of North Carolina’s Wilson Library (Chapel Hill) and available digitally, in part, at the library’s website.
 Bastrop County, Texas, Marriage Bk. A, p. 18.
 1860 federal census, Bastrop County, Texas, precinct 8, Bastrop post office, p. 271 (dwelling 527/family 486 and dwelling 529/family 489, 13 August).
 “Who’s Who in Texas and Why? Robert A. Brooks,” Austin American (4 November 1916), p. 4, col. 6.
 History of Texas: Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties, etc.(Chicago: Lewis, 1893), pp. 700-1; and Lodowick Johnson Hill, The Hills of Wilkes County, Georgia, and Allied Families (Atlanta: Johnson Dallis, 1922), p. 148.
 See supra, n. 12.
 See supra, n. 13.
 On Isaac Griffin John, see Walter N. Vernon, “John, Isaac Griffin,” Handbook of Texas, at website of Texas State Historical Association; and Find a Grave memorial page of Isaac Griffith John, Odd Fellows cemetery, Georgetown, Williamson County, Texas, created by John Christeson, with a tombstone photo by John Christeson.
 “Searching for the Grave of a Confederate Soldier,” Bastrop Advertiser, 26 Nov 1915, p. 6., col. 3.
 See Find a Grave memorial page for Thomas Jefferson “Tom” Brooks, Old City cemetery, Paris, Lamar County, Texas, created by Robin.
 See Find a Grave memorial page for T. Brooks, Old City cemetery, Paris, Lamar County, Texas, created by Carole Curry, maintained by Looking for Loved Ones, with photos of the memorial marker by Carole Curry.
 Clarence E. Wharton, Texas Under Many Flags, vol. 5 (Chicago and New York; Anerican Historical Society, 1930), p. 125.
 See supra, n. 13.
 “Pioneer Citizen Dies,” Bastrop Advertiser (3 February 1938), p. 1, col. 1.
 Guadalupe County, Texas, Marriage Bk. 2, p. 148.
 See Find a Grave memorial page of Eula Lee Brooks Wilkes, Oliver cemetery, Smithville, Bastrop County, Texas, created by Tammy New, with a tombstone photo by Paula J and Dale L.
 Houston Post (24 January 1922), p. 5, col. 2.
 1880 federal census, Bastrop County, Texas, justice precinct 5, p. 186A (ED 15; dwelling/family 6; 6 June).
 See supra, n. 23.