of Jefferson County
"BROOKVILLE. A village in the central part of
Sec 11, Locust Grove Township; Tinley M. Brooks, founder. P.O. Est.
31 Dec 1850, Wilkins Warwick, first postmaster; A. L. Littleton was p.m.
in 1859; in 1881 A. L. Smith had been postmaster twenty years; P.O. discontinued
15 Dec 1902. Plat. pg. 23, 1909 Atlas. At one time the community had
two stores, a blacksmith shop, a saw mill, a tannery, two churches and a number
of homes. (Ledger, 5 Dec 1957.)"
The above information was compiled by Mary Prill and published in the Hawkeye Heritage, July 1967.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This story was originally
one of a number of articles in the Fairfield
Ledger which was later included in the
book Villages and Towns of Yester-year
in Jefferson County by William R. Baker.
We hereby include it on this page with the permission of the Fairfield
Names mentioned in this article are as follows:
Isaac Newton Williams, Welter E. Williams, Roll Ireland, William Snider, David Tinsley, Tinsley Brooks.
Brookville: scene of early county slaying
The town of Brookville located about five miles northwest
of Fairfield was the scene of an early murder in Jefferson County.
Isaac Newton Williams, one of the early settlers, opened a tannery in the settlement. Soon after opening the tannery Williams hired a man to run the business while Williams served in the army during the Civil War.
Shortly after Williams returned, he and the man got into an argument over the war and Williams was stabbed.
Isaac Newton Williams was the grandfather of the late Welter E. Williams, longtime editor and publisher of the Fairfield Ledger.
Brookville was originally settled when it was expected the Milwaukee Railroad would pass through the area as it moved westward across the state.
Twenty acres of land at the crossroads were laid out in lots. As the railroad came closer more lots were added. It was believed Brookville would be a sizable community.
The railroad changed the location of its route and by-passed Brookville. With no railroad, the inland community of Brookville started to dwindle away. It finally died.
However, it became a thriving little community before its downfall. Roll Ireland, now deceased, in an item which appeared in the Ledger on December 5, 1957, said he lived in the Brookville Community before the turn of the century and started to school in Brookville in 1887.
He said he could remember when Brookville had two stores, a blacksmith shop, saw mill, post office, two churches and a number of homes. Ireland said around 300 people lived in the Brookville Community at one time.
The Brookville post office was established December 31, 1850, and was closed December 15, 1902.
The store, located on the southwest corner of the intersection now known as Brookville Corner, was closed in March, 1950.
The old building is used for storage and the old school, converted to a home, are the only buildings linked with the early history of Brookville.
Ireland remembered the location of most of the buildings in Brookville. He said the post office was located in the store building. William Snider operated the general store and also served as postmaster.
Standing at the cross roads in Brookville, Ireland pointed west along the road where the other store, operated by David Tinsley, was located on the north side of the road.
He pointed to the location of other landmarks such as the Methodist Church, Baptist Church, the saw mill, blacksmith shop and the old tannery.
Ireland's great-grandfather, Tinsley Brooks, was the first pioneer to settle in the Brookville area and contributed the land on which the Methodist Church and school were originally located.
Brooks came to Iowa from Hamilton, Ohio, in 1840 and purchased 1,400 acres of land for $1.25 per acre.
Ireland was born on a farm in Center Township October 3, 1877. He attended school in the Brookville school and could remember when after school he stopped at the Brookville Post Office to get the mail as he started home.
As he looked around when he made what may have been his final visit to Brookville in 1957, he commented, "It sure doesn't look the same around here now."
The fate of Brookville is slightly different than some other communities which have passed on. It dwindled away because the railroad failed to arrive. Others died after the railroad was abandoned.
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