James Hall Brookes, 1830–1897
James Hall Brookes was born in Pulaski, Giles County, Tennessee, on 27 February 1830. His parents were Rev. James Hall Brookes Sr. and Judith Lacy. His younger sister, Henrietta (Brookes) Treadway, was born in 1832. Sadly for the young family, Rev. Brookes died in 1833. As a young man, Brookes reportedly declined an invitation to West Point, instead making his way to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He then spent less than a year at Princeton Theological Seminary, leaving due to financial hardship. Returning to Ohio, he was installed as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Dayton and married Susan Ann Oliver (1828 –1910).
In 1858, Brookes was called to Second Presbyterian Church in St. Louis. A new congregation, which became Walnut Street Presbyterian Church and later Washington and Compton Presbyterian Church, was spun off with Brookes as its pastor. He served that congregation until his death on 18 April 1897. At his death, Benjamin B. Warfield, then a professor of theology at Princeton Seminary, wrote of Brookes: “Large in figure, commanding in carriage, fluent and forceful in speech, fired with intense convictions, infused with emotion, whether in pulpit or on platform his oratory not only caught the attention but dominated the feelings and controlled the convictions of his audience.”
Reverend and Mrs. Brookes had five daughters.
James Hall Brookes
Photo in the collection of the Brookes Bible Institute
Used with permission
Both Dr. and Mrs. Brookes are buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery along with all of their children except for Judith.
Written by Kathleen E. Buescher Milligan
© 2021, St. Louis Genealogical Society
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