William W. Brooks


    William W. Brooks, a real estate dealer in Canton, one of the prominent and well-to-do citizens, was born in Dorchester, Mass., and came to Canton in 1845.  His parents were William and Mary Ann (Bird) Whittington.

    William Whittington was born and reared in Cohasset, Mass., and became a seafaring man.  After his marriage his family home was on Meeting House Hill in Dorchester, his wife's native place.   He still  continued voyaging, and for some years was captain of a vessel engaged in the West India trade.  He died at sea in 1831, leaving his widow with two children, namely: Amanda, who died in 1852 in Canton; and William, the subject of this sketch.  Mrs. Whittington subsequently married George  W.  Brooks,  of  Medford, Mass.; and both of her children had their names changed to accord with hers, the son becoming William Whittington Brooks.

    George W. Brooks removed from Medford when a young man, and served a full apprenticeship at the carriage builder's and harness maker's trade with T. W. Cross, of Quincy, Mass.   Settling  then  in  Dorchester,  he worked at his trade the greater part of his life in that locality.  Mrs. Brooks lived to a good age, passing away in February, 1874.

    William Whittington Brooks attended the public schools of Dorchester until sixteen years old, when he bee came a clerk in the shoe store of Henry Wenzell on Washington Street, Boston, where he remained until about twenty years old.  After the removal of the family to Canton he worked for a time for his step-father in this town, and then went to Stough­ton, where he was in the shoe trade until he was of age.  Changing his occupation at that time, he began the manufacture of curtain fixtures with Uran & Fowle, of Saxonville, but later of Canton, continuing with the firm until  1856, when he was appointed Post­master of Canton.  He served through the administration of President Pierce, being removed by President Lincoln in 1861 to make room for Rufus C.  Wood.   In  1857 Mr. Brooks opened a drug store in company with Dr. Jesse E. Pearce, with whom he subse­quently studied medicine, and for thirty-five years he was one of the leading druggists of this town.  He was exceedingly prosperous, and invested his money wisely  in 1880 erecting the brick block known as Brooks Block and the Music Hall.  In  1892 he sold out his drug business to John W. Tirrell, who was for some years his clerk.  Mr. Brooks has since been engaged in the real estate and insurance business, in which he has been very fortunate. Mr. Brooks married Miss Sarah J. Leavitt, daughter of Joseph Leavitt, formerly a promi­nent business man of Canton.  She died in 1878, leaving no family.   In politics Mr. Brooks has always been identified with the Democratic party.  He has been a candidate for the office of Representative to the State legislature; and for twelve years he served his fellow townsmen as Selectman,  being chairman of the board a part of the time, and for fifteen years was Tax Collector.  Frater­nally, he is a member of Blue Hill Lodge, F. & A. M.  He is an active member of the Unitarian church and parish.


Containing life sketches of leading citizens of Norfolk County, Massachusetts

Pub. Boston, Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1898 

All biographical information is provided by the subject or family member, reviewed and edited by them before going to print.