Orphred H. Brooks, Jr., the president of the O. H. Brooks Realty Company, was born in Montgomery City, Missouri, March 7, 1875. His father, Orphred H. Brooks, Sr., who is engaged in the contracting and building business in St. Louis, is a native of the state of New York and in 1867 came from Niagara Falls to Missouri, settling in Montgomery City. There he conducted a farm machinery agency and also handled real estate. He likewise engaged in vehicle manufacturing and maintained a retail business at Montgomery City for thirty years before removing to St. Louis in 1901. Since taking up his abode in Missouri’s metropolis he has been engaged in contracting. He was married in Montgomery City to Miss Rosa McCabe, a native of Livingston county, Michigan and at a recent date they celebrated their golden wedding, having traveled life’s journey together for a half century. Mrs. Brooks had come with her parents from Livingston county, Michigan, to Missouri about 1861, the family home being established in Audrain county. Her father died in Montgomery City at the notable age of ninety-four years, after long connection with the development of the middie west, for he had been a pioneer in the timber industry of Michigan and was widely and favorably known in that state as well as in Missouri. Her brother, Captain Alexander McCabe was a stanch supporter of the Union cause during the Civil war. In 1863 he recruited a company in Audraln county, Missouri, and he did everything in his power to uphold the interests of the Union, following the nation’s starry banner on various southern battle fields. The rank of captain was conferred upon him by a commission after the war and when death claimed him he was buried with military honors in the National cemetery at Vicksburg. To Mr. and Mrs. Orphred Ii. Brooks, Sr., were born eight children: Edgar F.; Margaret L.; Orphred H., Jr.; Michael W.; Oscar A., who passed away at the age of twenty-one; Sylvester G.; and Clarence H. and Clarena, twins. Clarence H. died in infancy. Those still living are all residents of St. Louis.
Orphred H. Brooks, Jr., pursued his education in the public schools of Montgomery City until he completed the high school course and then entered the State University of Missouri at Columbia. His first step in the business world was made in connection with his father’s business interests and later he started out for himself in 1892, but continued along the same line. From 1894 until 1900 he conducted a book and stationery store and was also at one time a teacher in the schools of his native city. In 1901 he turned his attention to life insurance work in St. Joseph, Missouri, and in 1902 became a resident of St. Louis, where he was connected with hotel and club service, first at the Planter’s Hotel and afterward at the University Club. He entered the real estate field in 1903, not only handling property but also engaging in building. He has since been active in that business, covering a period of seventeen years, and that he is splendidly fitted and qualified for activity of that character is indicated in the success which is attending his efforts. He has from childhood been more or less familiar with this line and the firm of which he is now the senior partner, is conducting an extensive and profitable business. The firm was organized in 1911 and has recently secured quarters on the ground floor of the Wainwright building, where they have spacious offices, splendidly equipped. This location is proving of particular advantage to the firm. Mr. Brooks is a most progressive business man, alert to every situation and opportunity offered in the real estate and building line, is thoroughly informed on values and has promoted and assisted in the building of about four hundred of the better class residences in the West End district of St. Louis. His labors have thus been an important factor in transforming unsightly vacancies into fine residential sections and the city has greatly benefited by his efforts. He is thoroughly wide-awake, active and energetic and his labors are proving substantially resultant.
Mr. Brooks was married to Miss Sarah Brooks, who though of the same name was not a relative, the wedding being celebrated on the 20th of December, 1917. Her parents, William Henry and Margaret (Wade) Brooks, were pioneer people here, her father coming from Virginia to St. Louis about sixty years ago, while her mother, a native of North Carolina, came to St. Louis about 1860. William Henry Brooks was a soldier of the Civil war, who at the age of twelve years became water boy and drummer boy with the Confederate army. Both he and his wife are buried in St. Louis.
Orpbred H. Brooks, Jr., is a member of the West End Business Men’s Association. He belongs to the Knights of Columbus. He is a democrat and was very helpful in connection with all war activities, including bond sales and various war drives. Everything that pertains to the welfare and progress of St. Louis and Missouri is of interest to him and he stands as a stalwart champion and supporter of every movement that is looking to the benefit, upbuilding and welfare of city and state.