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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
J. D. Brookshier, a leading representative of financial interests in Chillicothe, has through successive stages of advancement in his business career worked his way upward to his present responsible position as cashier of the First National Bank. He is a native son of Livingston county, born on his father's farm. May 26, 1861, his parents being Thomas B. and Elizabeth (Brooks) Brookshier. The father was born in Ray county, Missouri, on the 2d of December, 1830, and was a son of Levan Brookshier, who was born in North Carolina and when seven years of age accompanied his parents to Franklin county, Tennessee, where he was reared upon a farm. He became the founder of the family in Missouri, removing to this state in 1829, at which little he settled in Ray county. Later he went to Daviess county, Missouri, and in 1832 became a resident of Livingston county, where he engaged in farming on a tract of land included within the borders of what is now Jackson township. Upon that place his death occurred in 1864.
Thomas B. Brookshier was reared on the old homestead farm and attended the common schools until eighteen years of age, when he made a trip to California in search of gold and engaged in mining there for six years with good success. In 1855 he returned to Missouri and, desirous of adding to the education which he had already acquired, he again attended school, devoting his time to study and teaching until the outbreak of the Civil war. Soon afterward he enlisted in the Confederate service as a member of Hughes Regiment of the Fourth Division of the Missouri State Guard, thus serving until his discharge six months later. He participated in the battles of Carthage, Springfield, Dry Wood, Lexington and others. Soon after being mustered out he re-enlisted as a member of Company H, Second Missouri Infantry, C. S. A., which regiment afterward became the Third Missouri Infantry. With that command Mr. Brookshier took part in the engagements at Pea Ridge and Iuka, the skirmishes near Corinth and the battles of Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Champion's Hill, Big Black River and Vicksburg. After the surrender of Vicksburg he remained on detached duty until the close of the war, returning in June, 1865, to Livingston county. He then followed farming until 1870, after which he divided his attention between agricultural pursuits and teaching until 1882, when he was elected to the office of county clerk. This was not his first public service, however, for he had previously filled the position of county assessor.
Thomas B. Brookshier was married twice. On the 23d of August, 1860, he wedded Miss Elizabeth Brooks, who was born in Washington county, Missouri, in 1838, and died October 24, 1881, leaving six children, Jefferson D., John L.. Rachel E., Margaret M., Thomas McFarland and Mary V. On the 5th of October, 1885, Mr. Brookshier was again married, his second union being with Miss Amanda J. Davis, who was a native of Hendricks county, Indiana. He held membership with the Masonic fraternity, having been united with the order in California in 1855. Politically he was a democrat and his religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, South. He died in March, 1889, at the age of fifty-eight years and was laid to rest in the private family burial ground near the old homestead.
J. D. Brookshier acquired his early education in the public schools of Livingston county and later attended the Missouri State University. He left the latter institution at the age of twenty-five and spent two years thereafter upon his father's farm before coming to Chillicothe and entering upon his banking career. He became identified with the First National Bank as teller and his ambition, his energy and his faithful work soon led to his promotion to the office of cashier, and since that time he has become recognized as one of the authorities of finance in this part of the state. Throughout his entire business career he has been identified with banking, which he has mastered in every department, botgh in principle and in detail.
On the 25th of March, 1891, Mr Brookshier married, in Chillicothe, Miss Ida M. Woolsey, a daughter of Hiram and Julia (Tomlin) Woolsey, the former a pioneer farmer in this section of the state. Mr. and Mrs. Woolsey have passed away and are buried in the cemetery near Mooresville. Mr. and Mrs. Brookshier became the parents of three children: L. W., who is engaged as a salesman in a clothing store; Orville B., who is a student in the Chillicothe high school; and Mildred, who is attending school. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, South.
Fraternally Mr. Brookshier is affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Knights of Pythias and is a member of the blue lodge in Masonry. He gives his allegiance to the democratic party, adhering to the progressive wing, and is at the present time doing able and efficient work as treasurer of the board of education. His interest in public affairs is of a most practical character, manifested by active cooperation in measures calculated to promote the general good, and his forceful character and strong personality make him a leading factor in community life as well as in banking circles.