Less We Forget Poppy


The Life and Times of Hubert Brooks M.C. C.D.
A Canadian Hero

Less We Forget Poppy


APPENDIX A – EXTENDED BROOKS FAMILY GENEALOGY

A.6.4 BROOKS BUSINESS Life in St. John, North Dakota

Hubert and Marie Brooks adapted quite easily to life in St. John following their move in 1892/1893.

While in St. John, daughters Nellie and Dora would marry (details to follow) and sons Aimé, Joseph and Otto were born.

Based on the Oct. 20, 1892 Turtle Mountain Star newspaper comment, it would seem that Hubert Brooks' first business activity in St John was a General Store which he and Alfred Plante purchased from F. Martineau.

Turtle Mountain Star news item that Hubert Brooks and Alfred Plante had purchased F Martineau's store

However when F Martineau realized that life was not what he thought it would be back in Quebec, he decided to return back to St. John and on or just prior to Nov 15, 1893, F. Martineau bought back his St. John store from Brooks and Plante.

Hubert would run a succesful Hardware and Lumber Store followed by General Store, for a period Chairman of the Village Council, and was a member of the Commercial Club.

Hubert was also an active member of the Republican Party and was a delegate representing Rolla County to the 1900 Republican Legislative Convention for North Dakota, and Hubert was also on the CREDENTIALS committe for the convention.

1900 North Dakota Republican Convention
Hubert Brooks nominated as Delegate & on Credentials Committe
per The Turtle Mountain Star Thursday Sept 27, 1900
 Hubert Brooks nominated as Delegate & on Credentials Committe for 1900 North Dakota Republican Convention

St. John struggled for a number of years having difficulties attracting settlers. Finally by 1902 the town's business personnel made changes that made St John "something of a modern town" !

After the turnaround began in 1902 it wasn't very long before the St. John citizens decided it was time to become incorporated as a village. For this purpose they filed a petition. There was 26 YES ballots cast on May 2, 1903; and on May 18, 1903, 28 ballots were cast for village officers.

St. John N.D. Record of Voters on May 18, 1903 & POLL Results;
Hubert Brooks was Voter 8 and also was Voted In As Treasurer

IMAGE Courtesy: Book: St. John, City at the End of the Rainbow page 59

1903 St. John N.D. Poll Results

When St. John was incorporated as a village the population was listed as 245. (In 1906 the population grew to 350 and seven years later in 1913 the population had grown to 500. At this point in time, St. John reached its peak of growth and prosperity.
(Interestingly Hubert Brooks and family would leave St. John in the summer of 1913.)

TRUSTEES FOR THE VILLAGE of St. JOHN N.D. for March 1908 - March 1910

The earliest involvement that can be found for Hubert Brooks in the affairs of the Village of St. John was an May 5, 1904 article in the Turtle Mountain Star that noted that Governor White has appointed A.J. Bolstad and Horace Bourassa as Board Trustees for St. John. Other appointments O.J. Bolstad clerk and H. Brooks as treasurer.

In March of 1908 Hubert Brooksand two other citizens were voted in as TRUSTEES for the Village of St. John N.D. However Mr. Rudrud declined to participate as a Trustee. Thus Brooks and Bourassa handled the affairs of the village until the next election the following year. According to the St. John Tribune newspaper they did so to much acclaim.

For the March 1909 VILLAGE ELECTION, Brooks and Bourassa wanting to ensure that there were 3 Trustees, got Wm. ("Billy") Coghlan to be the third on their slate. The three eventually won and Hubert Brooks was elected Chairman of the Village Council.

St. John N.D. Village Officer Election Results March 1908

Image Source: St. John Tribune Newspaper March 19, 1908
St. John N.D. Village Officer Election Results  March 1908
St. John N.D. Village Officer Election Results March 1909

Image Source: St. John Tribune Newspaper March 18, 1909
St. John N.D. Village Officer Election Results March 1909
St. John N.D. Village Officers May 1909

Image Source: St. John Tribune Newspaper May 13, 1909
St. John N.D. Village Officers May 1909
Hubert Brooks did quite well for himself in St. John North Dakota and turned out to be quite the entrepreneur. He owned and operated a hardware and lumber store before moving on to a very prosperous general merchant store – which he ran for 26 years – see ad below for hardware and lumber store – source: "St. John, City at the End of the Rainbow".

Image of 1896 St John ND Business Directory showing Hubert (Rousseau) Brooks Hardware and Lumber Store listing

Later, Hubert Brooks would change his hardware and lumber store into a general (merchant) store.

1906–1907 Minnesota–Dakota and Montana Gazeteer and Business Directory
Courtesy: Book: St. John, City at the End of the Rainbow p62
 St John ND Main Street Directory 1
Poster Framed by Brooks Family and Brought With Them to Bluesky
Presumably This Hung Somewhere in Brooks Household in St. John and in Bluesky

Upper Left Corner of Poster Reads:
Wagner & Gailfus
Abstracts of Title
Real Estate Loans and Insurance
Rolla North Dakota

Courtesy: Estate of Irene (Brooks) Bonnamour
 St John Insurance Poster circa early 1900s

Some photos from Hubert Brooks' general merchant store in St. John N.D. appear below.

Model of Hubert Brooks General Merchant Store, St. John N.D.
These are photos of a model of the Brooks store made by Paul LeBlanc of St John ND.
The store was located on St John Street - third building on the left side of the street.
Paul built 45 models in 1982 of buildings on main street as thjey appeared circa. 1906, using pictures he had of St. John at that time.
PHOTOS Courtesy: Paul LeBlanc of St John ND
Model 1 of Hubert Brooks General Merchant Store, St. John N.D. Model 2 of Hubert Brooks General Merchant Store, St. John N.D.

 

Hubert Brooks General Merchant Store, St. John N.D.
Seen in undated PHOTO Enlargements are Hubert Brooks (on left with mustache) and another unknown assistant
(possibly Alfred Plante (about 3 years younger than Hubert) who worked as an assistant to Hubert Brooks in his store from 1900 to 1902) or perhaps Arthur Bourassa who was a clerk in H. Brooks’ store till April 1903 or perhaps Colin Shaver if the PHOTO was taken later
PHOTOS Courtesy: Estate of Irene (Brooks) Bonnamour
Enlargement of Interior of Hubert Brooks General Store 1 Hubert Brooks General Store 1 Enlargement of Interior of Hubert Brooks General Store 2 Hubert Brooks General Store 2

March 19,1908 St. John Tribune Newspaper AD
for Hubert Brooks’ General Store in St. John N.D.

PHOTO Courtesy: Historical Reference Book: "St. John, City at the End of the Rainbow"
Image of Newspaper Advertizement for Hubert Brooks General Store from St John ND March 19,1908 St. John Tribune
April 30, 1908 St. John Tribune Newspaper AD
for Hubert Brooks’ General Store in St. John N.D.

Image Source: St. John Tribune Newspaper
Image of Newspaper Advertizement for Hubert Brooks General Store from St John ND paper April 30, 1908 St. John Tribune
August 6, 1908 St. John Tribune Newspaper AD
for Hubert Brooks’ General Store in St. John N.D.

Image Source: St. John Tribune Newspaper
Image of Newspaper Advertizement for Hubert Brooks General Store from St John ND paper Aug 6, 1908 St. John Tribune
March 25, 1909 St. John Tribune Newspaper AD
for Hubert Brooks’ General Store in St. John N.D.

Image Source: St. John Tribune Newspaper
Image of Newspaper Advertizement for Hubert Brooks General Store from St John ND paper Mar 25, 1909 St. John Tribune

 

H Brooks Nov 11 1909 STORE INVENTORY CLOSING OUT SALE
Note Hubert was getting rid of excess inventory, NOT getting out of business.
Source: Turtle Mountain Star Newspaper
 H Brooks Nov 11 1909 STORE CLOSING OUT SALE
 H Brooks Nov 11 1909 STORE CLOSING OUT SALE 2



Store Directory for Foussard Ave – the Main Street of St. John N.D. circa 1908
BROOKS GENERAL STORE LOCATION 30 on MAP

Courtesy: Book: St. John, City at the End of the Rainbow
Diagram of St John ND Main Street circa 1908 – left Diagram of St John ND Main Street circa 1908 –right

As seen in the map above (location), Hubert Brooks had a GENERAL STORE on (the main street) Foussard Avenue of St. John.

Interestingly, A.N. Bourassa also had a General Store right across the street from Hubert in St. John.
A.N. Bourassa would end up in LaFleche SK in the same year as Hubert, that is 1913. In LaFleche he would again own a General Store - whereas Hubert ended up being a co-owner of the Metropole Hotel.

Clearly the two families were friends and it would be interesting to known what drove them both to leave St. John for LaFleche at the same time.

(ASIDE: A.N. Bourassa was but one of eight children of Mr. and Mrs. F.X.A. Bourassa who had moved to St John from Central Falls R. I. circa 1883 where they had located for less than a year after moving from Champlain Quebec. A.N. Bourassa for a period had served in the N.D. State legislative. His brother Abdallah at one time owned the Lafeyette Hotel, brother Horace Bourassa was a dealer in lumber and farm machinery, brother L.G. Bourassa was a photographer, sister Georgiana was the wife of J.O.P. Durocher, sister Lumina was the wife of Omer Charboneau. A.N. Bourassa's mother died July 22, 1903 of heart disease after living in St. John for 20 years -- unfortunately of bad health for most of this time.)

Others in St. John at the time were: St. John Drug Store - Ivek & Warren Props; Pool & Billard Parlors - Elmer Phillbaum Prop; City Restaurant - L.S. Lick Prop.; Livery Feed & Sale Stable - Thos Ellison Prop.

A photo has recently surfaced which shows that Hubert Brooks also had a SUPPLY STORE a few miles out of town on (Big) FISH LAKE (now named Lake Upsilon).
It is believed that the BROOKS SUPPLY STORE was on the east side of Lake Upsilon just north of where the county park is now located.

Property Sales Records has the Lake Upsilon Supply Store property location description was as follows: "That portion of Wallinder's First Addition to Birchwood Park described as follows, to wit; Begining at the SW corner on the shore line of Lake Upsilon of Lot 46 of Wallinder's First Addition to Birchwood Park, thence running east 115 feet, thence in a notherly direction on the east side of Park Street 280 feet, thence running east 220 feet, thence running south on the West side of Bay Street 114 feet to the shoreline of Lake Upsilon. thence around the shore line of Lake Upsilon to the place of begining, being a part of Lot 1 of Section 10, Township 163, Range 71, containing 2 acres more or less." (see Scetion 8.2 for map)

H. Brooks starting planning his Fish Lake Store early April 1909. The store proper was 20 by 24 feet in dimension. Attached to the store was a boathouse as well as a cottage that the Brooks family used occasionally in the summer months.

Early June 1909, H. Brooks opened his large general store to the public. H. Brooks had Prof. N.D. Fradd in charge of his Fish Lake Store.

H. Brooks had purchased a large 20 foot launch with a 6 hp gasoline engine from the Brooks Boat Company of Saginaw Michigan. The boat was launched July 1, 1909 and considered to be one of the finest boats on the lake.

Brooks Supply Store - Fish Lake - Lake Upsilon

PHOTO Courtesy: Mel Kuhn, St. John N.D.
Brooks Supply Store - Lake Upsilon
FISH LAKE BOAT CLUB 1909 CHARTER MEMBERS

Source: St. John Tribune April 29, 1909
FISH LAKE BOAT CLUB 1909 CHARTER MEMBERS

The largest of the lakes in Rolette County is Big Fish Lake / Lake Upsilon. The lake is shaped like the Greek letter Y (20th letter of the Greek alphabet). It is located approximately 14 miles north west of St. John in Hutchinson Township. It is known as a beautiful spot with steepwooded banks of balsam, poplar, ash, elm, oak, birch and fruit bearing shrubs such as high bush cranberries, Juneberry and pinchberries. The combined shoreline of the lake is approximately 13 miles long.

Back when Hubert Brooks established his BROOKS SUPPLY STORE on the lake, it was a popular vacation spot for residents of St. John and Rolla as well as surrounding areas.




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