HORATIO GATES BROOKS

BIOGRAPHY

 

 

CHRONOLOGY

1828  Horatio Gates Brooks born 10/30/28 in Portsmouth, NH, to Oliver Brooks and Susan Horne. His ancestors include Puritan ministers (Wise, Wheelwright, Thompson) in early Boston, on his mother’s side, and Maine pioneers (Fogg, Remick, Libbey) in the 1630’s on his father’s side.

1830 Julia Anne Haggett born 4/27/30 in Lincoln, MO, to Ebenezer Haggett (1796-1864) and Sarah Benner (1801-1885) both buried in No. Edgecomb, ME, and married there in 1819. Are Haggett grandparents likewise, in 1793.

1838  Brooks family moved 10 miles from Portsmouth, NH, to Dover, NH.

1839  David Rodman W. Patterson born 7/26/39 in Sheridan, NY (adjoining Dunkirk) to David Patterson, a Scot who served with the British Navy to Perry at Buffalo int 1813, and Eva Kern, born 7/8/1802 in Ireland.

1841  Boston & Maine RR comes to Dover, NH. Whole town turns to top welcome first train. HGB is 13. “He gave early evidence of a strong prediction (sic)for the locomotive” from his obituary.

1844  HGB leaves ho,me at 16 to learn the machinists’ trade. Is apprenticed to cousins Seth and Isaac Adams, who run a machine shop on Broadway, South Boston.

1846  HGB goes to work at the Boston & Maine RR machine shop in Andover, Ma. Attracts the attention of Charles Minot, superintendent of Works.

1848 HGB becomes a Fireman on B&M railroad,

1849 HGB promoted to Engineer at B&M RR in May. Perhaps he leads a train into Dover and whistled up his friends and family five years after leaving home.

1850 HGB hired by Minot, now Superintendent of the ErieRR, as a locomotive engineer, age 22.

1850  Nov. 28th, Erie engineer HGB brings first locomotive to Dunkirk, NY., by water. Starts buildit the RR east towards NYC.

1851 Julia and Horatio ,married 3/6/1851 at her father’s house in North Edgecomb, Maine. They will have four daughters: Ella, Lizzie, Hattie, and Jessie. Later that month, they move to Dunkirk N.Y.

1851 May 14th, Erie RR line completed in Dunkirk. President Filmore and cannot arrive by train on the 15th. Week-long celebration.

1852 Ela Frances Brooks born 3/27/52 in Dunkirk, N.Y.

1852 Charles Minot forced out of Erie 5/1/54 because he w not access new work rules. Joints LS&MS RR. On June 17th HGB leads strike against new work rules. Strike settled temporarily.

1854  Second daughter, Lizzie born to Julia snd Horatio Brooks in Dunkirk on 10/13/54

1856  “Our Lizzie” dies on 2/9/56 in Dunkirk. Buried now in family plot in First Hills Cemetery, Fredonia, NY (one mile from Dunkirk).

1856 In September, HGB leads a committee of engineers to NY to place a bill of grievances before  the Erie board. He and all signatures are fired. Erie advertises for 150 engineers. HGB introduces a strike of engineers which partially cripples the Erie. Labor troubles continue for 2 1/2 years. Much minor sabotage—oil in water causes boiler to foam, unable to “get up steam.”

1856  HGB hire as Master Mechanic on the Ohio & Mississippi RR. He and Julia and Ella move to Cochran, outside Aurora, In, in the fall.

1856  David R.W. Patterson finishes three terms at the Fredonia Academy, with his older brother John K. Patterson, and goes to work on the family farm.

1857  Third daughter, Hattie, born to Julia and Horatio, in Cochran, In.

1957  Economic depression sets in throughout the country.

1859  Fourth daughter, Jessie Morrison Brooks, born on 1/214/59 , to Julia and Horatio in Cochran.

1959  May: Erie going bankrupt. Minot’s enemies at the Erie resign. In August, Minot is reinstated at the Erie and later he  rehires HGB as Master Mechanic. Brooks is now known as a leader as well as a first-class mechanic.

1860  InMarch Horatio and Julia with their three daughters return to Dunkirk, probably to th home at 115 Beagle Street near the Eerie maintenance shops.

1861 – 1865  American Civil War.

1862  HGB appointed General Manager, Western Division of the Erie RR on 11/1/ 1862

1865  HGB appointed Superintendent of all Motive Power for the Erie RR on 2/281865. At that time, the Dunkirk roundhouse and shops had capacity for 25 locomotives plus a machine shop capable of building engines.

1867  October 8th, Gould and Fisk enter Erie RR board of directors.

1868  July 1st, Gould elects himself president of Erie RR.

1868 The Erie railroad’s Dunkirk shops, under HGB, producer a locomotive named the “George G. Bernard” after a corrupt judge in Boss Tweed’s pocket who helped Gould get control of the Erie. HGB proved to Gould he could build a locomotive. But so could the 98 locomotive companies incorporated prior to 1869 which had failed. Railroads were notoriously bad payers and took advantage of the over capacity in the locomotive industry. 

1869 September 24th, “Black Friday”, the gold market crash breaks Gould’s “corner” and bankrupts Gould and Fisk. They seek to recoup their losses through the Erie RR, move to dispose of the Dunkirk Works. HGB works on how to save his plant.

1869  November 11th, HGB leases the Erie;s Dunkirk works, and contracts t deliver locomotives to Erie, and offers Gould an interest in the business. Brooks Locomotive Works Company was formed to do this. Capitalized at $350,000 with a Board including HGB, Marshall L. Hinman, William, O. Chapin, John H. Bacon, and M.R. Simons, the latter from the Erie board representing Gould’s interests.

1874  Deep economic depression. Only four engines delivered all year. Many laid off. HGB said to guarantee the grocery bills of all his laid-off workers.

1874  July 1 advertisement in the Dunkirk Weekly Journal by D.R.W. Patterson and C.E. Jackson, agents for Lafayette Coal Co.

1874 Dec. 19th, HGB’s second granddaughter, Jessie Brooks Patterson, born on 12/191874 in Dunkirk.

1875  Victor M.Tyler norn 7/5/1875 to Morris F. Tyler (1848-1908) and Della T. Audubon (1849-1926) in New Haven, CT.

1875 Partial recovery. TheBLC delivered 23 engines yp 8 railroads, including 5 new customers. Company still not covering costs.

1876 The BLC delivers 48 engines to 18 railroads including 12 new cistomers.

1877  Death of David Patterson, Scotch grandfather of Jessie Brooks Patterson, in Dunkirk on 1/17/77, on his farm , at age 83. He spent 4 tear in the British Navy and arrived Dunkirk in 1813, probably as result of the British surrender to Perry on Lake Erie that same year.

1877  The B:C delivers 17 engines to 10 railroads including 3 new customrs.

1878  The BLC delivers 30 engines =to 14 railroads including 5 new customers.

1879  The VLC delivers 43 engines yo q22 railroads including 11 new customers.

1880 The VLC delivers 2100 engines to 24 railroads. Real profits finally in the offing. Roughly speaking, an engine sold for $10,000 and brought a $1000 profit.

1880  March 2nd, HGB elected mayor of Dunkirk.

1881  The BLC delivers 146 engines to 23 railroads.

1882  The BLC delivers 202 engines.

1883  Set. 5th, Hattie M. Brooks, third daughter of Julia and Horatio, married Frederick H. Stevens of Buffalo, formerly of Fredonia, in Dunkirk at her parents’ home, probably the new Central Avenue home.   

1883  The VBLC buys the Dunkirk facilities from the Erie and puts up moir buildiongs.

1883  The BLC delivers 149 engines.

1884  Sept. 11th, Jessie Brooks, fourth daughter of Julia and Horatio, married to Edward Nichols, at her parents’ home at 513 Central Ave., Dunkirk, by Rev. Brown (glowing report appears in the newspaper).

1884 The BLC delivers 73 engines. The economic depression of 1885 is starting.

Nichols, age 26, ten days after giving birth to a baby son, Jesse Brooks Nichols. She died at her parents’ home on Central Ave. Burring in family plot at Forest Hills.

1885  The BLC delivers only 23 engines.

1886  Marriage on 11/4/1886 of Ella Brooks Patterson to Alfred Solano of California, at her parents’ home in Dunkirk, by. Free. WE.P. Adams. (Question is when was she divorced from Patterson). She is 345.

1886  The BLC delivers 87 engines.

1887  Death on April 20, 1887 of Horatio Gates Brooks, “Father of Dunkirk,” and “our chiefest man, our first citizen,” of a strike, at 58  1/2 years. Funeral by Rev. Brown, burial in Forest Hills. Eight hundred workers from BLW march in funeral procession. Lengthy obituaries and editorials in Buffalo, Dunkirk, and Fredonia papers. Many distinguished honorary pall bearers.

1887  HGB’s son-in-law Edward H. Nichols, a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, successes HGB as president of BLC, and moves too Dunkirk.

1887  The BLC delivers 145 engines.

1888  The BLC delivers 165 engines.

18889 The BLC delivers 119 engines.

1890  The BLC delivers 194 engines.

1891  Jessie Brooks Patterson isa sent from California ptr age 17 t attend the Audubon School at Audubon Park, Broadway and 155th Street, NY.

1891  The VLC delivers 223 locomotives.

1892  Death of Edward Nichols, President of the Brooks Locomotive Company, on 1/7/92, at the age of 42, at Dunkirk, NY. Lengthy obituaries and tributes.

1892  M.L Hinman elected provident pg yjr BLC to succeed Nichols.

1892  The BLC delivers 194 locomotives.

1893  The BLC delivers 197 locomotives. Economic depression settling in.

1894 The BLC delivers 94 locomotives.

1895  The BLC delivers 121 locomotives.

1896  Nov. 5th, Julia A. Brooks dies at the home off her daughter Mrs. F.,H. Stevens, 295 Summer Street, in Buffalo, NY. Survived by her daughters Mrs. Alfred Solano and Mrs. Stevens. Warm tributes in the papers. Buried at Forest Hills with HGB. The Brooks Locomotive Works closed nigher honor.

1896  The BLC delivers 104 locomotives.

1897  The BLC delivers 157 locomotives.

1898  The BLC delivers 225 engines.

1898  Frederick H, Stevens, HGB’s son-in-law, elected president of BLC.

1898  In May, the Brooks Memorial Hospital and Brooks Memorial Free Library were endowed by daughters Ella and Hattie, and the Brooks family mansion on Central Avenue is given stop Dunkirk to bed the first hospital.

1899 On Feb. 14th, Jessie Brooks Patterson (187401953) and Victor M. Typer )1875-1959) poe New Haven, CT/ are married in Los Angeles, Ca., on Valentine’s Day. Present were her mother, Ella, her step-father, Alfred Solano, the groom’s parents, Morris F. and Delia A. Tyler, and the bride’s  sister and brother -in-law Marion and Walter Jarvis Barlow.

1899  A letter from Hinman to Stevens dated Feb. 20, 1899, reveals a profit off $800 to $ 1000 per locomotive; about 2511 acres of BLC are outstanding at book value of $8860 a share, and so a total book value of the company is $2,160,000. The letter also says, “I was very well pleased with the appearance of Victor M. Ty;er. He looks as though he had some brains, which if placed in the proper channel would be of service.” The letter appears to deal with management succession. Does Stevens want to be relieved? He is apparently “going South March 3rd.”

1899  The BLC delivers 294 locomotives.

1900  The BLC delivers 317 locomotives.

1900  In the decade 1890-1899, BLW delivered 1802 locomotives, third to Baldwin and Schenectady in the UJS. Brooks had 11% of the US market that decade.

1901  The BLC delivers 378 locomotives, including its 4000th.

1901  Morris Tyler born to JBT and VMT in New Haven on 5/28/01

1901  Death in Buffalo of Eva Kern Patterson on 1/9/01, age 99, Irish grandmother of JBT.

1901  In June the BLW is merged with 7 other engine makers: Cooke,  Dickson, Manchester, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, Richmond and Schenectady to form the American Locomotive Company, in order to better compete with Baldwin. Owners of these companies take about 70% of ALCO’s capitalization of $25 million in preferred stock.

1902  The BLC complete its orders with the deliver of 14 locomotives in February, bringing the number to 4111 since the start up in 1869. Manufacturing continues until 1927 under the name of ALCO Brooks Works.

1908  Death on 5/31/1908 of David Rodman W. Patterson in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he was “manufacturing explosives. He is survived by his wife and two young children and by this daughters Mrs. Walter Barlow and Mrs. Victor Tyler, a brother, John K. Patterson, and three sisters.”

1927  Dunkirk builds its last locomotive.

1932  Jan. 21st, Ella Frances Brooks Patterson Solano dies in Palm Springs, Ca., at the age of 80. She had been a resident of California for 35 years.