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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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CHARLES A. BROOKS, the postmaster at Marathon, and one of the leaders of the Republican party in his section, is a son of Rev. Asa and Permelia (Griffin) Brooks, and was born August 1, 1857, in Danby, Tompkins County, N. Y. His grandfather, Hadley Brooks, was an itinerant minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He located in Broome County at an early age and devoted his life to the work of the church until advancing years at length rendered it necessary for him to forego those labors in which his heart had so long delighted. He died at the age of eighty-five.

Asa Brooks, the father, was born in Tioga County, N. Y., in 1819, and consecrated his life to the religious teaching, as given under the rules of the Methodist Episcopal creed. He was a charter member of the Wyoming Conference, and was in the active service of that body for a period of over forty years — an unusual record. He married Permelia Griffin, and to them were born eight children: Permelia, the wife of Theodore Horton of Owego, this state; Frances, the wife of Orin Beebe of Binghamton; Charles A.; William L. of Syracuse; Myrtie died at the age of twelve years; Edward H. and Ella (twins) — Edward H. resides in Binghamton, Ella is unmarried and lives at Candor, N. Y.; and Hattie, wife of Arthur Bloomfield, an editor of Candor, N. Y. By a previous marriage there were two children: Emma J., wife of Robert Morey of Nichols, Tioga County, N. Y.; and Mary, deceased, the wife of George Nicholson of Waverly, Pa. Rev. Asa Brooks died at his home in Candor, N. Y., May 20, 1897, aged seventy-seven years.

Charles A. Brooks was educated in the common schools, finishing at Marathon. He then learned the trade of a printer in that village, and soon after became one of the proprietors of the Marathon Independent, in which he was interested for about three years. He opened a mercantile establishment then, which he conducted for a time, when he was appointed postmaster and served three years, under President Arthur. Upon the expiration of his term he was appointed postmaster of the N. Y. State Assembly, and held that office four years, when he was again made postmaster of Marathon by President Harrison and served a little over four years. When the Peck Memorial Library was opened in Marathon, he was chosen as librarian and served in that capacity, to the satisfaction of all, until June 1, 1897, when he was once more installed in the post office, this time by President McKinley. He is an able and efficient man for the place, and serves the patrons of the office with unfailing courtesy, while it has been his constant endeavor to bring the office up to the highest standard of excellence demanded by the public good. He has made many warm friends while in the office, and men of both party speak in the highest praise of the efforts put forth and the improvements made by him while postmaster.

He led to the altar, September 5, 1877, Mrs. Mary (Squires) Mack, daughter of D. C. Squires of Lapeer, this county. Mrs. Brooks had been previously married to Deloss Mack of Marathon, N. Y., to whom she bore a daughter, Irene, who was three years of age, when her mother contracted her second matrimonial alliance. This daughter, Irene, is now the wife of Dr. H. H. Turner, a prominent dentist of Marathon. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks’ home is the center of a large circle of enthusiastic friends; a good share of their time is given to church work, both being members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which Mr. Brooks is trustee and steward. He is also a member of the F. & A. M., Thermopylae Lodge, No. 438, at Marathon, having joined at the age of twenty-one. Mr. Brooks has given a good deal of time to politics, consequently no man in the county is better posted on the political situation, and he is easily recognized as a leader. As one of the best known men in Cortland, who has also been one of the most efficient of public officers, it affords us pleasure to present Mr. Brooks’ portrait* on a preceding page.

*A portrait was included in the original printed volume.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

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