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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Lewis County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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Benjamin B. Brooks, of the Canton Saw Mill Company, was born in Dalton, N. H., November 4, 1829, the son of Alvin and Lydia I. Brooks, both natives of New Hampshire, where they lived and died. Our subject was educated in his native State, and in 1849 went to California, and spent three years in the gold mines with success. In 1853 he returned, and bought a farm, upon which he remained until 1861, when he began merchandising. In 1872 he came to Canton with Mr. Cummings, with whom he has since been in the lumber business. January 26, 1858, he married Louisa F. Rix, a native of Littleton, N. H. They have an adopted child—Fannie L. He is a Republican, and an encampment member of the I. O. O. F. Charles E. Cummings, the other partner of the above firm, was born in Lisbon, N. H., February 28, 1847, the son of Greenleaf and Hannah (Gould) Cummings, natives, respectively, of New Hampshire and Vermont. The father died in October, 1863, and the mother still lives in Boston. Our subject was educated at Montpelier, Vt., and in the business college of Poughkeepsie, N. Y. He was a bookkeeper in a bank in Wells River, Vt., and then followed merchandising until 1872, when he came to Canton, and engaged in the lumber business. He was largely instrumental in placing the company of which he is a member on its present basis. June 16, 1870, Ellen M. Ayres, a native of Canterbury, N. H., became his wife. Their children are Susan E., Carl G. and Albert E. He is a Republican, and a member of the encampment in Odd Fellowship. The present company was incorporated February 28, 1881, by B. V. Brooks, D. M. Hibbard, C. E. Cummings and F. M. Gifford. This company succeeded the firm Brooks, Cummings & Hibbard, who operated the mill from 1872. Mr. Hibbard sold out in 1882, and Mr. Gifford died in 1886 from drowning in the Mississippi River, so that the present stockholders are Brooks, Cummings and Martha G. Gifford. Mr. Brooks is president, and Mr. Cummings secretary and treasurer. The company owns twenty acres in Canton, where their mills and offices are located. The mill consists of a double circular gang edger, trimmer, and a fall set of shingle and lath machinery, giving employment to about seventy men, during the running season. They handle about 7,000,000 feet of lumber per year, which they ship to the West, and whose material comes from Wisconsin. They own an interest in a raft boat.

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This family biography is one of 293 biographies included in the Lewis County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Lewis, Clark, Knox and Scotland Counties, Missouri published in 1887.  For the complete description, click here: Lewis County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Lewis County, Missouri family biographies here: Lewis County, Missouri Biographies

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