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Brooks family collection

Brooks family collection

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Open Finding Aid

Finding aid for the Brooks family collection


Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700

August 21, 2015

Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Brooks family
Title: Brooks family collection
Dates: 1883-1933
Quantity: 0.5 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection consists primarily of text materials related to the Brooks family through the lifetimes of Ida Joe Brooks, Mrs. Tinley M. (Mary Burt) Brooks, Mrs. W. B. (Oriette V.) Brooks and Mary Burt Brooks Nash.
Identification: BC.MSS.08.31
Language: English


This collection is arranged in chronological order.

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of event programs, newspaper clippings, personal writings, and personal written music from women in the Brooks family, historically prominent members of the Little Rock community. These include Ida Joe Brooks (1853-1939) and her sister-in-law, Mrs. Tinley M. (Mary Burt) Brooks (1843-1923), as well as the daughter-in-law and granddaughter of Mary Burt Books, (Mrs. W.B. (Oriette V.) Brooks (1877-1957) and Mary Burt Brooks Nash (1912-1997), respectively. For clarity the two women with identical names are designated in the finding aid as Mary Burt Brooks [I] and Mary Burt Brooks [II].

Biographical Information

Ida Joe Brooks was born March 13, 1853, in Muscatine, Iowa, to Joseph and Eliza Brooks. She graduated from high school in St. Louis and moved to Little Rock with her family in about 1870. She earned a degree at Little Rock University and taught in the city's public schools. She later applied for training at the University of Arkansas Medical Department, but was turned down. She earned a degree instead from the Boston University School of Medicine and practiced for a time in the Boston area. She returned to Little Rock in 1906 and went on to become one of the state's first female physicians and the first female member of the faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She was an active suffragette and was a member of many clubs and organizations in central Arkansas. Ida died in 1939.

Mary Burt Brooks [I] was born on April 12, 1843, to William and Mariah Burt of Greenup, Kentucky. She married Tinley M. Brooks, the brother of Ida Jo Brooks, in St. Louis on December 30, 1868. After moving to Little Rock, she became an educator in the Little Rock school system. She was also active in many clubs and organizations. She co-founded the suffrage newspaper The Woman's Chronicle that provided organizational news to central Arkansas suffragettes until the formation of the Political Equality League in 1911. She also wrote poetry and music. After her husband's death in 1888, Mary remained an active part of the Little Rock community and lived with her son William Burt Brooks (1870-1922). She died on April 4, 1923.

Mary and Tinley's son William Burt (known as Burt) married Orriette Morris in 1894. Oriette was born in Boston in 1876 and was the daughter of Commodore D. and Sallie V. Morris. Burt and his wife had two sons, Robert and Morris, and one daughter, Mary Burt Brooks [II]. Like the other women in the Brooks family, Oriette, who was known publically as Mrs. W. B. Brooks, was active in community organizations promoting education and was a leader in the suffrage movement in Arkansas. After her husband's death in 1922, Oriette accepted a position as second division court clerk for Pulaski County and served in that position for over twelve years, an unprecedented amount of time for a woman to hold a legal position. Oriette died in 1957.

Mary Burt Brooks [II], born in 1912, followed her mother in pursuing a legal career, completing law school and being admitted to the bar in 1934. She went on to become a Pulaski County Juvenile Court judge. She married William Nash, and the couple had two sons, David William Nash and Morris Brooks Nash. She died December 10, 1997.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Brooks, Ida Jo, Dr., 1853-1939
Brooks, Mary Burt, 1843-1923
Brooks, Oriette Morris, 1876-1957
Medicine -- Arkansas
Nash, Mary Burt Brooks, 1912-1997
Women -- Arkansas -- Societies and clubs
Women -- Education -- Arkansas
Women -- Suffrage -- Arkansas


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating; in-house use only.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Brooks family collection, MSS.08.31, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated Brooks Nash, 2008

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