Morris Brooke, supervisor for the fourth district and engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Sacramento, is one of the most energetic, enterprising and successful young business men of this section of the state. He has been identified with the agricultural, commercial and political interests of the state since he was a boy of sixteen years, and it seems that he has always possessed an open sesame to unlock the doors of success in every enterprise that he has undertaken. As a legislator and a member of various important public bodies he has been a constant agitator and worker for the general welfare and reform both in administration and in state, county and municipal improvements. As an advocate of good roads he has probably done as much as any other man in this state, and much work of development in this line will be the result of his generous efforts.
Mr. Brooke was born in Diamond Spring, Eldorado county, California, March 16, 1872. Both sides of the family were represented in the Revolutionary war, as well as that of 1812. His paternal grandfather was a colonel in the Revolution. C. D. Brooke, the father of Morris Brooke, was one of the most progressive and intrepid of California pioneer agriculturists. he came to this state from Virginia in 1851, and for the first ten years followed mining. He then devoted himself to agriculture and horticulture for the remainder of his active life. He planted the first successful fruit farm in the foot-hills of Eldorado county, and, ignoring the ridicule of his neighbors and the disadvantages incident to his enterprise at the start, demonstrated that this was a wonderful fruit section and made a success of his own ventures. he retired several years before his death, which occurred in 1901. He was supervisor for a number of years, and took a prominent part in politics. He was a Breckinridge Democrat, and he once ran for state senator, but was defeated with the rest of his party.
Mary E. (Smith) Brooke, the mother of Morris Brooke, was born in Ohio, and her family was originally from the state of Connecticut. she is a direct descendant of the Smith who came over in the Mayflower, and members of the family took a prominent part in the colonial wars. She is still living, and makes her home in Oak Park, Sacramento county. Five of her children are living: Morris; Dr. W. A., a physician of Alameda; Roy L. at home; Lucy, the wife of William McGinn, of Sacramento, and Miss Clara.
Mr. Brooke was educated in the public schools of Diamond Spring and of Sacramento, graduating from the grammar schools of the latter place at the age of sixteen. He then began farming in Sacramento county with his father, and shortly afterward bought land of his own and raised berries. He continued in these pursuits five years. At the age of twenty-six, in 1898, he was elected to the legislature from the twenty-second assembly district on the Democratic ticket, being chosen from a Republican strong-hold. While in the legislature he was responsible for the introduction of a number of measures, several of which became good laws. He brought forward a constitutional amendment providing for free text books in the public schools, and, although he failed to secure its adoption, the agitation thus started has developed and become widespread throughout the state, so that there is every confidence in its promoters of the ultimate success of the movement. Mr. Brooke was in the county clerk’s office as court deputy until the fall of 1901, and was then elected from the Republican stronghold of the fourth district as supervisor for a term of four years. In this office he has been the first one in this part of the state to advocate oil roads, and he has established quite a reputation as a promoter of this enterprise. He has written a number of articles for the public press on the subject of good roads, and also went before the state convention of supervisors as an advocate of improved highways. The results of the adoption of some of his proposals concerning oil roads in this section of the state have fully justified his expectations, as Sacramento has some of the best roadways in the state. For the last two years he has represented Sacramento county in the Sacramento Valley Development Association, and was the originator of the project to get up a Sacramento exhibit for the St. Louis Exposition. Mr. Brooke had personal charge of the preparation of the exhibit.
Mr. Brooke represented Sacramento valley as one of the delegates to the national irrigation congress at Ogden. In the latter part of 1903 he went into the real estate and insurance business as manager of the country department of Curtis, Carmichael and Brand, and he is also interested in several other business enterprises of Sacramento. At the present time he has his own land leased.
Mr. Brooke affiliates with the Native Sons of the Golden West, and is past president of the Sacramento Parlor, and has several times represented the local parlor at the grand parlor. He also belongs to the Masons, the Foresters of America, the Improved Order of Red Men, the Grange, and has been vice sachem of the state league of the Iroquois Clubs for the last five years. He is Democratic committeeman at large for the second congressional district.
Source: Leigh H. Irvine; A History of the New California Its Resources and People, 2 Volumes; New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.