Everything in connection with the life and work of Dr. Frank M. Brooks, of Silverton, indicates prosperity, culture, knowledge of the world, and exceptionally high professional standing. He enjoys one of the most desirable and lucrative practices in the Willamette valley, and from his home radiate helpfulness and strength into hundreds of homes throughout Marion county.
Dr. Brooks was born in Salem, Ore., April 10, 1868, a son of John and Martha R. (Harper) Brooks. His father, who was born in Kentucky March 7, 1824, crossed the plains in 1864, and settled upon a farm near Salem. There he engaged in general farming until 1897, when he retired from active life to spend his remaining years with his children. He still owns a home in the suburbs of Salem, consisting of twenty-five acres, the remainder of his property having been laid out in lots and named the Brooks subdivision. His marriage to Martha R. Harper, who was born in Hart county, Ky., August 2, 1834, occurred in Kentucky, April 9, 1848. To this union ten children were born, named in order of their birth as follows: Mary W., deceased; Irene, wife of E.P. Hodnett, of Portland; William W., deceased; John H., of Silverton; Lydia A., wife of R.H. Leabo, of Salem; Frank M.; Clyde C., of Los Angeles, Cal.; Edward A., head keeper of the United States light station at Dungeness, Wash.; Lenora, of Portland, and Dr. Benjamin F., of Sedro Woolley, Wash.
After being graduated from the Salem public schools, in 1882, Dr. Brooks, then fourteen years of age, entered the employ of Murphy, Grant & Co., wholesale dry-ggods merchants, in their branch house in Portland, with whom he remained for two years. In the meantime he had decided to devote his life to the science of medicine, and therefore resigned his clerkship for the purpose of applying himself wholly to the mastery of his chosen profession. After a course of study with Dr. Horace Carpenter, covering a period of two years, he entered Cooper Medical Colege in San Francisco, where he studied one year. He then entered the medical department of the University of Oregon, from which he was graduated wih the class of 1890. The first two years of his career as a practitioner were spent in La Camas, Wash., but since 1892 he has been engaged in his professional labors in Silverton, with the exception of the time devoted to further research in the east and in foreign capitals. In 1894, he entered Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, from which he was graduated May 15, 1895. Again resuming practice in Silverton, he was very successful. In 1902 he temporarily abandoned a large and lucrative practice in order that he might spend three months in Europe. This period he devoted to post-graduate work in the leading hospitals of London, Paris, Vienna, Prague and Edinburgh, where he was enabled to avail himself of instruction at the hands of some of the most illustrious exponents of medical and surgical science in the world. With thus rare equipment for his future career he returned to Silverton, and is now practicing with a degree of success which has at once given him rank with the foremeost physicians and surgeons of Oregon.
January 21, 1891, Dr. Brooks was united in marriage with Agnes Gordon, a native of Chicago, Ill., and a daughter of the Rev. John Gordon, D.D. Her father, who is a clergyman in the Baptist Church, is a native of Scotland. He was formerly pastor of the First Baptist Church of Portland. He is now a resident of Philadelphia, where he is pastor of the Second Baptist Church and dean of Temple College. Two children wee born of this marriage, Irwin and Agnes, both of whom are living at home. Agnes Gordon Brooks died in Silverton, April 11, 1898. On September 11, 1900, Dr. Brooks married Jessie Fremont Davis, who is also a practicing physician. She was born in Silverton February 8, 1870, a daughter of Dr. Platt A. Davis, a pioneer physician of public schools and in the Academy of the Sacred Heart of Salem, being graduated from the later institution in 1887. In 1892 she entered the medical department of the University of Oregon, from which she was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, in 1896. Until her marriage, she was engaged in practice in Silverton, though independently from the practice of her father.
Contrary to family tradition and family training, Dr. Brooks is a stanch adherent of Republican principles. For one term, from May, 1899, to May, 1900, he filled the office of mayor of Silverton. Fraternally, he is associated with the Masons, being a member of Silverton Lodge No. 43, A.F. & A.M., and other orders.
In clsoing this brief review of the career of Dr. Brooks, it does not seem out of place to make a permanent record of the high esteem in which he is held by reason of the many substantial and gracious traits of his character. The foundation of his learning had been laid broad and deep, and he has exhibited a determination to make the best of opportunities afforded by the time and location with which he has been favored, by adopting every possible means of keeping in touch with the most advanced thought in the world of medical science. Personally, he is extremely liberal in his views of affairs in general, the result of extended travel and close contact with some of the best and brightest minds in Europe and America. Possessed of an optimistic temperament, his presence in the sick-room brings a cheer and encouragement which, in themselves, do much toward bringing a forgetfulness of woes to the patient. Aside from his professional labors - though they are of a most arduous nature - he has taken the time to give such aid as lies within his power to the advancement of other local interests. No worthy enterprise calculated to promote the best interests of the community is slighted by him; but on the contrary, he lends his influence, as well as more material aid when the occasion demands it, to the advancement of all measures which, in his opinion, will elevate the social, industrial, moral and intellectual status of the community. All in all, his record is one worthy of emulation by young men who are actuated by ambitions similar to those which prompted him to undertake preparation for a career in medicine. It is with genuine pleasure that those responsible for the compilation of this volume give this review of his life and work a prominent place in the annals of the men of the Willamette valley.
"Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley", pages