From our Dad, Francis L. White: “At some point, George T. Brooks sold his company to the Armor meatpacking company of Chicago. Come to think of it my law school is part of IIT which used to be called the Armor Institute due to the Armor Family’s charitable donations (how’s that for irony?). The only anecdote I heard as a boy was that when there was a fire in the bologna smokehouse George T. Brooks, who was not a tall man, picked up the company safe and carried it out of the building.
That smokehouse and a detached home, where my Great Aunt Cat lived (George probably lived there originally as it was right next to the smokehouse) were located on a railroad spur between Willow and 10th Streets, and I would walk by them on my way to school for 11 years.
Parallel to the tracks was a small creek that I would play around (planting clods of dirt and grass along it’s banks) which became a raging torrent that I waded through to get to the center of town during the Great Flood of 1972. I think it was called the Quitapahilla Creek.
In George Brooks’ obit I read that he also ran a cafe, “The Keystone Cafe” which may be the structure behind him in the photograph.
I was watching The Last Dance” just now, and they were showing early clips of the NBA Draft in which Michael Jordan was drafted by the Bulls. I mentioned that Jordan was actually the third pick, and that number two was a man named Sam Bowie, who grew up in my [Lebanon, Pennsylvania] neighborhood of Willow Street (he was years younger than me, but my Dad knew his dad). He was rated higher than Mike, but an injury sidelined his career permanently. And then the clips showed him.”
Here are the photos from Salem Lutheran Church with the headstone of the Brooks family that were removed by the city of Lebanon. Buried here were the great-grandparents to George T. Brooks, James and Jane, who immigrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania in the 1770s.