Jefferson County Historical Society

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Joseph Brooker, painter for the Crystal City Glass Company, was born in
Wisconsin in 1850, and is a son of Eleazar and Matilda (Hurst) Brooker,
who were natives of Baden, Germany.  The father was born about 1826,
and immigrated to the United States when about eighteen years of age. 
He spent four years in Philadelphia, Penn., and then went to Iowa, 
where he resided one year.  He next went to Wisconsin, where he married.
In 1859 he crossed the plains to California, and after a ninety days' 
journey behind ox teams reached his destination, where he followed mining
for four years, and then returned to his family, in Wisconsin via the 
Isthmus of Panama and New York.  Since 1869 he has been a resident of 
Jefferson County, Mo.  In 1862 he enlisted in Company H, Twenty fifth 
Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and for three years was with Sherman in 
his Atlanta and Georgia campaign.  He was discharged at Madison, Wis.  
Joseph Brooker received a good education in his youthful days, and 
since the establishment of the Crystal City Plate Glass Company, has 
served them in various capacities, and for a number of years has been 
their chief painter and glazier.  He is perhaps the only man who has 
been with the company since its organization (formerly the American
Plate Glass Company), and during that time he has not lost over thirty
days.  In 1873 he married Sarah, daughter of James and Sarah Richards,
natives of Virginia and South Carolina, respectively.  Mr. Richards 
moved to Jefferson County, Mo., in 1869 but died in Arkansas, in 1885.
The mother died in 1865.  Mrs. Brooker was born in Yazoo County, Miss.
and she and Mr. Brooker are the parents of three living children: Mary
Ellen, Joseph and Jessie.  Mr. Brooker has a good and comfortable home
and is a charter member of the A. L. of H., and he and wife are members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  He is a Republican, and his first
presidential vote was cast for Garfield, in 1880.