Bill and Emily Brook Family Information

A History of Bill Brook and Emily Coleman Brook


HISTORY from Emily's writings


HISTORY from Michaelson's book


Bill and Emily as Newly Weds

In December that year we were married at Chapel Hill Methodist Church. We chose the December 30 date, because the church was scheduled in June to be moved off the foundation so a basement could be added. We had chosen Dale Watling for our best man. They had decided not to wait for June for his wedding, either, so he and Joyce chose the date that we had picked. Since they had already ordered their invitations, your Dad and I took the later date. There was a snow storm that day, but it didn't stop people from coming to the wedding. We decorated the front of the sanctuary with real Christmas trees.

One of our gifts, from Dad's parents, was a new Chevrolet auto. This took the place of the Model A Ford that your Dad had driven. It was much easier for him to drive to East Lansing for classes, while I was able to walk to school.

The first summer of our marriage, we had a chance to live at the governor's mansion, cooking for Governor G. Mennen "Soapy" Williams (when he was home from Mackinaw Island) and others who stayed at the mansion part time. The next year I got a position teaching in the Elsie School System. We rented a house from a widow, who retained one or two rooms for herself. Dad and the husband of the Home Economics Teacher of Ovid Ralph Kirch, shared rides to MSU. During that year, I became pregnant for Douglas. In those times, pregnant teachers were not allowed to teach, because "children shouldn't know where babies come from", thus I had to end my teaching career early. I've never been sorry, I enjoyed the chance to stay home with all of you children. After Dad finished college, he was employed by the State Extension Office as a 4-H director in Kalamazoo County. Doug was born before I moved to Kalamazoo. We bought a small home there, but the farm was calling so we soon moved back to the Upton Road farm. We sold the house in Kalamazoo, but didn't make any profit.

William Lyle Brook

When I was a junior, I was engaged to your mom, Emily, and we were married during my senior year. That summer we got a job keeping house and cooking at Governor G. Mennen Williams Lansing home. Mom did the cooking for those who stayed at the house, and for the Governor when he was in Lansing. Mom was a Home Economics teacher in Olivet and then in Elsie. After graduation from MSU in 1950, we moved to Kalamazoo where I was the County Extension 4-H Club Agent. We lived a short time in an upstairs apartment before buying a house on a 1/2 acre lot in Portage, just south of Kalamazoo. This was the first home for Douglas. In January, 1952, we sold this home and moved back to the farm to begin full time farming, living in the small house on the farm. We also began raising our family, little thinking we would have six children. We had hopes of raising two, I didn't want to have an only child.


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