Chronicles of Oklahoma

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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 12, No. 1
March, 1934


Page 52

FRANCIS KEY BROOKE,1 missionary Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Oklahoma, was a son of a distinguished clergyman of the diocese of Ohio, the Rev. Professor John Thomas Brooke, D. D. Bishop Brooke was born at Gambier, Ohio, November 2, 1852; graduated from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, in 1874; ordained to the diaconate in Christ Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 21, 1875 by Bishop Jaggar; was priested by the same bishop in Christ Church, Springfield, Ohio, May 5, 1877; a rector of Grace Church, College Hill, Ohio, 1875-1877; Christ Church, Portsmouth, Ohio, 1877-1880; St. James Church, Piqua, Ohio, 1880-1884; received his degree of master of arts from Kenyon College in 1881; rector of Grace Church, Sandusky, Ohio, 1884-1886; St. Peters Church, St. Louis, Missouri, 1886-1888; Trinity Church, Atchison, Kansas, 1888-1893; received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Kansas Theological School in 1893, and from the University of the South in 1911; was a Trustee of Kenyon College and also of Bethany College; lectured on Apologetics and Ethics at the Kansas Theological School; was dean of the Northeast Convocation of Kansas, and honorary canon of the Cathedral; was consecrated to the Episcopate on January 6, 1893 at Grace Church Cathedral, Topeka, Kansas, by Bishops Tuttle, Pierce, Spaulding, Jaggar, Thomas, Kendrick, Graves and Atwill; was bishop of Oklahoma and Indian Territory until 1907, when he became the bishop of Oklahoma only. He died October 22, 1918, and was buried at Gambier, Ohio.

Following is an excerpt from Kenyon College bulletin of 1931:

"At half past nine o'clock in the Church of the Holy Spirit, morning prayer was read by the Chaplain and the President. At the conclusion of the service President Pierce said:


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" 'The memorial window recently placed in the West end of the west transept commemorates three successive generations of Kenyon men: The grandfather, the Rev. John Thomas Brooke, Professor of Rhetoric and Philosophy, 1847-1853; the father, Right Rev. Francis Key Brooke, D. D., Bishop of Oklahoma, a graduate of the class of 1874; and the son, John Thomas Brooke, bachelor of arts, 1907. The beautiful glass came from the A'Ascenzo Studios of Philadelphia and the windows are the gift of Mr. T. Catesby Jones and the four daughters of Bishop Brooke. Miss Frances Key Brooke Jones, grand-daughter of Bishop Brooke, will unveil the windows. Acting on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I formally announce the acceptance of this memorial gift and ask the Bishop of Ohio to give it his blessing.'

"During the singing of the hymn, 'For All The Saints Who From Their Labors Rest,' the windows were unveiled by Miss Frances Key Brooke Jones and then dedicated by the Rt. Rev. Warren L. Rogers, D. D., Bishop of Ohio."

The great great grandfather of Bishop Brooke was born in England and came to the western shore of Maryland about 1650; the great grandfather and grandfather were born in Maryland; the grandfather a Roman Catholic was a cousin of Chief Justice Taney. The Rev. John Thomas Brooke, father of Bishop Brooke, was born in Frederick, Maryland; when he arrived at manhood he commenced the study of the law, and after being admitted to practice located in his home city. When he was twenty-three years of age he joined the Episcopal church, and his example was followed by his three brothers and a sister. He gave much attention to religious study and finally pursued a thorough course of theology. He was graduated at Alexandria (Va.) Seminary in 1825 and the same year was ordained to the ministry. He was rector at Martinburg, West Virginia, Georgetown, District of Columbia, and Cincinnati, Ohio, and was professor of English literature in Kenyon College, at Gambier, Ohio, where he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity. Louisa R. Hunter daughter of David Hunter, a prosperous planter of Scotch descent, the mother of Bishop Brooke was born in Martinsburg, Virginia.

Bishop Francis Key Brooke was married January 5, 1881 at Bolivar, Tennessee, to Miss Mildred Ruth Baldwin. She was a

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native of Sidney, Ohio, and was a daughter of Prof. Milton Baldwin. Her grandfather, John Baldwin, was a successful business man of Berea, Ohio, who founded Baldwin University of Berea, Ohio, and also contributed liberally toward the founding of Baker University at Baldwin, Kansas, which latter place was named in his honor. The mother of Mrs. Brooke was Ruth Sheldon, who was a daughter of Rev. Henry O. Sheldon. She was a woman of the highest educational attainments, and was for more than ten years principal of Bethany College at Topeka, Kansas, where her daughter, Mrs. Brooke, was a student. The five children born to Bishop Brooke and his wife were Ruth Sheldon, Louisa Rebekah, John Thomas, Mary Baldwin and Elizabeth Hunter.

The Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Oklahoma has been richly blessed by the life and ministry of Bishop Francis Key Brooke. He was a man of high scholarship, an eloquent preacher, a fervent and efficient missionary, a true friend, a genial companion, a wise administrator, and a just and sympathetic counselor.

The people of both Church and State in Oklahoma suffered a severe loss in the death of Bishop Brooke, but the moral and spiritual foundations he so truly and permanently laid will memorialize his life and ministry for all time, and will be a guide and inspiration for succeeding generations.

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