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Charles Wayland Brooks is Born

Today in Masonic History Charles Wayland Brooks is born 1897.

Charles Wayland Brooks was an American politician.

Brooks was born on March 8th, 1897 in West Bureau, Illinois. At the age of 20 he was enlisted in the United States Marines serving during World War I. He served until 1919 and was wounded in combat seven times. He received the Distinguished Service Cross from both the Army and the Navy. After returning from the war he attended Wheaton College and the University of Chicago. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from Northwestern University in 1926. He began practicing law in Chicago shortly after.

In 1936, Brooks ran for Governor of Illinois and was defeated by the incumbent governor. In 1940 he won a special election by a narrow margin to fill the vacated United States Senate seat of J. Hamilton Lewis who passed away on April 9th, 1939. Brooks went on to win a full term for himself in 1942 before being defeated in 1948. During his time in the Senate his wife divorced him in Reno, Nevada citing cruelty. Brooks remarried and remained married the rest of his life.

Brooks returned to Chicago after leaving the Untied States Senate where he resumed practicing law. Brooks passed away on January 14th, 1957 from a massive heart attack.

Brooks was a member of Wheaton Lodge No. 269 in Wheaton, Illinois. He was Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. He was also a 33° Scottish Rite Mason in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. He was a York Rite mason and a member of St. John's No.1, Red Cross of Constantine