Charles W. Brooks
|United States Senator|
November 22, 1940 - January 3, 1949
|James M. Slattery|
Charles Wayland Brooks
March 8, 1897
West Bureau, Illinois
|Died||January 14, 1957 (aged 59)|
Mary E. Thomas Peavey
(1946–1957, his death)
|Branch/service||U.S. Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1917-1919|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Brooks ran for Governor of Illinois in 1936 but was defeated by incumbent Democrat Henry Horner. He was elected by a very narrow margin in 1940 to fill the senate vacancy caused by the death of J. Hamilton Lewis. Brooks was reelected in 1942, but was defeated in 1948 by Democrat Paul Douglas.
On 11 April 1945, US forces liberated the Buchenwald Concentration Camp which was established in 1937 and caused the death of a least 56,545 people. General Eisenhower left rotting corpses unburied so a visiting group of US legislators could truly understand the horror of the atrocities. This group was visiting Buchenwald to inspect the camp and learn firsthand about the enormity of the Nazi Final Solution and treatment of other prisoners.
The legislators who visited included Alben W. Barkley, Ed Izac, John M. Vorys, Dewey Short, C. Wayland Brooks, and Kenneth S. Wheery along with General Omar N. Bradley and journalists Joseph Pulitzer, Norman Chandler, William I. Nichols and Julius Ochs Adler.
Brooks married Gertrude Ackerly in August 1920 and they had a son, Russell (b. 1924). She divorced him in April 1943 in Reno, Nevada, citing cruelty. He married Mary Elizabeth Thomas Peavey, a widow and daughter of U.S. Senate colleague John W. Thomas of Idaho. They wed in May 1946, and remained married to his death. Mary Brooks later became a member of the Idaho Senate. and for eight years was Director of the United States Mint during the Nixon and Ford administrations. Her son, John Peavey (b. 1933), is a former Democratic politician in Idaho, formerly a Republican.
James M. Slattery
| U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Illinois
Served alongside: Scott W. Lucas
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