“Brags about Texas” and asthma brought one of the best loved doctors of Wylie to come here, and, oddly enough, he and his new bride came on their honeymoon and stayed. He was Dr. Percy Franklin Brooks, who was born on George Washington’s birthday, February 22, 1881 at a very small settlement called Center Star, Alabama. After High School he attended Florence Junior College and graduated from Louisville Medical College in Louisville, Kentucky.
After graduation he practiced medicine for a year in Cherokee, Alabama with Dr. C.W. Williams, and he practiced the art of wooing, also, with Dr. Williams’ beautiful daughter, Bessie. The wedding took place January 10, 1906. On January 16th of the same year they arrived in Texas via railroad.
Since Brooks wished to be just a “country doctor,” he began looking around for a place in which to establish a practice. In the small town of Wylie near Dallas, there were only three doctors practicing–Doctors Maynard, Staples and Maxwell. The area covered many miles. The Brooks family moved here and stayed. He traveled by way of horseback at first. Then a motorcycle became his first wheels, but it ended in a calamity when he tried to swerve to miss a pig in the road. This was followed by a three-pedal Model T, another Ford, and a 1925 Dodge, before he went “all the way with Chevrolet.”
Realizing that much progress was being made in the field of medicine, Dr. Brooks returned and received his degree, a Certificate of Post Graduate Study and a Surgical Degree, from the New York Polyclinic Medical School and Hospital. Just after he returned to Wylie one night, he and Dr. Maynard performed a successful appendectomy on a lady on a country table without any modern conveniences. This type of operation was usually unsuccessful then and this was also an emergency, which made them extra proud. During the early days Dr. Brooks took as pay chickens, pigs, horses, cows and even peanut hay (a hay which had peanuts in it and was good for pigs), but he never took in land. He became active in the Masonic Order and the Eastern Star.
Each year Dr. Brooks went hunting with his buddies, Minor and Ernie Housewright, Lee Burch and C.C. Fawcett. At home Dr. Brooks was definitely a family man. He had bought two houses on Keefer Street and they lived in one. Their sons, Percy and Spinks, attended Wylie Schools. Very much a disciplinarian, the doctor told son Percy when he wanted a clarinet that he could work for it, and he did—in the drug store. The Methodist Church was dear to the Brooks family. All except the doctor attended each service, but he often stated, “I can’t sit two hours.” He was on the Board of Trustees and was one of the biggest contributors to the church.
A staunch Democrat who voted the ticket “no matter who runs,” the doctor was active in medical practice in Wylie for forty six years. During that time he not only was respected by all medical men he met but he had a special place in the hearts of all whom he ministered to. He passed away April 4, 1952. Many in Wylie still recall this untiring gentleman as one of the most dedicated physicians and citizens that Wylie ever had.
Courtesy Wylie Area Heritage by Beb Fulkerson. Additional Wylie history can be found here.