The Heroines

Mercy Jane Lillie Brooks

is honored with a Brick from Katherine B. Augustine.

 Mercy Jane Lillie Brooks The daughter of Leroy and Eulalia Lillie, Jane Brooks was born on December 20, 1867 in Marion, Iowa. She had two brothers and one sister and attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On June 22, 1886 she married Charles H. Brooks and they moved to Wichita where he practiced law. They had one son Willard and three daughters--Helen, Katherine,and Josephine.

While organizing and nurturing the national, state, and local Leagues of Women Voters in 1919, she managed to find the time to arrange the weddings of all three of her daughters.

The Brooks' home at 330 N. Roosevelt was always open to League activities and regular League study groups were conducted there for many years. Jane was also a member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames and a charter member of the Twentieth Century Club. Her son Willard died in 1936. Her husband Charles and grandson Wolcott died in 1944. Her daughter-in-law Hazel Brooks was also very active in the League and served as state President. Jane has nine surviving grandchildren.

Jane passed away in the early morning of August 20, 1945 following a brief illness. At the time of her death, she was honorary President of the Kansas League of Women Voters and active President of the local League, both being part of her contribution to the war effort. Elizabeth Flautt, who joined the Wichita League in 1939, remembers Jane Brooks as a "tower of the social structure during the 1930's: a formidable lady who you knew would make a success of whatever she did."

July 7, 1998