According to well-known, long-time native of Comanche County, Brooks Kerley age 92, reports his grandfather, Arthur Baxter Brooks, was the first fireman on the first train to arrive in Comanche town. Arthur’s job was to shovel many shovelsful of wood and coal to keep the train engine going. Grandfather Kerley was born in 1861, moving from Palestine to Hasse where he met his future wife, Mattie Brooks, at the Hasse Store also known as the R. W. Gray Mercantile. Brooks’ dad was born in 1881. When Brooks was born he was the first of the twins to be born and from then on Books was the oldest of not only his twin brother, Thomas, but eight siblings. Brooks is the only living survivor of those brothers and sisters. (Unfortunately, Brooks could not find a photo of his grandfather or grandmother Kerley.) Pictured (back row left to right) Will Kerley Marshall, Mamie Kerley Marshall, Zenia McFarrin Kerby, James Sidney Kelsey, Mattie Brooks Kerley, Ruby Kerley McNutt, Mandy Kerley Cloud, Lucille Kerley Marshall, Audra Kesley, Williford, Elzora Pearl Cottrell, Vernie Kerley and Walter Cottrell. (front row left to right) W T. Kerley, Alex Robinson, Mandy Robinson Kerley, Tammie Lean Keley, Viola Robinson and Alvin Cottrell. Information contributed by Brooks Kerley.
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