BROOKS' DEATH BREAKS 9-YEAR SAFETY RECORD
Basil M. Brooks, 218 East Center Street, well-known tobacconist and agriculture leader and a former mayor of Madisonville, died in Hopkins County Hospital here at 6:55 p.m. Friday as result of injuries suffered a short time earlier when he was struck by an automobile. He was 79 years old.
The death of Mr. Brooks broke a nine-year traffic safety record for Madisonville. Not since 1950 had Madisonville had a death as a direct result of a traffic accident. The death in 1950 of Mrs. Polly Saint, who was struck while crossing the street near the post office, was the last traffic death within the city limits until last night.
Mr. Brooks, proprietor of Brooks Loose Leaf Floor in West Noel avenue, was struck by a car at approximately 6 o'clock last as he was crossing the street near the loose leaf floor.
SAID VISIBILITY POOR
Driver of the car that struck Mr. Brooks was John Townes Corum, 17, of Hanson, who police say was driving a 1953 four-door Chevrolet sedan. The car was listed as belonging to James Corum, Hanson, father of the youth.
Young Corum told investigating officers that he didn't see Mr. Brooks until the car was almost on him and it was too late to stop the car. A light rain was falling at the time, making visibility poor, it was said. Police said the Corum car was traveling at a speed of about 30 miles per hour at the time. Corum was driving the car east on Noel Avenue. Mr. Brooks, it was reported, had been to the Surway Food Store On West Noel and was crossing the street to get in his parked car nearby when the Corum car hit him. He was rushed to the hospital, but succumbed some 55 minutes later. His injuries were listed as fractures of both legs, a head injury and internal injuries.
The left side of the Corum car struck Mr. Brooks. Officers said there was a dent in the left fender of the car and the left front headlight was broken.
Investigating officers were Captain Roy Allinder and Patrolmen Guy Jones and Bob Burton.
MAYOR IN 1922
Coroner Hubert Reid of Earlington said this morning that he would hold an inquest in the county court room here at 10 a.m. Monday.
Mr. Brooks served as mayor of Madisonville about two years, taking office in January, 1922, succeeding D.W.Gatlin. Mr. Brooks didn't serve a full four-year term, and was succeeded by the late Dr. J.D. Sory, who filled out the term. Dr. Sory later served again as mayor, in the early 1940's.
It is interesting to note that all of the councilmen and many of the city officials serving with Mr. Brooks when he was mayor are dead now.
Fay Ashby was city clerk at the time, H.F.S. Bailey was city judge, B.L. Nisbet was city attorney, Grant Cranor was police chief and Harry Scott was tax collector. City councilmen then were A.J. Brown, J.D. Sory. S.A. Heltsley, E.L. Long, R.E. Moore, and R.E. Higdon. J.D.Sory was elevated to the mayor's post by the council when Mr. Brooks resigned.
ACTIVE IN AGRICULTURE
Mr. Brooks was active in agricultural affairs in the county for many years, being one of the leaders in the work of Hopkins County Livestock Improvement Association, serving as a president of the association and also as head of various committees. For many years he was a leader in Farm Bureau affairs.
Active in behalf of Future Farmers of America and 4-H, Mr. Brooks was an honorary member of Hanson FFA Chapter.
One of his interests was the sheep industry, and he devoted some time to promotion of the industry in the county.
FUNERAL 2:30 SATURDAY
A member of First Methodist Church, Mr. Brooks is survived by the wife, Mrs. Evelyn Crow Brooks; a daughter, Mrs. John Morton, 155 N. Main Street; a son, W. C. Brooks, 643 South Seminary; a sister, Mrs. E.K. Coffman, Slaughters; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Barnett-Strother Funeral Home in South Main Street, Dr. William E. James, pastor of First Methodist Church, will officiate. Interment will be in Odd Fellows cemetery.
The body is at the funeral home.
February 6, 1960 (Madisonville Messenger)