Brooks was a world-famous big-game hunter and photographer, naturalist and cotton merchant. He was born in Senatobia, Miss., in 1902, and his father was sheriff of Tate County, Miss. The family moved to Memphis when Brooks was 12.
He attended Washington and Lee University and entered the cotton business in 1922 as a $25-a-month clerk. He retired as head of his own cotton company in 1972.
Brooks was the first American to be accepted into the International Hunting Hall of Fame, and his animal trophies in the Berry B. Brooks African Hall at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum were the favorite attractions for thousands of Memphians and Mid-Southerners for many years. He remarked about the sadness he sometimes felt in collecting animals but said he tried to make every animal he ever collected immortal by giving it to the museum.
Virginia Walton Brooks
In his later years, he preferred to capture the animals he hunted in photographs and he was a popular Goodwyn Institute lecturer, using his pictures as illustrations.
Brooks and his wife, Virginia, purchased the major portion of their estate - 202 acres - in 1948. Their home was named Epping Forest Manor in honor of Virginia Brooks's ancestor, Col. Joseph Ball, grandfather of George Washington. His Lancaster County seat was named for Epping Forest, the royal hunting preserve, owned by the English Crown. Brooks and his wife kept peacocks and raised cattle on the estate.
In 1972, they sold the major portion of the farm to Cook Investment Properties Inc. and Allen & O'Hara Inc. for development of a multipurpose project, to include single-family, townhouse, apartment and commercial properties, built with an old English theme.
The Brooks property was bounded on the north by James Road, on the west by Highland, and on the east by a north bend of the Wolf River. The new development was named Epping Forest and the north-south street running through the development was named Epping Way. It extends south from James Road and is east of Windermere Drive.
A four-month flight around the world is ahead for Mrs. Berry B. Brooks (left) and her daughter, Miss Virginia Brooks, of Memphis. Here they are brushing up on their knowledge of the Orient, even sitting Japanese fashion while looking through travel articles on Jan. 17, 1956.
Virginia Walton Brooks
Epping Forest Manor
John Brooks ~ Family History
"Virginia Walton Brooks, 14, got back from her hunting trip in East Africa just in time for school ...."
Letters To The Editor
Death In A Lonely Land By: Peter Hathaway
Don't Mind If I Do By George Hamilton, William Stadiem
The Epping Way Mystery