Early Years Recalled

Josephine Hooker 09/24/1859 - 11/21/1939

"Mrs. Marvin Stabler, found among her late Aunt's memos the following article. Miss Josephine Hooker contributes the following interesting items concerning some of the modern improvements that have taken place in Brodhead since 1886...

Josephine Hooker & Katie Hooker Hyatt
at their family home in Spring Grove Township

On March 30, 1886 the late Lewis Hooker and family moved from their home in Spring Grove to Brodhead and on that day came a deep snow. In the last few years weather conditions have changed as well as the times.
In 1886 Brodhead was still a village, but it became a city in 1891. The electric lights were the first improvement. The local plant was started in 1888. For many years the lights were turned on at 12 o'clock. The all nite Service began about 1910. When first started, there were only about 200 lights, but soon more were added. It was through the efforts of H.P. Clake in 1885 that an electric light plant was started in Brodhead. In 1891 the company's home was changed to Bennett, Lucas, Company, and ran under that name for 13 years.
The city water was put in about 1894 and the telephone in 1899. The public library was started in 1906. The R.F.D. began serving rural residence in 1900 and the parcel post about 1912. The R.F.D. had only one route. The 1st automobile appeared here in 1907. Now autos are about the only conveyance.
In 1900 the strip of land south of the depot was transferred into the beautiful park which we now enjoy. The north side park was finished and equipped several years later. Furnaces were not much talked of, if any in 1886. Last of all are the wonderful highways we so much enjoy."