|By Bob Weaver|
William Creed Brooks was born near Big Bend (Brooksville) in 1862 and died in 1953.
Eccentric Calhoun character Creed Brooks of Big Bend (Brooksville), known for his quick wit and outstanding penmanship, would travel to Bull River in the earlier part of this century to express his oratory at the Literary Society.
His dress and persona would make him an irregular at such a fine group. You could say, Creed tended to dress down.
Creed stories have been told so many times, much like legends of Paul Bunyan, that after a while they are a little muddled. But the gist of each story remains, enough tales to fill a "Creed Brooks Compendium."
Creed would get out on Rt. 5 above Brooksville (Big Bend) and thumb for a ride in either direction. He just wanted out of the house.
Creed had a predisposition for being struck by automobiles, and surviving the incidents with little harm.
It was told that Grantsville resident Winfield Thomas once struck Creed and knocked him over the hill into the weeds along the Little Kanawha River. Crawling back on the highway, he inquired of the terror-stricken driver - "How much do I owe for your car, Winfield?"
Creed, who had some knowledge of the law and was a notary and one time constable, often hung out at Holbert's Store at Big Bend. Holbert's, other than the Stump Funeral Home in Grantsville, may be the oldest business in Calhoun. The Village of Big Bend is yet referred to as "Brooksville," because of the colorful man's presence.
A traveling salesman got interested in Creed because he never seemed to work and inquired of him how he kept starvation away from the door.
Creed replied, "Well, I'll tell you mister. In the morning I eat a bowl of dried apples. At noon I drink a lot of water and in the evening I just swell up in time for bed."
A well-known girl of social status was walking to the high school in Grantsville with her friends, when she came upon the crusty, unkempt man. She announced to her friends, "We don't speak to trash," after which Creed replied, "My dear lady, I never fail to..."
In 1901 Creed requested that the local newspaper publish a clarification regarding rumors being spread around the community.
"We are requested by Constable W. Creed Brooks to say that he was not intoxicated when the altercation between himself and Murry occurred a few days ago, as has been reported. He says earlier in the evening he had Murry under arrest, but released him upon the promise of his friends to see after him."
"He was taken to a room, and about midnight Brooks went into the room for some purpose, and Murry attacked him, one of his friends holding the door shut. Brooks warded off the blows as best he could, until Murry attempted to hit him with an empty beer bottle. He then struck him with a beer bottle laying him out for some time. All of which, he says, he did in self defense."
Creed was working in a field when a passerby who was walking to
Grantsville, said to Creed "There's ain't much between you and a fool
is there Creed?" To which Creed answered, "No, nothing but a fence."
On another occasion, Creed was having a disagreement with his
wife and was outside with his wife throwing dishes at him, and he
was catching them and putting them down on the ground. A
passerby said to him, "Creed, how are you doing?" Creed looked
at him and said, "Just fine, everything's coming my way."
Russ Ferrell added to the legion of Creed Brooks tales:
"Creed was down at Holbert's Store (Big Bend, where he often hung out) He was sitting in his favorite spot with his foot propped up on a stool. Creed, who rarely took a bath, was confronted by a woman customer, who upon seeing his dirty foot, exclaimed "Mr. Brooks, I have never seen such a dirty foot." Brooks removed the foot and placed his other foot on the stool, replying "Ma'am, you have now."
One day Creed was in Grantsville, gathered around a group of local men who got together to talk and tell stories. Near a livery stable, one of the men asked Creed if he would give a political speech, probably to make fun of him, as his humor was sometimes a little "dry" for some folks.
Being a witty man of few words, Creed stepped on the top of a pile of horse manure, which quickly captured everyone's attention.
After some silence, Creed was asked "What are you doing?"
Ol' Creed just looked them in the eye and said "Well, gentlemen this is the first time I was ever asked to make a Republican speech on a Democrat platform."
Another time Creed was outside his home along the river and a man passed by, unfamiliar with the area. He asked Creed "Where was the shallowest place around?"
Creed replied in his no-nonsense way ...."Right under your hat, right under your hat."
CREED BROOKS SAYS HE WAS NOT DRUNK
Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun
We are requested by Constable W.C. (Creed) Brooks to say that he was not
when the altercation between himself and Murry occurred a few days
as has been reported.
Brooks says earlier in the evening he had Murry
arrest, but released him upon the promise of his friends to see after
He was taken to a room, and about midnight Brooks went into the room
some purpose, and Murry attacked him, one of his friends holding the
Brooks warded off the blows as best he could, until Murry
to hit him with an empty beer bottle.
He then struck him with a
bottle laying him out for some time.
All of which, he says, he
in self defense.