Welcome to Brooksville!
Originally named Sewell, Brooksville was founded in 1903. Sewell was a white doctor in the area who owned most of the land and who treated the residents. A. R. Brooks became the first black person to settle the area. He was a cotton buyer and farmer. The town was named after Mr. Brooks and his son W.M. Brooks was the first postmaster. St. Johns Baptist church was soon established in the area by Reverend Jedson White in 1906. Not long afterwards the members of the church built a building that still stands today. Before long Brooksville boasted two mills, three hotels, had two doctors and a Santa Fe Railroad station. Reverend White began to travel the south recruiting other blacks for settlement in the new town. Banneker school, named after Benjamin Banneker a black man credited as one of the original surveyors of our nation’s capital, was built in 1924 with the help of Mr. Julius Rosenwald’s fund. The original school building was destroyed by a fire, but class was re-established when a wooden building replaced the old stone structure. The stone building was well equipped with a domestic science room, a library, small, yet sufficient, four large rooms and a three-hundred-seat auditorium. The first African American graduate student of the University of Oklahoma, George W. McLaurin, taught at the school. Although, the original school had burned down, the children in the town were still able to obtain a proper education. The wooden school served students until its closure in 1968 after the integration of the public schools. Like almost all other black towns, the school funding in addition to the students were sent to nearby white schools when schools desegregated in the sixties. The old school building then became a community center which still stands today, next to the city hall. The town became incorporated in October, 1972. The towns population dropped to about 63 people by 2010. Less people live in historic black community today. Situated on the Black Leg, Brooksville is the last stop before the final destination on the Black Towns Motorcycle tour.