Millie Muriel Ward Brooks (1932–2005)
Millie Muriel Ward was born on August 27, 1932, to Theodore Ward and Claudia B. Smith Ward, and she and her siblings lived with their parents in Wrightsville. She married Julius James Brooks Sr., and they had two children, Shanon and Tena. Millie Brooks entered politics later in life than is customary, besting two opponents to become Ward 2, Position 1 Wrightsville alderman in 1992. She apparently faced no other opponents for reelection during her tenure, and she died while in office on July 9, 2005. Her daughter Tena Brooks was appointed to fill her unexpired term and later won reelection to the post.
Millie Brooks had been a proponent of having a CALS branch library in Wrightsville, and when a decision was made in 2012 to renovate a space between the Wrightsville City Hall and the city gymnasium into a branch library, the city decided to name the new facility in her honor. The new branch was especially important since the 2010 closing of the Aerospace Branch Library in Little Rock (Pulaski County) had left library patrons in southeastern Pulaski County underserved.
CALS hired Aaron Ruby Architects of Little Rock to design the library space, and JRC Construction of Redfield (Jefferson County) was selected as the contractor. The City of Wrightsville paid around $200,000 for the renovation, and the 2,000-square-foot Millie M. Brooks Library opened to the public on June 1, 2013. A bronze sculpture portraying a man reading to a child, Knowledge is Power by Kevin Kresse, is located in front of the library.
For additional information:
Lauer, Claudia. “Seasoned Councilmen Vying for Seat.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 20, 2012, p. 8B.
———. “Wrightsville Day-Care Site Being Turned into Library.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 17, 2012, pp. 1B, 6B.
———. “Wrightsville Public Library Set to Open.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 27, 2013, pp. 1B, 2B.
Obituary of Millie Muriel Brooks. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 12, 2005, p. 4B.
Schuette, Shirley, and Nathania Sawyer. From Carnegie to Cyberspace: 100 Years at the Central Arkansas Library System. Little Rock: Butler Center Books, 2010.
Mark K. Christ
Central Arkansas Library System
Last Updated: 02/27/2021