Submitted by Lois Werner, Brookfield Historical Society
Rachel Sophia Williams Stuart Davis Bricker
Rachel was the fifth child of eight children of Welsh miner James and Sophia Jones Williams. Born June 10, 1885 into poverty she married William Stuart at age 19, had a son, William Jr. in 1905, divorced, and married Emanuel Davis, a coal miner in 1909. The June1910 census shows son William living with them. In July she had twin girls named Carrie and Kerrnappuck, a Welch name. Thomas was born in 1912 and Elizabeth in 1914. With 5 children on coal miner wages, a difficult decision was made for the welfare of the children. William was returned to his father to raise and Kerrnappuck was given to a relative to raise, later changing her name to Elsie. By 1920 Manuel took a job at the steel mill and they remained living on Masury’s Syme Street for the rest of her life.
In 1923 she was elected to the Brookfield Township Board of Education and served until 1927, the first woman in Trumbull County to do so according to her obituary.
Always community oriented, as a practical nurse she helped her neighbors with their needs and was elected to the township trustee position from 1932 to 1944, the first woman in the state of Ohio to serve in that position. Elected during Prohibition, many residents owed her their thanks for obtaining jobs at the steel mills during the Great Depression with the help of her husband and son-in-law, a foreman at the mill. After her husband’s death in 1940, she continued serving during World War II when families needed her compassion and caring.
She ran for Democratic State Representative from Trumbull County in 1944 and served in Columbus until 1946.
Rachel married Charles Bricker in 1950. He died in 1952 and she died March 25, 1954. She is buried in Brookfield Township Cemetery between her two husbands Manuel and Charles. Later Davis Street in Masury was named in her honor.