George H. Brooks was born in 1853 to Anson and Polly Brooks in Adams, New York. By 1870 he was living in Chicago, and in the early 1880s in Madison, Wisconsin. He married Frances Elizabeth Short from Dane, Wisconsin in 1883 and worked as a Spiritualist lecturer and medium.
During the 1880s, Brooks was listed as a medium at Lamar House, Knoxville, Tennessee, giving private readings $1 an hour. He also worked in Topeka, Kansas, Lily Dale and Cassadaga. The Wheeling Sunday Register, 17 March 1889 posted, “G. H. Brooks, trance medium, will lecture in G. A. R. Hall today, morning at 10:30 and 7:30 o’clock in the evening. Subjects taken from the audience. Private sittings daily at No. 74 Fourteenth street.”
The Progressive Thinker, Vol. 4 No. 104, 21 November 1891 published Notes from G.H. Brooks about starting meetings in Elgin, Illinois. He wrote, “In my last letter I was unsettled, and knew nothing of the spiritual condition of this city. As soon as I could I started out, and soon found a number of warm friends to our cause. All speak in the highest terms of THE PROGRESSIVE THINKER. The friends were very anxious for me to start meetings here, believing it a good field. There had been no public work here, aside from what Prof. Lockwood and his wife had done in the summer, for years; so, after thinking over the matter, I finally consented. There was a much larger audience the first Sunday than I expected, and the meetings have increased in numbers and interest, until I trust that out of this there will come forth a strong spiritual society.”
Brooks was active in Spiritualism during the 1890s. He was the chairman of Haslet Park, a Spiritualist camp, for six years, lecturing and doing psychometer readings. He was also a Michigan State missionary, street chairman at Lily Dale, and a member of the Conference of National Spiritualists. At the Fort Wayne First Spiritual Society, one of his lectures was entitled: “The Moral Influence of Spiritualism.”
He and his wife had one son, born in 1903, before they moved to Los Angeles by 1910. Brooks continued his work as a traveling lecturer. As a renowned minister, Doctor of Divinity & lecturer from Los Angeles, he held seminars in the Cottonwood, Arizona area regularly.
It was April 20, 1925. Brooks was staying at the Cottonwood Hotel which he did frequently. The town of Cottonwood paid a large sum to bring him into town. That visit, it is said that he predicted his death while giving psychic readings. At 3:00 am, a still located in the rear of the Thomas Moore Restaurant blew up. The fire it created was fanned by a strong wind that swept along the two blocks of the westside of Main St. Fifteen businesses and 10 residential homes were destroyed. The Cottonwood Hotel, a wooden structure, also caught fire.
The only town fatality was Reverend Brooks. It appeared that he had been awakened by the fire, partially dressed himself, and fell, overcome by the heat and smoke. The other roomers made it out of the hotel. Brooks’ body was buried in Inglewood, California. Some say he still walks around the hotel in the upper hallway.