Brookfield, MO, was laid out in 1859 under the direction of Major Josiah Hunt, land commissioner for the railroad company. James Tooey came from St. Catherine in 1860 and built the first store in Brookfield.
The first post office was established in August 1860 with Tooey being appointed postmaster by President Buchanan. The first school in town was taught by Miss Lizzie Renick who had a grand total of 15 pupils. The first schoolhouse was completed in 1865.
General John J. Pershing’s boyhood home is located in Laclede, 5 miles west of Brookfield. The highest ranking military officer in US history, and general of the armies after World War I, he lived here from age six in 1866 until 1882, when he left for West Point Military Academy.
Walt Disney Hometown Museum is located in Marceline, 10 miles east of Brookfield. In 1906, at the age of six, Walt Disney, with his family, moved to a farm outside of the town. Walt and his brother Roy embraced the town as their own. In 1910, the Disney family moved on to Kansas City, but Walt and Roy, even after becoming famous as cartoon and movie makers, remembered their fond experience in Marceline and returned for dedication ceremonies of the Walt Disney Elementary School (which Walt graced with cartoon characters from his Disney Studio) and the Disney Park Municipal Swimming Pool. Disney always spoke highly of Marceline and attributed his lifelong belief in small-town American values and his fascination with barnyard animal characters to his experience in Marceline.
One of the last remaining covered bridges in the state, Locust Creek Covered Bridge, is 151 feet long and was once part of the US Transcontinental Highway. Built in 1868, the bridge lost its usefulness when Locust Creek was rerouted and the creek bed under the bridge was left dry. The bridge was declared a state historic site in 1968 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places May 19, 1970. It is located 6 miles west of Brookfield, and one mile north of US 36. A footbridge over Higgin’s Ditch, located 1/4 mile from the bridge, was opened October 21, 1989. The bridge is managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Historic Sites.
Area festivals include Oktoberfest, the Sumner Goose Festival in Sumner, the Halloween Parade, Brookfield Holiday Open House, the Christmas Parade and more. The Pershing Balloon Derby is an event held annually that attracts hundreds of hot-air balloonists and spectators.
The Brookfield public school district is second to none and is located on one campus. It includes a vocational-technical school and a newly constructed child development center.
Area residents enjoy 11 municipal parks and a public swimming pool plus golfing, boating, fishing and swimming at Brookfield Country Club. Nearby General John J. Pershing State Park, Fountain Grove Wildlife Area and Long Branches lakes, make recreation in Brookfield an adventure in hunting, camping, boating and fishing. Bass, bluegill, channel catfish and crappie are found in most area lakes.
Fountain Grove Wildlife Area is the oldest waterfowl area in the state while the 10,670-acre Swan Lake Wildlife Refuge is known as “The Wild Goose Capital of the World.” Other area lakes include 4,400-acre Thomas Hill Lake which offers great fishing, skiing and water sports.
Linn County has a pleasant climate and is exempt from extremes of cold or heat. It enjoys all the advantages of a delightful temperate latitude and occupies a mean altitude of about 900 feet. It is not subjected to the piercing wintry blasts experienced on more elevated plains farther west. It is exempt from miasmatic influences, making pulmonary problems somewhat rare.
Brookfield is proud to extend to you this invitation to visit our community and enjoy the features that make it a great place to live and work. You will find the friendly atmosphere of Brookfield both peaceful and productive.
Government: City of Brookfield
Health Care: Pershing Health System
Schools: Brookfield R-3 School District