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Brook Woolen Company
"The Brook Woolen Company of Simcoe, Limited. The above plant is the outgrowth of a mill established in 1864 by Mr. Joseph Brook at Lynn Valley, where for a time he ran a carding business. Mr. Brook next entered into partnership with his father, who had been foreman of the Pitts Mills at Port Dover for some years. R. Brook and Son established themselves on River Lynn, just south of the town, where the Simcoe Wool Stock Co'y, now carries on. They carded wool and made yarn and blankets for local customers and manufactured tweeds and other clothes for the wholesale trade. The business expanded rapidly and the firm prospered.

"Then at the solicitation of a number of prominent men in Simcoe, Mr. Joseeph Brook became interested in the manufacture of worsted yards, not then made in Canada, and the Simcoe Woolen Company was organized. A mill was built on the site of the present mills on Victoria Street, in 1882, the machinery for which was all brought from England. Five years later, in 1887, this mill was destroyed by fire. Six weeks previous Mr. Brook's own mill had been burned. He could have retired and talked about doing so. But the pressure brought by his associates was very strong. The final outcome was the organization of the Brook Woolen Co'y., in which Mr. Brook was associated with Mr. Geo. H. Luscombe. The stockholders in the Worsted Co'y. turned over their interest at a rate on the dollar; the town voted a bonus of $5,000, and in 1888 the business was re-established. The two-storey building seen in the above cut was built that year. All the one-storey buildings seen in the cut have been built in the last six or seven years.

"From 1889 to 1906, in which year Mr. Brook died, he was Manager and Treasurer. Mr. Luscombe was President. Upon Mr. Brook's demise, Mr. Luscombe succeeded him as Manager, Mr. H. B. Donly became President, and Mr. H. J. Brook, Vice-President. The present officers are: Directors -- H. B. Donly, President;  H. J. Brook, Vice-President; George H. Luscombe, Fred T. Brook, Mrs. Eva Brook Donly. Manager, Mr. George E. Teepleton; Assistant Manager, Paul H. Donly; Secretary-Treasurer, Miss Gladys Price.

"Since Mr. Teepleman came to the company, which he did three years ago, great improvements have been effected. New and very modern machines have supplemented less efficient ones throughout the plant; the buildings have been enlarged and remodelled; the capacity and the actual yearly product are now ten times what they were twenty years ago."

Source: Simcoe and Norfolk County published by Pearce Publishing, 1924
(Out of print. Copy available for inspection at Norfolk Historical Society.)
Copyright 1997-2013 John Cardiff and Norfolk Historical Society