Brookfield leaders pay homage to first female trustee in township

BROOKFIELD — The Brookfield Historical Society will add a picture and information on Rachel Davis — the first female township trustee in Brookfield in the 1930s and ’40s who later became a state representative.

Brookfield Trustee Gary Lees at Monday’s trustees meeting presented the picture and biographical information to Barbara Stevens, historical society president, who will place the item in the society’s archives display housed at the township administration building.

“I was able to gather information on this special person while I was doing research on another topic. I found information on this very interesting lady and knew we had to recognize her,” Lees said.

Not only was Davis the first woman to hold office as a trustee in Brookfield from 1932 to 1944 while being a wife, mother and working as a nurse, she also served 1944 to 1946 on the Ohio House of Representatives.

“She served as a trustee during difficult times when bootlegging, Prohibition and the Great Depression was taking place. In 1941, the United States entered World War II while she was serving,” Lees said.

Davis also served as the first woman in the county as a school board member on the Brookfield Board of Education.

“She was very active in Brookfield affairs during her life. She saw a job that needed to be done and did it. She wanted to be a public servant and served locally as a trustee and school board member and in the State House. Who would have imagined some 80 years later we would be recognizing Rachel today,” Lees said.

He said many people, including Brookfield residents, did not know of Davis but said “this remarkable woman left an important part of history for us.”

Lois Werner, historian with the historical society, said Rachel Davis — who later married and went by Rachel Davis Bricker — will be a permanent part of the archives.

“She was a different kind of person to accomplish all she did,” Davis said.

Werner said she is also working on a gathering information on Joe Organ, a Brookfield resident, who in the 1920s ran in a marathon in the World Olympics and came in seventh place and was the first American to cross the finish line.

In other business, trustees recognized resident Rick Fraley with an “Act of Heroism” plaque. On Aug. 2, 2018, she was driving along Sharon Hogue Road in the afternoon when he saw smoke and fire coming from a home and helped get a man trapped inside the burning house out.

“I and a few other people got out of our cars and went and knocked on the door of the house. When no one answered the door I kicked a garage door in and found a man inside and got him out,” Fraley said.

Fraley said he and others at the scene got the man inside his truck and contacted local fire and emergency medical personnel waiting for their arrival.

“He performed a heroic act putting himself before others. Mr. Fraley stopped to assist the homeowner inside and gained entry and got the man outside,” said Trustee Ron Haun.