4/22/1925 – 3/22/2002
Murry Brooks was born in Centralia, Washington, on April 22, 1925, graduated from Bremerton High School, and served as an air gunner in B-17 aircraft during WWII. On his return from service, he graduated from Central Washington College of Education in Ellensburg and started his parallel teaching and law enforcement careers. As he told the story, there was no teaching job available so he went to work for Morrow County as a deputy, where he had to provide his own uniform and weapon. He bought a used pistol and a used shotgun. He really wanted a used rifle, but had to save several months to buy it.
Brooks worked for Morrow County and the City of Lebanon, Oregon (1955-1956) before landing a teaching job in Eugene for the beginning of the 1956 school year. He settled with his wife, also a teacher, in Eugene.
By that time, Brooks was carrying a Colt Python.357 magnum, as prescribed by the Sheriff’s office and the old .44 pistol was long gone. Brooks, now promoted to Reserve Sergeant, continued to carry the old shotgun until his retirement from the Sheriff’s office in 1969.
After his retirement from teaching he drove bus for a period of years, worked with local collectors as an officer in the Willamette Valley Arms Collectors and amassed a large John Wayne collection. Murry Brooks died on March 22, 2002.