David H.T. Kane ’58, president of DKE, asks, “Who gets the Brooks portrait which has long appeared in a place of honor at the recently defunct Williams Club of New York?”

George William Gage, Portrait of Belvedere Brooks

Oil on canvas, no date.
(1888-1918)
Class of 1910

After graduating from Williams in the class of 1910, Belvedere Brooks, a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, was killed while on duty during World War I in Villesavoye, France. At the time of his death he was the Commanding Officer of the 308th Infantry, 77th Division. While observing the effects of enemy artillery fire, a German shell burst at the mouth of a cave where he and others were seeking shelter.

Colonel Charles W. Whittlesey, whom this room was named after wrote, “He [Brooks] is buried very near where he was killed, because it was too dangerous to send an ambulance up to the spot to carry his body away. But his grave is marked.” Captain Brooks was well loved by his men. A member of the 308th Infantry said in tribute about his former commander, “I feel Captain Brooks’ presence in the battalion still. He seems to smile at me sometimes when the road seems impassable and difficulties multiply.”

After his death, the house of his old fraternity at Williams was renamed Brooks House. While at Williams he was the Captain of the football team his senior year, Class Treasurer, and also a member of the Gargoyle Society.

Anyone know? Also, the Williams Club webpage used to have a lovely section devoted to all its historical portraits. What happened to that?

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