Meet the Darlington Cooks – or at least some of ’em anyway
Although this fellow was born in Montgomery County, it wasn’t ours (Maryland) but he sure fell in love with our area and stayed here almost his whole life. Born April 27, 1808, by four years old the family of George W. Cook was in Clermont County, Ohio where his father, Absalom died after George had arrived in the Darlington area and mom (Violet Wilson Cook) came on to MoCo before she passed May 28, 1836. She, George and many members of the Cook family are buried in the small Rice-Cook Cemetery near Darlington (650 North, 600 East), the name Cook alone tallying 29 of the 118 interred there (thanks to Jeanie W – she has a super collection of pictures she is so gracious to share).
George’s brother, William P. Cook, has a photo on FindAGrave, and looks as I pictured George, only I see a smile on George’s face. William remained in Clermont Ohio and is buried in the same cemetery (Laurel) as their father. The Rice comes in as their sister, Eleanor married Thomas Roach Rice and of course is buried in Rice Cemetery with her brother, mother and others of the family. They had a large family marrying into the Boots, Peterson, Mitchell families.
Also buried in Rice is George’s brother, Joshua, his wife Jane and their sweet daughter, Violet (born six weeks after her grandmother Violet passed away). Joshua was only 50 years old when he died, leaving his wife, Jane Gray and five children. Violet was young and beautiful and whether she missed her father and got involved with someone who took advantage of her, or just what happened, she passed away at the young age of 18, giving her mother even more grief. A lengthy trial came to play in the Cook family, Uncle George being right there trying to protect and help Jane, the lawyers filing murder in the first degree and an indictment noting a possible manslaughter. Dr. Marquem was hired to tend to Violet who was sick – it was a question of whether he botched an abortion or if she died of poison he had given her or just diseased lungs that possibly could have been from a malarial condition (that could also be caused from strucnia a poison the doctor could have given her). Jane, called to testify, said he was the only one who attended her. Technicalities, an estoppel and subpoenaed witnesses not appearing made the trial almost a farce. “Madam Rumor with her thousand tongues of falsehood” misrepresented much and finally, Uncle George basically said, she’s gone, whether by a bad job of doctoring, or by a malarial disease or poison, Violet is gone – this trial is going nowhere so, let’s stop! Oddly, the judge agreed!
There was so much heartache for this man, he losing a wonderful young wife and mother to some of his children, Mary Ann Corbin who passed at age 39. Married in his native community 30 December 1830, she died here with only 17 years together. This couple lost Joshua at six days; and William at four years. John J. fought in the Civil War (as his grandfather had fought in the Revolution for our country) and was still living in 1893, when his father died. Elinor their first, born in 1831 lived to April 1903. Son, Shadrick Dow Cook’s tombstone at Clark’s Hill is a nifty tree stump. Born in July 1845, he died in November 1908. He was a well-known farmer and there were many at his home, attending the funeral services. As they were doing so, smoke was smelled and the roof was seen to be on fire. All there grabbed buckets, made a brigade and soon had the fire out, then carried on with the funeral!
Upon the death of Mary Ann, George W. later married Lucy Ann Winters and my oh my, so many of their children passed young too (George W.; Charles; Corbin; Francis Marion; Lydia and Oliver Perry, possibly more) and Asa born in 1850, I’ve also lost. Daughter Louisa lived with her parents in the 1880 census and was born in November 1854. Then, there was Abraham Lincoln born 12 June 1860, who had much heart ache of his own, having lost two sons during WWI. Both Cook boys were of course, from Darlington, Wallace George died of pneumonia while in France and Asa Melvin died in America from tb he contracted while overseas as well as having been wounded. Lincoln and wife Hannah Applegate also had two daughters, Laura and Cergie. Sadly, Darlington lost so many in that war!
GW Cook first came to Montgomery County 30 Oct in 1830 (160 acres Sec 27 & 34) he returned the next year (1 July) purchasing a second grant from the government. From those pieces of property he slowly developed more, buying good pieces from various local area folks (for instance the Saidla brothers sold their farm to George in August 1873 at $50/acre) until he had well over 600.
Although not big into politics as some I’ve researched, he did accomplish what needed to be done. For instance, he was a member of the Grand Jury in March of 1857 and in October 1872, he was listed as a township officer, he and Silas Dunbar being Constables.
Not sure that George W. Cook was anyone amazing, but he is the type of person I love to research and write about. A good man with many friends and relatives in the area and who lost so many children, yet was always available to help anyone in need (example: he raised a gal who could not see or speak); he was always signing notes for neighbors and relatives, most of the time being paid back but not always. So much the good Samaritan that it took his administrator, Martin Mote several months to wrap-up his estate.
Unlike the many children (at least eight and not even sure I grabbed ‘em all) he lost so young and frail, Uncle George was a hearty man and lived to be 85 years old, passing away 6 April 1893. He died on that same farm he first chose in Montgomery County. “His word was his bond, and he was esteemed and respected” by each and every one who knew him. Thanks for being here, GWC!