Charles Cook: Winona & Roy's Grandfather
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Charles COOKE -- is a native son of Wabash Township, Parke County where his birth occurred September 7, 1830.  Commencing his active career in life under what would be considered very unfavorable circumstances; he has surmounted all obstacles and overcome all discouragements along his pathway with a fortitude and strength of purpose worthy of commendation.  He is now considered and justly so, one of the extensive and progressive farmers of the county. 

Charles' Grandfather Cooke was a pioneer in the vicinity of Circleville, Ohio near which village Thomas, our subject's father, was born in 1786, nearly 20 years before the Buckeye State was admitted to the sisterhood of the Union.  He (Thomas Cook) was a soldier in the he War of 1812, being present when Hull surrendered.  He followed the occupation of a farmer and came to Indiana at an early day, settling near Terre Haute, at what was known as Ft. Harrison.  When land came into the market he came to this township, where he entered a farm of 160 acres which he improved.  His death occurred May 1, 1842 and after 7 years had elapsed his wife was also called to her rest, May 29, 1850.  She was born August 17, 1793, and was the mother of six children: Matilda, wife of John PHILLIPS; Margaret, deceased; Mary, Mrs. Lazarus SHIRK who died in Fountain County; Sarah, deceased; our subject, and Andrew.

  The mother was a devoted member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and for the benefit of his family and the community; Mr. Cooke erected on his own farm and with his own means a substantial church.  Mrs. Cooke was a daughter of Andrew and Margaret AINSWORTH of German descent, who passed their entire lives in Ohio.  Mr. Cooke of this sketch was reared to farm life, receiving a district school education.  When only 11 he had to go to work to support the family and on reaching his majority rented the homestead.  In 1857 he purchased his first farm 160 acres on Section 20, Wabash Township, for which he paid $35 an acre.  Three years later he traded this for a farm of 195 acres, the place where he still resides on Section 24.   

He gave $300 "boot" money and has steadily increased the boundaries of his farm until it now contains 455 acres in the body, the homestead farm.  He is the owner of another farm of 195 acres and has cleared altogether about 300 acres of land.  He does not owe a dollar and whatever he has is due entirely to the energy and perseverance which are marked characteristics of the man.

It was on Aug 7, 1853 that Miss Virginia HAYTH became the wife of Charles Cooke.  The lady was born in Florida Township, Parke County, July 20 1833 and is the daughter of Thomas and Saluda CAMPER Hayth, natives of Virginia born near Roanoke and Lynchburg, respectively.  Mr. Hayth was a teacher and hotel man.  In 1823 he came to Indiana by wagon, entering 80 acres of Section 21 Wabash Township, which he partially cleared and improved.  About 1847 he located on Section 7, there becoming the owner of a place of 160 acres.  Until the year 1863 Mr. Cooke devoted himself entirely to agricultural pursuits, and at that time sold out, engaging in the hardware and hotel business in Montezuma.  There his wife died about 1873, aged 63 years.  The father





Courtesy James D. Vandermark

survived until Sept 1878 when he too passed away, being 71.  He was a Democrat politically, served as Justice of the Peace and was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Cooke is one of a family of 8, two of whom died in childhood.  William died soon after attaining his majority; James died in Missouri; Martha is the wife of Andrew Cook (Charles & Andrew married sisters;) Edward is deceased and Marion completes the family.  Six children grace the union of Charles Cooke and his esteemed wife, named as follows: Sarah J, wife of John TUCKER; Martha E, wife of Al TUCKER; Esta wife of Charles McCAMBLE; Cora, wife of Robert BRUIN; Alice, and one who died in infancy.  Those living have all been given liberal educations; they are all members of the church and thoroughly respected citizens of the community in which they have their home.  - Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain Counties, Indiana, Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1893, Page 333