Saturday, September 19, 2015

Anything to Get Out of Paying the Road Tax!

Here's an odd little thing I recently acquired:

2015-9-19. img008
(Click on images to enlarge)

All joking aside, the loss of bone in his leg may have happened in the Civil War — W.G. Cook was a veteran — or a train may have done it: he worked in the vicinity of trains, as a railroad telegrapher.

That's assuming I've identified him correctly as the William G. Cook who was recorded in the 1880 census as 37-year-old Ohio native living in North Township, his occupation described as telegraph operator and agent. He then had a wife, Christina, and three young sons, Karl, Clarence, and Horace.

From his obituary, I gather that two daughters were born later, and one son had preceded him in death when W.G. died on August 16, 1897:
W.G. Cook, a prominent and well-known citizen of this township, died at his home in Miller at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon, of consumption, aged 54 years. Mr. Cook had been a citizen of Miller for about 30 years and occupied the position of station agent during that time for the B. & O. and L.S. & M.S. railroads. The funeral services were conducted at Miller on Wednesday at 2 o'clock by Rev. H.A. Young, and the interment occurred at that place. The deceased was born and raised in Ohio, where his relatives still reside.

He was an old veteran, having served his country faithfully during the Civil War.

Miller has lost a most obliging and enterprising citizen and the railroads have been deprived of a faithful servant.

It was thought last fall that Mr. Cook was suffering from cancer on the tongue but an operation at the Rush Medical College in Chicago proved such not to be the case. The patient never recovered from the operation and gradually declined in health until death ended all. A wife, two sons and two daughters are left to mourn his loss.
The trustee who signed this exemption was on friendly enough terms with W.G. to send it to him with his compliments …

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… perhaps because (among other things) they were both Civil War veterans.

Michael J. Cooke had been elected Hobart Township Trustee (for the second time) in 1882, at the age of about 52. We can learn more about his life from his obituary:

2015-9-19. Cooke obituary
(Click on image to enlarge)

I wish I knew which four-room schoolhouse the article refers to.

1870 Census.
1880 Census.
1900 Census.
♦ "Death of M.J. Cooke." Hobart Gazette 31 July 1914.
♦ "Hobart." Crown Point Register 6 Apr. 1882.
♦ "W.G. Cook." Hobart Gazette 20 Aug. 1897.


Suzi said...

I love obits that are this detailed! Makes gen research somewhat easier....assuming the info is correct, of course. He lived quite a life!

Ainsworthiana said...

Even less prominent people get their stories told. Modern death notices are so sparse by comparison.