Sometimes us genealogist get lucky and stumble upon some information about our ancestor that tells us more than when they were born, died, married, etc. This happened to me Sunday.
On Saturday our genealogical society hosted a seminar with a paid speaker. This person was Debra Fleming and spoke on a variety of topics. One of them was Genealogy Bank. I had never wanted to use this resource as my ancestors lived in small town and cities. But Debra suggested that articles get picked up by larger cities and it would be worth searching. So on Sunday I signed up for a trial membership and began exploring. I put in my great grandfather’s name, Joseph E. Cook, and got 880 hits. So I narrowed it down to Joe E. Cook and got a few hits.
One of them was an article from the Dallas Morning News, dated 30 Aug 1892. This article describes an incident that happened in Texarkana between my great grandfather, a noted criminal lawyer, and Marshall James Crenshaw. They were at the Owl Saloon and got into a heated fight over politics, but were separated by friends. My grandfather left and was walking to his office at 216 1/2 Broad Street, which was nearby. He was followed by Crenshaw and they began fighting and pulled out their pocket knifes. This fought each other for about a half block, when Crenshaw yelled he had been wounded. His brother-in-law, John Worden, a policeman, heard him, and came to his aid by hitting my great grandfather with the back of his pistol. He was then taken unconscious to his office. At the time of the writing of the article my great grandfather was still unconscious and in critical condition. The mayor suspended the policeman, Worden, for his actions.
I know my grandfather recovered, because he did not die until 1913. At the time of the above incident, he was married with four small children at home. He went on to have four more children, including my grandmother, Jessie Cook.
What I found out about great grandfather from this article was that he went by the name Joe E. Cook, that we was passionate about politics and that we could walk away from a fight, but if confronted would fight. Also found out he visited a saloon whether for conversation or drinking I am not sure. The article gave me a glimpse of his personality. I have read that he was a great orator also. he must have been charismatic as he was a successful criminal attorney and the only way to be that was to convince juries of the innocence of his clients. He obviously did that.
There are some more articles that showed his feisty nature and will share those later. Also, somewhere I have a picture of him as an adult and will post it later as I have to run now, MK