Joe. E. Cook

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.

Joe E. Cook with his younger brother John about 1870

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


Childhood Illnesses

I have been remiss in not posting for awhile. I got busy and time just flew by. Does that ever happen to you? I got behind on the Geneabloggers’ 52 Weeks of Personal History. But I will start again with this weeks’ prompt  which is Illness and Injury.

The one childhood illness I remember is when I got the chichenpox. We were living in a quonset hut on the base at Boca Chica Naval Air Station. Childhood illnesses ran rampart in the quonset hut community as there were lots of small children and the quarters were close to each other. I must have been about 5 years old. I spent days on the couch staring at the barkcloth curtains.  My love affair with barkcloth probably started then. As this was before the days of television,  I am not sure how I entertained myself but I probably did not feel too well and drifted in and out of sleep.

The other time of childhood illness I remember is in Hutchinson, Kansas. My father was stationed at the Naval Air Station that used to be there. I must have been about 9 or 10 at the time. I woke up one morning and I could not walk. There was enough concern by my parents that they took me to the doctors. On the way we passed Mennonites driving buggies.  The doctor’s diagnosis was that I grew too fast and my medicine was to drink soft drinks.  So when we got home I lolled on the couch watching television and drinking cokes. It only lasted a few days but I had a great time while it lasted.

Luckily these were the worst things that happened to me as a child. I basically enjoyed good health.