More about Joe. E. Cook

As I mentioned last post, I came across some information about my great grandfather, Joe. E. Cook, at Genealogy Bank web site showing his feisty nature. The second article was published in the St. Louis Republic on 06 October 1896.  And the headline read “Carved by an Attorney.”

Of course that headline piqued my interest. The article was about an incident between my great grandfather and W.W. Shuptrine, a prominent grocery merchant in Texarkana, Arkansas. My great grandfather was hired by the creditors of J.W. Hart & Co. and Mr. Shuptrine was the son-in-law of Mr. Hart.  Mr. Shuptrine attacked my great grandfather with an ax handle and knocked him down twice.  My great grandfather got back up on his feet and drew his knife and slashed/ stabbed Mr. Shuptrine about a dozen times. One thrust of his knife came close to the jugular vein and three others made a mess of Mr. Shuptrine’s face and scalp.   The article stated that Mr. Shuptine was near death and my great granfather had been arrested and was out on bond pending  whether Mr. Shuptrine lived.

I never found a follow up article, but my great grandfather continued to practice law until he died in 1913.

From the two articles it is apparent that Joe E. Cook carried a knife. Did he wear at his waist sheathed in leather or did he have it hidden in his boot? I do not know but I scanned this site for what was available at the time.

Of course all the news about Joe E. Cook was not so sensational. In this same newspaper on 08 October 1889, he is mentioned as the defense lawyer  for Ed Spear, who was charged with the murder of H. M. Heldier .  The case was one of the most sensational of that time frame in southwest Arkansas. The paper described my grandfather as “one of the ablest and perhaps the most eloquent criminal lawyers in Western Arkansas.”




  1. August 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    […] end up with a lot of stories about cooks in my results. I have found out a lot of information about Joe E. Cook, my grandmother’s father and his wife, Cornelia Christopher Cook. I also know some about […]

  2. Toby Cook said,

    October 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I, too, am a follower of the cook family history from Franklin Co. Alabama and Falcon Arkansas. The legal profession and violence are some key words for the family. A few years after Joseph T. cook was killed, his son-in-law, a McKinney, was also killed in a shootout around Falcon. My gggrandfather, Lemuel Cook, probably a first cousin of Joseph T., was an attorney in Falcon. He was killed as a bushwacker in 1864. Joseph T Cook had an ornate marble gravestone in the Falcon cemetery, but over the years it has been destroyed, and you probably couldn’t find the remains if you didn’t know where to look. I had always presumed that John provided the marker after he became a successful attorney.

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