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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Thomas Gilbert Cook

Whatever may be accomplished in future years by the agriculturists of California, whatever of success they may attain, whatever of prosperity they may enjoy and whatever improvements they may consummate on their country estates, a due share of praise for the advancement may be given to the native-born sons of the commonwealth, the men who were reared in the environment with which they are still familiar and who from their earliest recollections were trained to a knowledge of our climate and soil, together with the best methods of conducting agricultural operations under conditions existent in the west.

A son of Isaac F. and Eliza (Hopper) Cook, both natives of Missouri and early pioneers of California, Thomas Gilbert Cook were born on the parental homestead in Sonoma county January 10, 1862. The district schools in the vicinity of his home gave him his first insight into books, and established the foundation upon which he has since added a worthy superstructure by reading and observation. The close of his school days marked the beginning of his career as a tiller of the soil, and occupation which he has followed continuously ever since, with the result that he is an expert in his calling and enjoys financial results in keeping with his efforts. Sonoma county was the field of his early operations, but after a time he transferred his interests to Mendocino county, where for thirteen years he carried on a ranch. At the end of this time he returned to Sonoma county, and near Santa Rosa purchased the ranch on which he now resides, on Rural Route No. 3. For a number of years, or until 1901, general ranching and cattle-raising formed his chief industries, but in later years he has turned his attention to fruit-raising, and raising grapes and hay, in all of which he is successful, thus proving his adaptability to any line of agriculture to which he might wish to turn his hand.

During early manhood, in 1884, Mr. Cook formed domestic ties by his marriage with Miss Laura McCulloch, a native of California who passed much of his his early life in Mendocino county. Two children were born of this marriage, a daughter and son. Maude E., born in 1886, is now the wife of Philo0 Phillips, and the mother of one child, Wesley, born in 1903. Grover Cleveland Cook, born in 1888, is at home. The mother of these children died in 1901, and in 1905 Mr. Cook married his present wife, formerly Miss Annie Shaw, a native of Indiana. No children have been born of this marriage. Nominally Mr. Cook is a Republican, but in reality he does not belong to any party, for in the casting of his vote he is entirely independent, the fitness of the candidate and not the party which he represents being his guide in this matter. While he is not a member of any church organization, no one could be more interested in the welfare of his fellowmen than he is, and no opportunity to serve them or benefit his community in any way in his power passes his notice. His interest in the subject of good roads has led his fellow-citizens to elect him road commissioner, and the result of his efforts may be seen in the fine condition of the Petaluma and Santa Rosa road, and the Cotati and Belleview road, both of which are a credit to the county and to the citizens also. Fraternally Mr. Cook is identified with but one order, the Ancient Order of Foresters of Willits, Mendocino county. He joined the order while living there and has never transferred his membership to his present place of residence.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011