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COOKE, Henry M.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 605-607

Henry M. COOKE, one of the progressive and well-to-do agriculturalists of Pecatonica Township, Winnebago County [IL], was born in Atwater, Portage County, OH, 18 Mar 1848.   He is the son of Friend and Sarah F. (FOLGER) COOKE, the latter of whom is a relative of ex-Secretary FOLGER and also the mother of Benjamin Franklin, who also bore that name.  The father of our subject was born in Wallingford [New Haven County], CT, 29 Nov 1789, and died in his 59th [p 606] year in Atwater, OH.  The mother was born on the isle of Nantucket [Nantucket County, MA] in 1808, and died in Massillon [Stark County], OH, when 66 years of age, whither she had removed in 1814.

The parental grandparents of our subject were Samuel and Mary COOKE, and the father of our subject was a grandson of Colonel Thaddeus COOKE, who was present at the capture of Burgoyne, and participated in the battle of Freeman's Farm in 1777.  The old COOKE homestead in Wallingford, CT, is still in possession of the family.  The father of our subject was given an excellent education, being a graduate of Schenectady Union College and also of Yale College, in which latter institution he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine.  He practiced in his native town for two years, when, his health failing, he removed West to OH, in 1823, and practiced for a time at Atwater, Portage County, thence, later, went to Charleston, NC, on account of ill health.

Henry M. COOKE remained at home until 16 years of age, at which time he enlisted in Company I, 188th OH Infantry, and served under Captain P. H. Smith until Sep 29, 1865, when he received his discharge at Nashville, TN.  He was the only child of his parents, and was married 27 Jan 1869 to Miss Mary SILASBURY, who was born in Erie County, NY, 15 Feb 1847.  Mrs. COOKE became the mother of five children, three of whom are living:  Albert E., who was born 17 Nov 1876; Frank E., 23 Aug 1880; and Henry M., 16 Mar 1887.  The father of Mrs. COOKE, Francis SILASBURY, was born 02 Aug 1823 in Hamburg, Erie County, NY, and was the son of Smith and Roena (PARKER) SILASBURY, both of whom were natives of NY and died in Hamburg, NY, at the respective ages of 40 and 70 years.  The grandparents of Francis SILASBURY on both sides of the house were of English descent.  Four brothers originally came to America.

The father of Mrs. COOKE remained at home until 19 years of age, assisting his father to carry on the home farm, when he went to LA.  He did not remain there long, however, as he was called home on account of his father's death.  Purchasing 144 acres of Indian land, he cleared it of the timber, and in a few years a plank road was built through his land, which joined the city limits of Buffalo [Erie County, NY].  He later disposed of this tract to a Catholic bishop.  Mr. SILASBURY was married, about two years after buying the above-mentioned property, to Miss Jane SCOTT, who was born 11 Sep 1822, in Rome, Oneida County, NY, and departed this life 14 Nov 1891 in Pecatonica [Winnebago County], IL.  She was the daughter of Thomas and Martha (LINDSAY) SCOTT, of Scotch-Irish descent.  After disposing of his property, Mr. SILASBURY came West to Stephenson County, IL, and in 1853 purchased a tract of 1,000 acres of partially improved land in Ridott Township.  There he resided until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he disposed of 200 acres of his estate and removed to Pecatonica, where he has been a resident for over 30 years.  In the meantime, he visited the oil regions of PA and three years later returned to this place and engaged in the stock and grain business.   About 12 years ago, he sold his estate and now lives a retired life.  In addition to the property above mentioned, the father of Mrs. COOKE purchased lands in IA, which he has since divided among his children.  He still has, however, 40 acres within the city limits of Pecatonica, and at one time owned the southern portion of the village.

The father of our subject was a Democrat in politics, until the organization of the Republican party, when he joined its ranks.  He was a member of the convention of 1850-51 which framed the Constitution of OH, and was a great anti-slavery worker.  He stood ver high in his profession and died 08 Feb 1857, in the prime of life.  The mother of our subject was a member of the Congregational Church, while the father was an Episcopalian.

Henry M. COOKE after the war was engaged in farming for his brother-in-law until his marriage, when he located on property of his own.  Nine years ago he purchased his present eatate and is making a success of his calling, being extensively engaged in the sheep raising industry.  He is a member of Ellis Post No. 320, G. A. R., in which body he is Senior Vice-Commander.  He is also member of Eureka Camp of Modern Woodmen, and in local [p 607] affairs has served his fellow townsmen for five years as Commissioner of Highways.  His education was received in the district schools, and what he has of this world's goods has been the result of his untiring industry and perseverance, as he had very little monetary assistance from his father. 

The COOKE family in America are direct descendants of Francis COOKE, who landed in Plymouth from the "Mayflower" in 1620, and erected the third house in that place.  One branch of the family located in CT, and one in Norway [Herkimer County], NY, our subject being a descendant of the former.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.