John M. Cook


HON. JOHN M. COOK, a prominent attorney of Steubenville, Ohio, was born in Burlington county, N. J., March 6, 1843. He was the son of David and Margaret Cook, the latter of whom died while he was yet a small boy. Both his father and mother were natives of England, the former having been born in Nottinghamshire. Both came to America in about the year 1828 and became acquainted in Philadelphia, Penn., in which city they were married about 1835. Immediately after their marriage they located in Burlington county, N.J., where the mother died in 1854. In 1856 the father removed with his children to Allegheny City, Penn., where the former resided until his death in 1859. He was a shoemaker by trade, in connection with which he also conducted a small boot and shoe business, both in Burlington, N.J., and Allegheny City, Penn. He possessed a fine English education and was well versed in history and literature. The subject of this sketch spent his youth in Allegheny City, receiving his early education in the third ward school of that city, during the principalship of Prof. L. H. Eaton, one of Allegheny county's finest educators. After completing his public school education, for the purpose of obtaining money with which to continue his studies, he spent between two and three years as the agent of Jonathan Gallagher, a prominent oil merchant of Pittsburgh. He then entered the Allegheny academy, in which he was a student three years, receiving a knowledge of Latin and the higher branches of mathematics. In the fall of 1866 he entered the Ohio state and Union law college, of Cleveland, from which he graduated June 30, 1868. He was admitted to the bar January 7, 1869 and at once entered upon the practice of law at East Liverpool, Columbiana county, Ohio. There he soon won a lucrative practice, which he resigned October 1, 1872 and removed to Steubenville. Here he soon took front rank at the bar, and he is now not only one of the leading lawyers of Steubenville but also one of the ablest attorneys of eastern Ohio. Mr. Cook was married December 23, 1874, to Elizabeth A. Little, daughter of James and Mary S. (Reynolds) Little, who were respectively natives of Washington county, Penn., and Cecil county, Md. Mrs. Cook was born in Steubenville, July 25, 1846, her parents having located in that place several years previous. Mr. Cook and wife are the parents of three children as follows: Homer C., born in October 1875; Mary G., born in May 1877; and Ida, born in March 1881, all of whom are living. Our subject and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Cook is a member of Steubenville lodge, F & A. M., No. 45; Union Chapter, No. 15; Steubenville Commandery, No. 11; and Steubenville lodge, K. of P., No. 1. He served as master of Meridian lodge, F & A. M., before its consolidation with Steubenville lodge, three years, and he has served as eminent commander of his commandery six years. Politically he is an ardent republican, casting his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He takes an active part in politics, and occupies a prominent place in his party's affairs, having served five years as chairman of the county central committee. Notwithstanding this fact he generally refrains from permitting his name to be mentioned in connection with any public office, for the reason that he fully appreciates the fact that successful law practice and official service will not go together. In October 1879, however, in view of the fact that the office is within the scope of his prosecuting attorney. He was elected and in 1881 he was re-elected, serving all five years in a manner which gave satisfacction to the public and reflected great credit on himself. Mr. Cook is a very earnest and successful practitioner and a safe counsellor. Though his practice is general in its character, he possesses much ability in the criminal branch of the law, and, did its exclusive practice justify, there is every reason to believe he would win for himself a reputation as a criminal lawyer of a very high order. He is one of the defendant's counsel in the noted case of the State of West Virginia vs. Van B. Baker, now in the supreme court of appeals of that state, and has been selected by the counsel for the defense, in connection with Col. W. W. Arnett, of Wheeling, W. Va., to argue the case in that court.

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