THE McCOOK FAMILY, Col. George W. McCook was a member of the family that achieved a reputation both in military and civil life, and which will occupy a place in our country's history accorded to but few. He was the son of Daniel McCook, and was born in Cannonsburg, Penn., July 21, 1822. When quite young his father removed to Coulumbiana county, Ohio, where they remained until George was nine years old, when the family removed to Carroll county. While living here he attended college at New Athens, Ohio, and determined upon adopting the legal profession. At the close of his collegiate career he studied law in the office of Edwin M. Stanton, and being admitted to practice by the supreme court of the state then sitting in Trumbull county, he became a partner with his preceptor, Mr. Stanton, in 1843. Together with his profession he doon became acive as a politician and was a prominent member of the democratic party, taking an influential part in the affairs of that organization, which he retained until his death. With the outbreak of the Mexican war a company of volunteers was formed in Steubenville called the greys. This company was organized about the middle of May, 1846, by electing George W. McCook, then a rising young lawyer, as captain. On May 27 the company left for Camp Washington at Cincinnati, where it became Company I of the Third Ohio infantry. Samuel R. Curtiss was made colonel, and Captain McCook promoted to the lieutenant colonelcy. About six weeks before the return of the regiment, Col. Curtiss was made inspector general, and Col. McCook placed in full command. On July 3, 1846, the regiment left Cincinnati for New Orleans, and thence for Texas, crossing the border at Fort Brown into Mexico, where they lay six months at Camp McCook. From thence they went to Matamoras, and soon after Lieut.-Col. McCook, with three companies, was detailed to relieve Col. Morgan's regiment at the front, which they accomplished after one of the hardest marches of the war. fter that they went to Monterey and Buena Vista, and from thence home, being mustered out on July 3, 1847. On his return Col McCook resumed his partnership with Mr. Stanton, and in 1852 was supreme court reporter, preparing the report for that year. He was elected attorney-general in the fall of 1853, by a large majority. He was a candidate for re-election in 1858, but was defeated by the republican candidate. A considerable part of Col. McCook's law practice was connected with the affairs of the Steubenville & Indiana railroad company, and in 1859 he made a visit to Europe to make arrangements with the first mortgage bond-holders of the road, in which trip he was successful. With the outbreak of the rebellion Col. McCook was appointed by Gov. Dennison one of the four officers to look after the interests of the Ohio troops. He took charge of the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Ohio infantry, until Col Smith could be released from the regular army to assume command, and in 1863 was colonel of the Thirty-ninth Ohio National Guards, which afterward became the One Hundred and Fifty-seventh Ohio National Guards, and was part of the hundred day troops, engaged in guarding rebel prisoners at Fort Delaware. They returned home in September, 1864. For years before his death Col. McCook was a leader in democratic party politics in Ohio, being generally the chairman of the state delegation in their national conventions. He nominated John C. Breckenridge in the Cincinnati convention of 1856 for vice-president on the ticket with James Buchanan, and at the New York convention of 1868, he nominated Horatio Seymour for the presidency. He was the democratic candidate for governor of Ohio in 1871, defeating in convention Thomas Ewing and Durbin Ward, but was hinself defeated at the polls by Gen. E. F. Noyes, the republican candidate. During this campaign he was attacked by disease of the brain, which compelled him to withdrawl from the canvass, and after that he took little active part in politics, living quietly at his home in Steubenville. He died in New York on Friday, December 28, 1877, leaving three children, George W. McCook, Jr., Hetty B. and Robert McCook. His wife, Miss Dick, who was an adopted daughter of Rev. C. C. Beatty, died in 1863. His funeral was one of the largest ever in Steubenville, and by his liberality and generosity as a citizen, he had won a place in the hearts of the people not easy to be effaced.
Col. McCook's father was Major Daniel McCook, paymaster in the United States army, who was killed at Buffington Island during the Morgan raid in 1863. George was the second son, the eldest being Latimer, who died some five years ago in the west. The next brother is Gen. Latimer, who died some five years ago in the west. THe next brother is Gen. Alexander McDowell McCook, senior aid de camp of Gen. Sherman's staff. The next brother was the lamented Gen. Robert McCook, who was assassinated by rebels in Tennessee in 1863. The fifth brother was Gen. Daniel McCook, who fell, far to the front, with his face to the foe, in the terrible assault at Kenesaw Mountain, July 18, 1864. The sixth brother was Gen. Ed. McCook, who was assaulted by Wintermute in Yankton, Dak. The seventh was Charley McCook, killed at the first battle of Bull's Run. The eighth is Capt. John J. McCook, a well known attorney of New York city. There are two sisters still living, Mrs. Mary Baldwin, of this city, and Mrs. Dr. Curtis, of New York. Col. McCook was married to Miss Dick, an adopted daughter of Rev. Dr. C. C. Beatty, of this city, who died in 1863. He leaves three children: George McCook, Hettie Beatty McCook and Robert McCook. The loss of Col. McCook, as we have said, was profoundly felt in Steubenville. Of generous heart, rare social attractions, and large wealth of intellectual culture, his is a loss that no common period of time can replace. In virtue of his scholarly attainments he, a few years ago, received the title of LL. D. from his alma mater.
Copyright © 2006 Danice Ryan. All rights reserved.