When I was a kid I loved nothing more than our summer trips to southern Colorado to spend time with family. I always felt so envious of my cousins who lived there in the small farming communities of Sanford, La Jara and Alamosa because they all grew up in close proximity to each other. They were not only family, but also each other’s neighbors and friends and I couldn’t imagine anything better. 

As I’ve researched my ancestors, I’ve found that many of the families grew up that way as well. They remained in the same or neighboring communities and had the advantage of raising their children close to each other. John Monroe Ganus’, my 2nd great grandfather lived in Haralson County for many years and his siblings Martha Ganus Brock, Addison Ganus and Mary Ganus Cook all lived close by in neighboring Carroll County, Georgia. 

John’s sister, Mary, married Burton W. Cook April 7th, 1850 in Dekalb County, but she and Burton settled close to other family in Carroll County. Burton and Mary’s oldest known child, Isaiah M. was born five years later on the 14 April 1855. I’ve often wondered if they lost a child before Isaiah’s birth. When he was about 7 years old, Isaiah’s father, Burton, enlisted in the Fayette Planters, 53rd Regiment. I would assume that as the oldest child of four children, Isaiah had to step up and help his mother. I wonder how much he knew and understood about the war. Was he aware of the time his father spent in the Union Army’s prisoner of war camp, Elmira? Surely his early years were affected by the hardships and fear common among so many of those living in Georgia. ( I share a little about his father Burton’s life here.) After Burton was released and returned home from the war, did he tell his children the tales of the war? 

Isaiah grew up and married Sarah Jane Adams on 28th of January 1877 in neighboring Campbell County, Georgia. Just months before, in October of 1876, Isaiah’s sister, Elizabeth, married his wife’s brother,  Henry J. Adams.

Isaiah and Sally (Sarah) moved to Alabama about 1898 and purchased land. In 1900, he and his family were living in Cullman County and Isaiah was farming. Isaiah and Sally had a large family, totaling ten children in all.

By 1900, two of Isaiah and Sally’s children had married and they had become grandparents. Their home was still full with six of their own children, their youngest being 3 years old. Their oldest son John Franklin Cook lived just down the road and farmed as well. Their married daughter Dora Elizabeth and her husband Fernando Edwards were living in Blount County, Alabama with their small son.

Isaiah died on 15 February 1904 when he was 49 years old, leaving his wife Sallie with four small children at home to care for, the youngest only one-year-old.

In 1907, Isaiah’s oldest son, John F. petitioned the court to be appointed as guardian for his younger siblings, Burton Monroe, Velma, George T., Willie and G. F. Cook,  who were all minors and still living at home. After presenting a bond of $2,000, he was appointed the guardian on the 3rd of December 1907. It was very short lived however, as on December 30, just 27 days later, he resigned as guardian, indicating that he had received one of the assets of the estate but nothing belonging to the estate of the minors and that he had not exercised any control over the estate or performed any of the duties of guardian. I have not been able to find any additional information to this date, but there obviously is a story behind this and I would really like to find more so I know the “rest of the story.”

Shortly after, Sallie loaded up her kids and moved to the beautiful rolling hills of Stout’s Mountain where she farmed and remained the rest of her life. In her final years, she lived with her son Joe and his wife. Sallie died May 8, 1947 and was buried next to Isaiah in Fairview West Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Hanceville, Cullman County, Alabama.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved

Please follow and like us:

4 thoughts on “Isaiah Cook

  1. Michelle, there are lots of interesting things in this family story. One thing that pops out to me is that Sally & Isaiah were grandparents when they were in their early 40s. Probably not that unusual then but unusual for today. Also I admire women who became widows when they had young children and who stayed strong. Rather than marrying again, Sally kept her family together & took care of them.

  2. What stood out to me, was how many years Sally was a widow. 43 to be exact. That's a really long time. It must have been difficult to raise those children by herself. It sounds like the family was close so I would expect her oldest children helped her out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top