I never felt that I had a favorite child among our four children. Each contributed to our family in their own unique way, had his/her own talents, abilities, and challenges and so each has a special place in my heart.
|Our four “kids” on a recent visit|
“Mr. Burton Cook was struck with paralysis last Friday and hasn’t been able to set up to (sic) since. He is not expected to live.”
Interestingly enough, in the same edition, just one page later, on page 3, was the following:
MR. BURTON COOK DEAD“Mr. Burton Cook of Kansas district, died Tuesday evening from a stroke of paralysis. He was stricken on Friday.
“Mr. Cook was in the 70th year of his age at the time of his death.
He was highly esteemed by all who knew him, and in his death the county has lost a good citizen.”
So now I knew the circumstances of his death, although none of my research supported the statement that he was in his 70th year. A final find was constant with what I had for his age and birth year but added additional rich details about his life. Published in the Carroll Free Press, February 9, 1894, page 3, this was written about Burton:
IN MEMORY OF BURTON W. COOK“The subject of this notice was born in Coweta county in April 1829 and departed this life at his home in Carroll county on the 30th day of January 1894, aged 64 years, 9 months and 14 days.
“He was married to Mary Ganus in 1850, united with the Baptist church while in the army in 1862, and cast his lot with the church at Shadner afterwards, moved his membership to Sardus church Coweta county, moved to Carroll county and united with the church at Abilene on the 5th day of June 1880, where he remained a consistent member until called away.
“Bro. Cook was a good man and was loved by all who knew him. Always ready to give counsel to those who he thought needed it, always ready to assist those who were in distress, always tried to visit the sick and administer to their wants and do all that he could to console them. His seat was seldom vacant at church when he was able to go. He has said for many years that he was ready to quit the walks of men when it was the will of the Lord to call him away.
“Therefore be it resolved; That in the death of Bro Cook the county has lost one of her best citizens, the church one of its brightest jewels, his companion and children a loving and affectionate husband and father.”
So with the aid of one of my favorite resources, newspapers, I was able to learn more about one of my favorite men, someone I thought I already knew so much about. I learned that at the age of 64, Burton died as a result of a stroke. I learned that he was a religious man, a man eager to serve others, and who was respected in the community. I have never been able to determine exactly who his parents were in the large sea of southern Cooks but hopefully the clue, “he was born in Coweta,” was shared by someone who actually knew and I’m excited to pursue that possibility. This new information just further fueled my love for Burton and yes, I think his place as one of my favorites is pretty secure.
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2017, All rights reserved