Volume 3, Number 2 - Spring 1968

The James Cook, Jr., Family of Taney County
by Charles L. Grimm

James Cook, Junior, was born in 1805 the eldest of five sons and four daughters of James Cook, Senior, born in 1780 in North Carolina. His wife, Susan Angel, was born in 1780 in North Carolina. They were married in North Carolina and moved to Simpson County, Kentucky.

James Cook, Senior, and family moved to Taney County Missouri in 1838. They settled on a homestead on upper Swan Creek near Garrison, Missouri in Taney County which part is now Christian County.

Susan Angel Cook died on the homestead in 1844 and was interred on the farm. James Cook, Senior, died in 1864 near Ozark, Missouri and interred there.

James Cook, Junior, was born in 1805 in Franklin, Kentucky, Simpson County. He married Catherine Steward on August 25, 1829 in Franklin, Kentucky. Catherine Steward was born Nov. 4, 1803, in Kentucky. She was a daughter of Daniel Steward and his wife Mary, both born and married in Scotland. They settled in North Carolina and later moved to Kentucky.

Daniel Steward died in Simpson County, Kentucky and interred there. He was the son of Allen Steward. It is said he was a descendant of Mary Queen of Scots.

Mary, wife of Daniel Steward, came to Taney County, Missouri with her daughter, Catherine Steward Cook, in 1838. She died on the James Cook, Jr., homestead on Swan Creek and interred there in the Cook family burial plot.

Catherine Steward Cook died Jan. 6, 1888. James Cook, Jr., died in May of 1888. Both interred in the Cook burial plot on upper Swan Creek.

The James Cook, Jr., homestead was located on the northwest quarter, Section No. 2, lot 10 on the east side of Swan Creek in Township No. 24, north of the base line and Range No. 20, west of the 5th Principal Meridian Line in Taney County, Missouri, at the 10th ford about nine miles north on Swan Creek from the junction with the White River.

This location in 1862 became their permanent homestead, by the Act of May 20, 1862, the Homestead Law.

The eight children of James Cook, Jr., and his wife were:

1. William Allen Cook. b. July 2,1824, Simpson County, Kentucky, d. w h e n young in Simpson County, Kentucky and interred there.

2. Mary Ann Cook. b. Feb. 14, 1831, Simpson County, Ken., Married in 1850 to Edward James Brown in Taney County, Missouri. Brown was b. in 18287 in Kentucky. Died Jan. 12, 1965. Mary Ann maried sec. George Jackson in Taney County, Missouri. Issue by first marriage 1 daughter, 3 sons.

3. James Duncan Cook, b. April 25, 1833, Simpson County, Ken. Married Louisa Anderson. b. Feb. 4,1843, in Missouri. James died Feb. 11, 1910, in Taneyville, Missouri. Louisa died March 16, 1910, Taneyville. Both interred, Helphrey Cemetery, Taneyville. Issue, 3 sons and 6 daughters.

4. Elvira Jane Cook, b. April 30, 1835, in Simpson County, Ken. Married, first, Thomas Gimlin, born 1833 in Taney County, Missouri. He was a Confederate soldier and died in the U. S. army prison at Alton, Illinois, during the Civil War 1862-1864. Interred there. Second, Elvira Jane, married William B. Sims, b. Sept. 11. 1823, died March 17, 1896 at Taneyville. She died March 10, 1911, at Taneyville. Both interred Helphrey Cemetery at Taneyville. Issue first marriage, 2 sons. Issue second marriage 3 sons.

5. Missouri Catherine Cook, b. Sept. 22, 1883 on the homestead in Taney County, Missouri, on Swan Creek. Married, Oct. 12, 1854 at Forsyth, Missouri to William B. Casey, b. July 23, 1834 in Tennessee. He died March 26, 1872, near Forsyth, Missouri. Catherine died Sept. 14, 1914, near Forsyth. Both interred in Casey Cemetery on lower Swan Creek near Forsyth.

6. John Lafayette Cook, b. Feb. 18. 1841 on the homestead, Married Feb. 26, 1863 in Taney County to Mary Jane Clements, born Sept. 9, 1839, in Ohio. J. L. Cook was appointed Sheriff of Taney County, Mo., on July 1889 after the death of Galby F. Branson.

Sheriff Branson was slain at Kirbyville on July 4, 1889. John L. Cook served out Sheriff Bran- son's term to Dec. 31, 1889. He was then elected Sheriff of Taney County for two years 1890-1892. He died May 19, 1923 near Taneyville. He and his wife are both interred in the North Lone Star Cemetery near Taneyville. Issue 7 sons.

7. Angeline Cook, b. April 7,1843 on the homestead, on upper Swan Creek. Married first, Joseph Henry. He deserted her-divorced. Second she married William David Hodges in 1883. She died Mar. 21, 1930. He died April 7, 1936. Both died and interred on the Cook Homestead on Upper Swan Creek. Issue first marriage one daughter; second marriage, 1 daughter.

8. Mary Elizabeth Cook, b. March 28, 1845 on the Cook homestead. Married first in 1867, Spen-


cer Gibson b. 1838 at Forsyth, Missouri. He died near the 9th ford on upper Swan Creek. Interred in Brooks-Prather Cemetery on Upper Swan Creek between 7th and 8th fords.

Mary Elizabeth married second, 1879, John LeRoy Thomas b. July 4, 1853, near Bluff, Missouri in Taney County on Upper Bull Creek. He died near Walnut Shade, June 15, 1940. Both are interred in North Lone Cemetery in Section No. 3, Lot No. 6, Township No. 24 north of the Base Line and Range No. 20 West of 5th Principal meridian of Taney County. Issue of first marriage, one son, three daughters. Issue of second marriage, one son and 2 daughters.

August 7, 1862 the Missouri Militia of the United States Army, camped for the night at the James Cook, Jr., homestead. The soldiers came from Fort Brown near Ozark, Missouri on their way to Forsyth. They were about 400 cavalry troops.

At the time of the Emancipation Proclamation, Jan. 1, 1863, James Cook, Jr., owned five Negro slaves.

The Cook family information was given to me by the late William D. Hodges and others.

If you ever go to Taneyville, Missouri, go one mile east past the Helphrey Cemetery to where the T. E. Beal place of abode is, then turn left about two miles and you would be at the Cook Homestead. Nearly all of the log buildings are still standing. A great-grandson batches there.

They never had a land grant, only land rights, until May 20, 1862 when the Homestead Law was enacted.

The elder Cook (father of John L.) was reared in his native County of Simpson, Kentucky, secured a fair education for his day, and there was married to Miss Steward who accompanied him to Taney County, the journey being made by wagon and occupying six weeks. They located in the woods on Swan Creek, when that region was sparsely settled. They were Methodists for many years and no people were better respected in the community... He was a Democrat in politics and was in sympathy with the South during the war, but did not take an active part. His father, James Cook, was North Carolian, but was early settler of Kentucky where he remained until 1838 when he came to Taney County; here he improved a farm now a part of Christian County. There they lived until the Rebellion when he removed to near Ozark where he died when he was nearly one hundred years old. He was a life-long farmer. He was the father of five sons and four daughters.

Amid the rude surroundings of pioneer life, John L. Cook passed his youthful days, and as might be supposed his educational advantages were rather limited. In the year 1863 he was wedded to Miss Mary J. Clemens, a native of the Buck Eye State and the daughter of William and Mary Clemens who were born in Pennsylvania. About 1859 her parents left Ohio for Taney County, Missouri., and there Mr. Clemens died soon there after. Seven sons were born: Calvin; Leander H.; William L.; John D.; Elverton C.; Thomas B.; and D. J., who is known as "Doc" being the seventh son. In the year, 1864, Mr. Cook joined Company F, Seventy-second Missouri, under Col. John S. Phelps and was stationed at Springfield most of the time or until a short time before the close of the war. Afterward he resumed farming, residing for four years in Greene County, and then came to his parent's home on Swan Creek, eight miles above Forsyth where he owned 172 acres, about 75 acres under cultivation... he was the second one of his party, democrat, to hold the office of sheriff since the War...

From a "Reminiscent History of the Ozarks," originally published by Goodspeed Brothers in 1894.


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