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Cherokee County Biographies

I. C. Cook

I.C. Cook, was born in Wayne County, Illinois, July 8, 1833 and is the son of James and Elizabeth (Clark) Cook, natives of the State of Kentucky.  He is the youngest and only one of a family of six children living.  His mother died when he was between three and four years old and he was thus early deprived of that tender love and care such as only a mother can give.  He was brought up on a farm and received a very limited education in the common schools; however, by close observation he has acquired a fund of information that enables him to attend to any business in practical life.

He continued to reside with his father until his twentieth year, when the father died.  He then removed to Carroll County, Illinois, where he spent two years and in 1855 he came to Iowa and settled in Jackson County; at that time he was engaged in drilling artesian wells, and remained there until 1860 when he went to St. Joe, Missouri and there joined the John Deeds wagon train and made an overland trip to California.  He remained in that State until 1866 engaged in mining and wood chopping.  He then returned as far east as Jackson County, Iowa and there he resided until he came to Cherokee County, with the exception of one year spent in Clinton County, Iowa.

In 1871 he came to Cherokee County and bought 160 acres of railroad land in Amherst Township, paying $6 per acre; he then went back to Jackson County and did not return to Cherokee County until 1873 when he brought his family consisting of his wife and one child.  He first erected a small building which served as a temporary residence; as soon as something better could be provided the first one was deserted and now serves as a store house for tools and farming implements.  The stable was constructed of railroad ties, with a roof of hay.  With these primitive buildings they began life in the new country, but from time to time have improved or replaced the old structures and now have one of the best improved farms in the county.  Mr. Cook has planted five acres of grove which surrounds his buildings and presents a most attractive picture.  It is really difficult to realize that only a few years ago the Indian's camp kettle smoked where there is now a beautiful lawn, and that his wigwam was stretched where the comfortable cheery dwelling of the white man now stands.  Mr. Cook has done much toward the up building of this portion of the county and well deserves the respect and esteem in which he is held and he has not stood alone in these labors but has been cheered and encouraged by a faithful wife.  He was married December 5, 1866 to Miss Kate Guenther, a daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Yond) Guenther, natives of Germany and Pennsylvania respectively.  Mrs. Cook was born in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, July 16, 1839. The result of this union has been two children: Lizzie, born September 10, 1870 and Katie, born July 1, 1876.  The parents are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Politically Mr. Cook is a stanch Republican, and has held the office of township trustee for thirteen years. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., Lodge No. 359, being one of the charter members; he was the first N.G., and has held the same position several times.

  Biographical History of Cherokee County, IA, W. W. Dunbar & Co Publishers, 1889

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