IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.


Fred Cook is one of the popular and widely known officials of Clayton County, as he occupies the important position of Sheriff of the county, to which post he was elected in the fall of 1893. He declared himself as an Independent candidate and was endorsed by the Republicans in Convention. He has always taken an active part in political and local affairs and received a majority of one thousand six hundred and seventy-four votes, one of the largest ever polled in the county, which goes to show his personal and wide spread popularity. He is discharging the duties of this position with efficiency and marked ability and in a manner well worthy of a patriotic citizen. His pleasant home is situated in Elkader where he has resided for one year. His home has been in Garnavillo for more than twenty years.

A native of the Buckeye State, Mr. Cook's birth occurred in 1846, in Chillicothe, and during his early years fate seemed to deal hardly with him for he was deprived by death of his parents when he was two years of age. His boyhood days were passed in Ohio and Kentucky, and at the age of ten years he came to the Hawkeye State with his sister, settling in Ft. Madison, Lee County, where he received the advantages of a public school education. When nineteen years old he left that city and started out to battle with the world for a livelihood. He commenced his career by learing the blacksmith's trade, and in the spring of 1865 first set foot in Clayton County. His apprenticeship was served at Guttenberg, where he remained until 1870.

About that time he removed to Garnavillo where he embarked in the farm implement business in partnership with Fred Harberg, the firm name being Cook & Harberg. For a number of years he did a successful business in that place continuing in the same line until the fall of 1893 when he was elected to be Sheriff of Clayton County. In addition to the sale of implements they manufactured wagons and carriages.

In the year 1869 our subject was married to Miss Clara S. Cooley, who was born and grew to womanhood in this county. Her father, A.S. Cooley was one of the pioneers of this locality having located within the limits of the county as early as 1839; he was also one of the leading farmers of Garnavillo Township, for many years. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Cook has been blessed with two sons: Lee F. and George W.

Mr. Cook is active in several fraternities belonging to Garnavillo Lodge No. 90, A.F. & A.M., Garnavillo Lodge No. 29, I.O.O.F. and to the Ancient Order of United Workmen of the same place. For nearly thirty years Mr. Cook has been a resident of Clayton County, during which time he has ever shown his interest in a practical way in the upbuilding and progress of the locality. Democratic in politics, he prefers to owe allegiance to that party, but holds himself free to vote for the men or measures of any, regardless of party lines. He is a man of good education and pursues a varied course of reading thus keeping himself well informed on the leading topics of the day. From his early years he has had to "paddle his own canoe" and though he has met with many obsticles and doscouragements on the journey of life, which might well have discouraged him, he has bravely and courageously met and overcome the, seeming to acquire new strength for further conflict at the same time. Few men have a better reputation in this locality for honorable and upright methods and he truly deserves the high esteem in which he is held by those who know him best.

source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties; Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1894; pg 550-551
-transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

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