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.