Lee County Biography


Morris Cook makes his home on section 23, Alto township, and his property in addition to the home farm makes his landed possessions aggregate five hundred and sixty-five acres, constituting a valuable property. He is not only one of the progressive agriculturists, but one of the wide-awake and patriotic citizens of his community, where he is now filling the position of township supervisor. He was born in Kendall county, Illinois, September 10, 1864, a son of Morris and Elizabeth (Cooper) Cook, both of whom were natives of New Jersey, whence they came to this state about 1850, settling in Kendall county. In 186G they became residents of Alto township, Lee county, and the father purchased a farm, which is now the property of his son Morris. With characteristic energy he began its development and improvement and concentrated his energies upon its cultivation until his death, which occurred in 1885. His widow survived him for many 3 years, passing away in 1911. They were the parents of eleven children, five of whom are now living.

Morris Cook, reared under the parental roof, assisted his father until nineteen years of age, and then assumed the management of the old home place. He proved his ability to successfully conduct the farm and in 1909 he purchased the property, his home place, comprising one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 23, Alto township. In 1911 he purchased the old homestead, comprising two hundred and forty-five acres on section 14, Alto township, and prior to this he had invested in one hundred and sixty acres on section 15, of the same township, so that he now owns altogether five hundred and sixty-five acres of rich and valuable land, that responds readily to the care and cultivation he bestows upon it. While his fields produce good crops, in his pastures are to be found registered Hereford cattle and draft horses, of which he makes a specialty, raising a large number each year.

In 1888 Mr. Cook was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude G. Hemenway, who was born in Kendall county, Illinois, a daughter of William and Cynthia (Dewey) Hemenway, the former a native of Will county, Illinois, and the latter of the state of New York. Mr. and Mrs. Cook have become the parents of six children: Effie G., now the wife of M. M. Fell; Harold H.; Lyal E.; M. Gardner; Marjorie L.; and Florence A. The parents hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal church and Mr. Cook belongs to the Masonic fraternity at Steward. His political allegiance is given to the republican party, and he is now serving as supervisor of Alto township, while for five years he filled the office of assessor. He has also been school director and is interested in the cause of education as a preparation for the young for life's practical and responsible duties. Mr. Cook is a self-made man and deserves much credit for what he has accomplished. Gradually he has worked his way upward, and his persistent energy has made him one of the substantial citizens of his part of the county.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.


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