The first Census – 1850
The first census of Wyoming County got under way in the summer
and was concluded in September of 1850. The census was marshaled by
Thomas Cooke Jr. The total population of Wyoming County was 1,645, of
which 61 were Negro slaves.
Most of Wyoming County’s residents were farmers but among its
people also were three stone masons, two carpenters, two merchants, a
hotel proprietor, a mail carrier, a shoe maker, a sleigh maker, and a
Forty-one students, ranging in age from 6 to 22 years, had
attended school within the year. In the Oceana area, the families of
William and Nellie Cooke Brooks and John and Amy Stewart Canterbury
made up most of the school population.
The McDonald family, with its vast holdings west of Oceana,
owned the most land and were, by the measures of that day, very wealthy
landowners. Joseph McDonald’s real estate was valued at $17,000;
McDonald’s at $17,300; Stephen McDonald’s at $12,000.
The four sons of John Cooke – Thomas, John Jr., William, and
James – owned real estate which was valued at $6,000. In 1850, the many
grandsons of John were also landowners, with total real estate valued
at $11,570, so much of the land was in the hands of the Cooke family.
The real estate value of property owned by members of the Stewart
family totaled about $2,200.
(Wyoming County Report, Aug 6, 2012. Transc by: Candace Robinson)