Monday, December 15, 2014

The Cooks Settle Cooksville 175 Years Ago, PART TWO, by Larry Reed

The year 2015 marks the 175th anniversary of the Cooks settling in northwestern Rock County, and 2017 will commemorate the 175th anniversary of the official platting of their Village of Cooksville.

The Cook House (1842) today
The Cooks arrived in the Wisconsin Territory on June 25, 1840. The federal census taker that year counted noses at John Cook’s new little  log cabin, revealing the following living there: himself, a bachelor; his younger brother Daniel Cook; Daniel’s wife Elizabeth, and their young daughter Rhoda aged two. (Sometime after 1840 John Cook married his wife Nancy.)

Soon, in 1842, John Cook officially platted his village of Cooksville near the Bad Fish Creek. (The words eventually flowed together into “Badfish”; the creek was also known as “Waucoma” at the time.) Cook must have believed that the growing westward movement in America justified establishing an official settlement with building lots for sale, probably hoping to profit from the increased migration  from New England, New York and the British Isles to the newly opened land.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Cooks Settle Cooksville 175 Years Ago: 1840-2015, PART ONE, by Larry Reed

The Cook House, built 1842, photo c.1930

In 2015 the Village of Cooksville celebrates its175th anniversary of settlement by the Cook brothers, John and Daniel Cook.

The history of the Village begins on May 9, 1840, when John Cook, living in Ohio, purchased his Wisconsin land from the U.S. government that would become the Cooks’ village, and on June 25, 1840, John Cook, his brother Daniel, and friends arrived in their new land alongside the Bad Fish Creek.

And the year 2017 will mark the 175th anniversary of the Cooks officially platting their Village of Cooksville on the new American frontier.

Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts
John Cook purchased his Wisconsin Territory land—officially described as the NW ¼ SW ¼ of Section 6, town 4, range 11 north in Rock County— directly from the U.S. government.  Shortly thereafter, on June 22, 1840, he invested in two more parcels of land: the SW ¼ SW ¼ Section 6 and the E ½ SW ¼ Section 6. Undoubtedly Cook knew that the land directly to the east of his new property had been purchased in 1837 from the U.S. government by the famous U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, Daniel Webster, who soon would sell it to his friend, Dr. John Porter of Massachusetts. Maybe Cook thought living next to Senator Webster’s land was a good investment.