Cook, Morton M. (History - 1837)


Janet Schwarze





----Source: 1891 History of Clark & Jackson Co., Wis.:

MORTON M. COOK, a settler in Hewett Township, in 1867, who did good pioneer work, and was for a number of years one of the leading men of the township, was born in Springville, Seneca County, Ohio, April 20, 1837. He was a son of Roscoe Cook, a life-long resident of Ohio, who was a farmer and storekeeper, and also conducted a warehouse and an ashery. Roscoe had seven children, of whom Morton M. was the third in order of birth. The latter was given a good education, graduating from Sandusky College Ohio, after which he took up the occupation of a teacher, which he followed in that state.


In 1856 he was married, at Tiffin, Ohio, to Sarah Metcalf, and continued to reside in Ohio until the time of the Civil War.


In 1862 he enlisted in the 164th Ohio 'Regiment, Company C, and performed military service with that organization until his honorable discharge Oct. 5, 1865. when he returned home. On going to the war he had left behind his wife and one child, George, whom he now rejoined, rejoicing that he had escaped the fate of so many other patriot soldiers who never returned to their homes and families. In 1867, Mr. Cook determined to settle in one of the states of the great Northwest, to which part of the country there was then a considerable emigration, the opportunity of obtaining rich land for nothing, or at a normal cost, attracting settlers from the more eastern states where good farms brought a high price. Accordingly, with his wife and four children--Emma, Sophronia and Morton W.--he set out from Adrian, Ohio in a wagon with one horse headed for Wisconsin, with which were spent in Gipsy fashion, the family arrived in Hewett Township, Clark County. Here Mr. Cook secured a tract of eighty acres of wild land in Section 12, and found himself confronted-with the problem of establishing a home in the wilderness a herculean task which many other pioneers were then facing. The nearest road, so-called, was an Indian trail a mile away, and the country around was almost one unbroken forest, his own farm being covered heavily with timber.

The usual log house was constructed, in which he and his family made their primitive home, and as soon as possible he got an ox team, without which a pioneer farmer in this county was badly handicapped. For the first few years he had to work at logging, as most settlers did in the winter. His superior education also came in useful, as he obtained employment teaching the first school near Mapleworks, boarding at the time with an old and well known settler named Howard. In time, Mr. Cook succeeded in clearing sixty-five acres of his farm, and at one time owned a tract of 160 acres, of which he later sold eighty acres. From the time he first came to the township he served in public office, including service on the school board, to which he was a valuable addiction. His religious affiliations were the Methodist Church, and he was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Cook died Jan. 27, 1905, at the age of 69 years, his loss being universally regretted, as he was esteemed by all as a good neighbor and loyal citizen. His wife, Sarah, who was born in Massachusetts in 1840, died Jan. 1, 1914. In addition to their children already mentioned, who accompanied them to Clark County from Ohio, six other were born to them in Hewett Township: Alonzo, now a farmer in this township Laura, Jay, Ray, William and Sarah.



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