My great-grandfather Charles Madison Davis Cook and great-grandmother Harriet Green Cook homesteaded some land near Valley Head. My grandfather John Thomas Edward Cook was born there in Look Out Mountains. My grandfather broke his back once and had to be carried down from the mountains. The family moved to Oklahoma before 1910.
My paternal gg-grandfather Charles Cook was born in 1835 in Anson County, North Carolina. Charles was the son of Elizabeth? and James W. Cook. Charles moved to Chattooga County, Georgia, where he met and married Elizabeth Sewell. Elizabeth was born in 1828 in Georgia. She was the daughter of John Sewell and Charity Lancaster Sewell. Charles purchased 159 and 63/100’s acres in St. Clair, Alabama on 2 Apr 1857 (Certificate 23686). On this homestead Charles and Elizabeth planned to raise their family. My great-grandfather Charles Madison Davis Cook was born on July 10, 1859.
In January 1862, Charles Cook joined in Shelby County, Alabama as a private in the Confederacy’s 18th Alabama Infantry Company I. Ordered to Corinth in March 1862, the regiment was there brigaded under General J. K. Jackson of Georgia, with the 17th and 19th Alabama regiments. The 18th fought the first day at Shiloh (April 6, 1862) and was detailed to escort the brigade of USA General Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss, which it had largely aided to capture, to the rear, and it did not take part the second day. After the battle, the regiment being without field officers and was for a short time under officers detailed for the purpose. It was under fire at Blackland, and soon after was sent to Mobile under the command of General s James Edwin Slaughter and Alfred Cumming. Charles Cook died in May 1862 in a hospital after only 5 months of service.
Charles’ wife Elizabeth was one of Aaron Sewell’s sisters. Charles’ death is mentioned twice in the historical letters between Aaron Sewell and his wife Louisa Dorsett Sewell. Aaron M. Sewell was from Summerville, in Chattooga County, Georgia, the son of John Sewell and Charity Lancaster Sewell [formerly of Moore County, NC].
Aaron Sewell letters:
Letter from J F Sewell, brother to Aaron Sewell, August 1862: we heard from elizabeth in June charles died in the hospital
Letter from S C Echols and Louisa Sewell (Aaron’s wife): Georgia Chattooga County June 29 1862 … Charly cook is Dead he Died at [illegible]
After her husband’s death, Elizabeth Sewell Cook moved back to Chattooga County, Georgia where her mother and siblings lived. In the 1870 census for Summerville, Chattooga County, Georgia, it is reported that Elizabeth is 43 and had 5 children living at home with her:
John T. was born in 1857 in St. Clair County, Alabama
William Cicero was born in 1858 in St. Clair County, Alabama
Pleasant Franklin was born in 1859 in St. Clair County, Alabama
Charles D was born in 1861 in St. Clair County, Alabama
Sarah C was born in 1862 in St. Clair County, Alabama
Charles Madison Davis Cook was my great-grandfather. He was born on July 10, but records vary on his birth year from 1859-1861. He was born in St. Clair County, Alabama. After his father’s death in 1862, his family moved to Georgia. There he met and married Harriet Green on 21 Sep 1879 in Chattooga County, Georgia. Harriet, the daughter of Anie ? from Georgia and ? Green from Alabama, was born in April 1862 in Georgia. They are shown in the 1880 census as living in Seminole Township, Chattooga County, Georgia.
In 1891 he homesteaded land on Lookout Mountain in Valley Head, DeKalb County, Alabama, according to the Homestead Act passed by Congress on May 20, 1862, which secured homesteads to settlers on the public domain by granting 160 acres of free land to claimants. Charles’ land was on Look Out Mountain and was very difficult to farm.
According to the 1900 DeKalb County, Alabama census, Charles was a listed as a farmer in Ellison Precinct No. 21. Along with Charles, Harriet and 9 of their 10 children are listed. The census of 1900 also showed that both Charles and Harriet could read and write English but had not attended school. The census showed that George Oscar had attended three years of school; and William Cleve, Jim Frank, Charlie T. and Luther had attended two years of school in Valley Head.
He moved to Checotah, McIntosh County, Oklahoma around 1903. According to the 1910 census, the family was living in Checotah, Oklahoma. Charles D. obtained a land patent #342071 on 18 Jun 1913 for 160 acres in Township 21. He later moved to Lomita, Los Angeles County, California between 1920-1930. He died on 13 Jun 1953 in Los Angeles County, California.
The children of Charles D. and Harriet Green Cook were:
Walter L. born in 1880 in Georgia
George Oscar born on 29 Nov 1882 in Georgia
William Cleve born in Apr 1884 in Georgia
James (Jim) Frank born on 24 May 1886 in Alabama
Charlie T. born in Apr 1888 in Alabama
Luther born in Apr 1890 in DeKalb County, Alabama
Henry Erskin born on 21 Mar 1892 in DeKalb County, Alabama
John Thomas Edward born on 20 Mar 1894 in DeKalb County, Alabama
Lucky Marshal born on 1 Mar 1896 in DeKalb County, Alabama
Mary J born in Jul 1899 in DeKalb County, Alabama
Joe born between June and December 1900 in DeKalb County, Alabama
Martha (Marthie) Lee born on 17 Jul 1903 in McIntosh County, Oklahoma
My Grandfather, John Thomas Edward Cook was
born 20 Mar 1894 on Look Out
Mountain near Valley Head/Mentone, DeKalb County, Alabama. He had told the story of how when he was
young he broke his back and had to be carried down the mountain. Grandpa also told me about moving from Alabama to Oklahoma. He remembered having to walk the distance
without any shoes. He met and married
Alice Dickson between 1911-1913 in McIntosh
County, Oklahoma. Alice Dickson was born on 19 Jun 1894 in
Spiro, LeFlore County, Oklahoma.
My father Luther Leon Cook was one of ten children born to J.T. and
Alice Cook. Luther was born in Checotah, Oklahoma and died
August 2000 in Pasadena, Texas.
Ellison Cook purchased land in DeKalb County, Alabama in 1845.
Benjamin F. Cook purchased land in DeKalb County, Alabama in 1850’s.
Mathis Cook received a land patent in DeKalb County, Alabama in 1882.
Benjamin F. Cook received a land patent in DeKalb County, Alabama in 1885.
Charles D. Cook received a land patent in DeKalb County, Alabama in 1891.
John T. Cook, brother to Charles D. received a land patent in DeKalb County, Alabama in 1894.
John Cook received a land patent in St. Clair County, Alabama in 1823.
Elias G. Cook made quite a few purchases of land in St. Clair County, Alabama in late 1840’s and 1850’s.
Charles Cook purchased close to 160 acres in St. Clair County, Alabama in 1857.
Rebecca Sewell, older sister to Elizabeth, purchased 320 acres in St. Clair County, Alabama in 1860.
Elijah Cook received a land patent in St. Clair County, Alabama in 1898.
Jackson Cook received a land patent in Shelby County, Alabama in 1837.
Silas Cook received a land patent in Shelby County, Alabama in 1837.
John Cook received a land patent in Shelby County, Alabama in 1839.
Contributed by -Sharon Rice-