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John Cook, clerk of the Division Court for North York, is a son of John and Hannah (Winter) Cook, and was born in Portsmouth, England, March 5, 1817. He received a fair English education; at thirteen years of age went to sea; sailed for six years on the Atlantic Ocean, and in the Mediterranean Sea; crossed to Canada in 1836, and was for seven years on the fresh water lakes.
In the rebellion of 1837-38 he was a volunteer; was at the Windmill, and was one of the men selected to reconnoitre by daylight around Navy Island, and was fired at a hundred times or more. Previous to starting, a shell burst over the heads of himself and associates, and scattered its contents around their boat.
Mr. Cook taught school several years at Oakville, Rednersville and Tyendinaga, being six years of this time among the Indians near the Bay of Quinte.
He subsequently kept hotel two or three years at Shannonville and Belleville; was a book-keeper about the same length of time at Mill Island, on the Bay of Quinte, and Rome, N.Y.; had a flour and feed store in the latter place until the panic of 1859, when he paid a visit to his native country, and upon his return to Canada, held a position at Toronto in the registrar’s office, first as clerk, and then as deputy. In 1863 Mr. Cook settled in Newmarket, being deputy-registrar for six years, and clerk of the Division Court since 1869.
Mr, Cook is a member of the Methodist church of Canada, a trustee of the same, an exhorter and an earnest christian worker. He is also a strong temperance man, a leader in that cause in Newmarket, and untiring in his efforts to have the traffic in intoxicating liquors done away with.
December 15, 1836, Mr. Cook married Miss Ann Jackman, who was from Sussex, England, they have lost four children, and have five living, all of whom are settled in life.