Hon. Sam B. Cook, president of the Central Missouri Trust Company, the leading banking institution of Jefferson City, is not, only active in the control of important financial interests but has in many ways left the impress of his individuality and ability upon the history of the state. He has at various times been called upon to fill positions of public honor and trust and has recently retired as a member of the state senate. He was born at Front Royal, Virginia, January 11, 1852, a son of William and Sallie (Kelly) Cook, who came to Missouri from the Old Dominion during the early boyhood of their son Sam. They established their home in Washington county, where they lived during the period of the Civil war, but in 1864 removed to Warren county. The father died in the latter county in 1865 and the mother in 1872.
Sam B. Cook, spending his youthful days under the parental roof, acquired his education in the public schools of the different localities in which the family home was maintained. At the age of twenty-six years he was elected sheriff and collector of Warren county and reelected in 1880. In 1885 he removed to Mexico, Audrain county, where he conducted the Intelligencer, figuring for a number of years in newspaper circles of the state. He naturally became deeply interested in the vital political problems before the country and allied himself with the democratic party, of which he has ever been a stanch advocate. In 1895 he succeeded “Coin” Harvey on the national democratic committee work in Chicago under James K. Jones, national chairman, and in 1896 and again in 1898 was chairman of the Missouri state democratic central committee, continuing in that position until 1900. The public offices which he has filled not only mark him as a leader in democratic ranks in Missouri but also give evidence of his marked devotion to duty and his patriotic loyalty to every interest of the commonwealth. In 1900 he was elected secretary of state and in 1916 was elected to the state senate for a four years’ term. He was made chairman of the committee on penitentiary and reform schools in the session of 1917. On the conclusion of his term as secretary of the state in January, 1905, he was elected president of the Central Missouri Trust Company in Jefferson City, of which he is still the head, this being the leading banking institution of the capital city. In the control of its affairs he displays marked executive force and administrative ability, and his wise management has been a most potent element in the continued growth and success of the business. The bank is capitalized for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars, while its total resources amount to nearly three million dollars. Mr. Cook is now concentrating his entire time and attention upon the interests of the bank, and achievements in this direction place him with the leading representatives of financial interests in the state.
Mr. Cook married Miss Ella Howard, a daughter of John A. and Frances Howard of Warren county and the children of this marriage are: Frances, the wife of Dr. Charles W. Diggs of Columbia, Missouri; and Jessie T., at home with her father. For his second wife Mr. Cook married Olivia Hord, a daughter of Colonel Lewis and Mary F. Hord, of Mexico, Missouri, and they have become the parents of two sons: Howard, born November 30, 1889, was educated in the public schools of Mexico and Jefferson City and in the Wentworth Military Academy. He served in the World war, being sent to Camp Lee, Virginia, where he was commissioned captain. He is now vice president of the Central Missouri Trust Company of Jefferson City. On June 4, 1921, Howard was married to Miss Gertrude Shuman. The younger son, Lewis Hord, born in January, 1892, saw service in France with the American Expeditionary Forces in the World war and was commissioned a lieutenant. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri, in which he completed a course in the law department and is now the junior member of the law firm of Dumm & Cook of Jefferson City. Mrs. Cook is a member of the Christian church, in the support of which Mr. Cook also feels a deep interest. They occupy a most enviable social position and in considerable measure Mr. Cook has Influenced the interests and activities of the commonwealth through his prominence in business circles. At the present he is concentrating his efforts and attention upon his banking business and his thoroughness and efficiency in this field are shown in the constant development of the important institution under his control.