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Cooke, Susan Brewster – Obituary

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Mrs. Susan E. Cooke, Kittitas Pioneer, Dies At Age Of 89.
Was Resident Of Valley Since 1870; Crossed Plains In 1851;
Funeral Monday; Deceased Came From Noted Family; Was Descendant Of Pilgrim

Following a decline suffered nearly two years ago, Mrs. Susan Eliza Brewster Cooke, one of the oldest pioneers of Kittitas Valley, died last night at the family residence, 11 miles northeast of Ellensburg [died March 11, 1921]. Last Monday Mrs. Cooke celebrated her 89th birthday, having been born in Waterford County, four miles from Troy, New York, on March 7, 1832.

Mrs. Cooke was a direct descendant of William Brewster, one of the original party of Pilgrims, and was a cousin of Jay Cooke, New York financier and railroad promoter. She was left an orphan at the age of three, and spent the following nine years at the home of her maternal grandfather at Sandusky, Ohio.

Displaying the ideal pioneer spirit, she at the age of 19 left her cultured surroundings and with E. N. Cooke and his wife crossed the plains by ox team, landing near Salem, Oregon. On October 29, 1851, she was married to Charles P. Cooke at Salem, the couple then moving to a homestead near Independence, in Polk County, Oregon.

After 16 years residence there they moved to the Moxee Valley in Yakima County where they lived until the spring of 1870, at which time they removed to the farm on Cooke Creek where Mrs. Cooked died last night.

Surviving Mrs. Cooke are six of her 11 children, Edwin N., Norman D., George B., and Rufus Cooke, and Mrs. P. H. Schnebly and Mrs. A. B. Whitson. She leaves three great, great grandchildren in addition to a large number of other descendents.

Mrs. Cooke was a member of the old and historic Dutch family, Von der Cooke, who settled on the Hudson River in the 17th century. Her husband who died here in the fall of 1888 was a veteran of the Mexican War. In 1868, he was appointed auditor of Yakima County, which then included Kittitas county, holding the office until 1873 when he was elected to the legislature, serving two consecutive terms. In 1876 he served as county commissioner and later was county superintendent of schools. He was again elected to the territorial legislature in 1884 and served until 1887. He was the first county commissioner of the new county of Kittitas.

Funeral services for Mrs. Cooke who was a member of the Methodist Church, will be held from the family residence on Cooke Creek on Monday forenoon at 11 o’clock. Rev. W. B. Young officiating.

Contributed by: Sheli Steedman

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