Biography of Simeon Cook
Simeon Cook, of Redlands, is a native of Richmond, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, born April 14, 1821; his parents being Simeon, Sr., and Rachel (Holman) Cook. Both parents came of old New England families, and the father of our subject went with his parents from Billingham, Massachusetts, to New Hampshire, when he was but three years of age. He was born December 8, 1770, and died March 18, 1859. Our subject’s mother was the daughter of Elijah Holman, who lived on the line between Winchester and Richmond, New Hampshire, and before her marriage to Simeon Cook, Sr., was the widow of Ebenezer Barnes. She died March 18, 1839.
Simeon Cook, whose name heads this sketch, spent his early boy-hood days on the farm at his native place. He attended public schools at Richmond, and private schools at Winchester and Swansea, after which he attended the Academy at Amherst. When twenty years old he went to Boston, where he was engaged for seven months as a clerk in the grocery store of Robert Cummings. He next went to Waltham, where for a year he was in a general store with Robert Cummings, in Old Rumford Hall. From there he returned to Boston, and engaged in the grocery business on Chambers street at the head of Poplar, in partnership with a nephew. After three years there he sold out to his partner and went back to Richmond, where he conducted an old-fashioned country store for some eight or ten years. He then disposed of that business and engaged in manufacturing hogsheads for the Cuban market.
He originated this business at Richmond, New Hampshire, then removed to Ashburnham, Massachusetts, and next to Keene, New Hampshire. At the two latter places he was in partnership with his brother George; and in 1856 they established another factory at Troy, New York. In 1859 he commenced making trips to Canada, buying staves for the cooperage establishments of the firm, but after a year he commenced manufacturing lumber in Canada, as well as carrying on his other business there, and settled down at Ingersoll, Ontario. He resided there until 1881, when he wound up his business interests in Canada, and removed to California. He was at Riverside from May until Christmas, 1881, and then removed to Redlands. Here he helped finish up the Prospect House, the first hotel, and when it was finished he carried it on for about a year. He then commenced improving the place where he now resides, one of the most desirable tracts about Redlands. There are twenty acres on the place, and of this amount six acres are in Muscat raisin grapes. Some five acres are devoted to oranges, about equally divided between Washington Navels and seedlings, and nearly all the trees are in bearing. The remainder of the trees in his orchard are divided about as follows: lemons, 75; apricots, 250, and peaches, 30; a few nectarines and Bartlett pears. About an acre and a half is devoted to alfalfa. Mr. Cook has set about improving his place in a systematic manner, and it shows the results of much care and labor.
Mr. Cook was married to Miss Ellen Murdock. He has six children, viz.: Silas P., a clergyman of the Congregational Church, at Northfield, Massachusetts, and connected with Moody’s schools there; Leroy, who resides at Worcester, Massachusetts, and is a draughtsman in the Washburn-Moen wire-works; he is a graduate of the school of Technology at Worcester; Clara Josephine, wife of Herbert Aldrich, who is connected with his father in an insurance establishment at Keene, New Hampshire (firm of Herman C. Aldrich & Son); Charles Sumner, who is professor in the Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois, and was formerly a tutor at Hanover, where he finished his education; William and Frank, who reside with their parents.
Mr. Cook is a Republican politically. He is an active, enterprising man, and takes a coin-mendable interest in the welfare of the community.