Biography of Perry E. Cook
Perry E. Cook has for more than twenty years been one of the principal carpenter contractors and builders of Topeka. His work and skill have been particularly exemplified in some of the finer residences of the city, and a large clientage have always felt a peculiar degree of assurance when any contract was entrusted to the firm of Cook & Son. The firm has also handled a great deal of the better class of repair and remodeling contracts.
A resident of Kansas for thirty years, Perry E. Cook was born in Boone County, Indiana, December 12, 1859, a son of Oscar and Charity (Wiley) Cook. His father, who was a native of Cayuga County, New York, was a farmer. After living for many years in Boone County, Indiana, he moved to Appanoose County, Iowa, in October, 1877, but after three years returned to Indiana and established his home in Hendricks County where he lived until his death on March 1, 1912. He was a republican, and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His wife, who was born in Russellville, Kentucky, died in Indianapolis in August, 1915. She was a member of the Christian Church.
Reared on a farm, Perry E. Cook acquired his knowledge of books and literary learning through the district schools of Boone County, Indiana, and the grade schools of Royalton, Indiana. With an inclination for the handling of tools, he early turned his attention to the trade of carpenter and followed it as a master workman in various places in Iowa for seven years. In June, 1886, just thirty years ago, Mr. Cook arrived in Topeka, and worked at his trade as a journeyman until October, 1889. He then entered the Santa Fe Railway shops, where he remained about five years, and from that took up the business of contracting, the business he has followed ever since. His offices since 1906 has been at 110 West Sixth Avenue, and prior to that time they were at 117 West Fifth Street.
Mr. Cook owns a substantial home at 911 Highland Avenue, where he has resided for twelve years. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and in politics an independent republican. He has a fine family, and some of his sons are now associated with him in business. On December 25, 1884, at Marshalltown, Iowa, he married Aranda Conger, who was born in Peoria County, Illinois, October 31, 1861. When she was about nine years of age her parents, W. P. and Mary Hann Conger, who were natives respectively of Virginia and Illinois, moved from Peoria County to Marshalltown, Iowa, where the father still resides. He has always been a farmer, and is a veteran of the Union army during the Civil war. He is a republican and his wife a Methodist. Mr. and Mrs. Cook’s four children were all born in Topeka: Wilbur O., a carpenter and associated with his father; Blanche M., wife of R. A. Showers, a carpenter; Perry E., now deceased; and Herbert W., who is in the insurance business.