Biography of Josiah Cooke
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Josiah Cooke, from Coventry, Conn., came to Alstead in 1774. He married Huldah Bassett for his first wife, Lucy Desmond for his second, and reared one son and two daughters. The son, Capt. Josiah, married Sarah Emerson, who bore him three sons and two daughters-John, Arva. Beniah, Polly and Sarah. John married Eunice Parker, rearing one son and one daughter, the latter of whom, Philetta, resides in town. Arva married Rhoda Willard, who bore him five children, three of whom are living. lie was a farmer, served the town as selectman, and died in 1844, aged forty-nine years. His eldest son, Josiah W., resides in Chesterfield. Charles E. has always resided in town, spent his early life on the Cooke homestead, owned and operated a saw and grist-mill (with Wilson D. Holt) eleven years, and in 1869 bought the foundry business of Robb & Kidder, which he still continues. He represented the town in 1863-64, has been selectman six years and has also served as town treasurer. He married for his first wife Luthera Holt, and for his second Maria H., widow of Nelson E. Beckwith, and has three children-Charles H., Oliver A., and Hattie A. (Mrs. S. S. Wilder). Beniah, the youngest son of Capt. Josiah, pursued a collegiate course at Schenectady, N. Y., became a teacher in Fitchburg, Mass., edited a newspaper there a short time, then came to Keene and bought the Cheshire Re. publican, continuing it until his death. He also started two other papers in Keene, and was postmaster there. He married Rebecca Harrington; who bore him five children, and died in 1884, surviving her husband a number of years. Henry, the youngest son of Arva, went to Boston when seventeen years of age, entered a store, a business of importing millinery goods, as errand boy, became a partner in a860, and sole owner in 1872- He accumulated a large property and died in i880, leaving no issue. Harriet A. married S. G. Anderson and died in 1865. Rhoda E. married James Estabrooks and resides in Newton, Mass., six of her family of seven children living. Fred A. came to Alstead and is now a farmer near the Center.