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Thomas R. Cook is the owner of a fine ranch of eighty acres located in the Wallowa valley, in the cultivation of which he has been actively engaged for more than a quarter of a century. He is a native of Oregon, his birth having occurred in the Willamette valley on February 16, 1861, his parents being Thomas L. and Harriet (Jacobs) Cook. His people came to Oregon in 1854, settling in the Willamette valley, where the father acquired some government land that he industriously cultivated with a goodly measure of success for twenty-five years. In 1879, he disposed of his holdings there and removed with his wife and family to Wallowa County, and here he passed away the same year, the mother, however, surviving until 1909.
Reared on the ranch where he was born, Thomas R. Cook was early trained in the work of the fields and care of the stock, thus laying the foundation for a successful agricultural career later in life. His education advantages were very limited, his schooling being confined to a few terms of irregular attendance in his home district, prior to the age of twelve years. He then laid aside his text-books and thereafter has his entire time and attention to the work of the ranch. When his parents removed to Wallowa County he accompanied them and upon attaining his majority he filed on a homestead two miles south of Lostine, and has since engaged in its cultivation. As he is industrious and practical in his methods and gives his personal supervision to everything about his place, doing much of the work himself, he has prospered in a most gratifying manner. At various times, as his circumstances have warranted, he has introduced modern conveniences that have added greatly to the comfort and value of his place, and now has one of the best equipped ranches in the community.
At Lostine, on November 24, 1889, Mr. Cook was united in marriage to Miss Nancy J. (Josephine) Hammock, a daughter of James Wesley and Sarah Hammock, and they have become the parents of two sons: Albert Lawrence, who is assisting his father with the operation of the home ranch; and James Alvin, who is still in school.
The family affiliate with the Christian church, and Mr. Cook is a member of The Odd Fellows Society in which he has passed through the chairs. In politics he is a stanch democrat, but not an office seeker. He has always applied himself closely and worked tirelessly in the development of his land, which annually yields him an income more than sufficient to meet the needs of his family, and he is numbered among the substantial and worth residents of his community.
Source: Gaston, Joseph. The Centennial History of Oregon, 1811-1912. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912.
Provided by Gary Jaensch February 07, 2003