HON. CHARLES P. COOKE – The subject of this sketch, whose portrait appears in this work, was born in Erie county, Ohio, in 1824. His early life was spent in his native place. In 1846 he went as a volunteer to the Mexican war, and served as second lieutenant in the first regiment of Ohio Volunteers. He was in the army a full year, and participated in the engagements at Monterey, Buena Vista and other bloody battles of that war. He then returned home, but in the spring of 1849 left for the Pacific coast, crossing the plains with ox-teams to California, where he remained until the spring of 1850, when he came to Oregon, arriving at Astoria in May. He resided in Polk county until 1867, when he emigrated to the Yakima country, taking his first claim in the Moxee valley.
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In 1870 he removed to the Kittitass valley, and has remained there until the present time. Mr. Cooke represented the Yakima and Klikitat counties in the legislature of 1873, and gain was representative of Yakima county in 1876. He represented Yakima and Kittitas counties jointly in 1886, and is now joint councilman for Yakima, Kittitass, Franklin, Adams, Lincoln and Douglas counties. He was the first auditor elected in Yakima county, and one of the county commissioners, and has been several times school superintendent. He also filed important offices of trust in Oregon as well as in this territory. He assisted in organizing the counties of Yakima and Kittitass.
Mr. Cooke has developed a beautiful ranch, upon which he now lives. This is about twelve miles from Ellensburgh, and comprises two hundred and forty acres of the most fertile land in the valley. He deals largely in live-stock, and sells herds of beef cattle. Mr. Cooke was married in 1851 at Salem, Oregon, to Miss Brewster. They have ten children, six boys and four girls, all living.