Obituary Record

Joseph S Cook
Died on 7/3/1922
Buried in Blair Cemetery

Three newspaper articles

# 1 - - Pilot 5 July 1922

Joseph S. Cook Died Monday


Having been a sufferer for many years with asthma, the attacks being acute for the past few months, Joseph S. Cook passed peacefully away at 6:50 Monday morning, surrounded by all the member of his family. Owing to his age the ordinary remedies failed to give him relief and it became necessary to administer opiates so he could get relief from difficult breathing.

He remained conscious up to almost the last moment of his life but became too weak to speak during the last few hours. He was aware that death was near but met it as bravely as he faced it in battle while serving his country during the Civil war.

The funeral was held at 3 o’clock this afternoon at the family residence conducted by Rev. J. A. Johnson and Rev. H. J. Sealey. Mrs. Verne Miller, niece of the deceased, sang two solos. The honorary pallbearers were members of the G.A.R., in which organization he had always taken a great interest. The active pallbearers were Henry Grimm, I. C. Eller, Jas. E. Maher, John McKay, C. T. Farnham and P. M. Tyson. The W.R.C. ladies attended the funeral in a body. The exercises at the grave were conducted by the I.O.O.F. lodge of which Mr. Cook had been a member for many years.

Mr. Cook was born in Bedford, county, Pa., Sept. 8th, 1841, and was, therefore nearing his 81st birthday. He grew to manhood there and enlisted in Co. F. of the 8th Pennsylvania Reserves on April 23rd, 1861, serving the full period of his enlistment, 3 years, three months of which time were spent as a prisoner in the famous Libby prison. He was given an honorable discharge May 30th, 1864.

On November 21st, 1865, at Bedford, Pa., he was united in marriage to Miss Harriet C. Gates and in 1868 they came west to make their home and fortune, settling on a farm in Sheridan township. In the fall of 1879 he was elected county clerk and removed to Blair and this has been his home ever since. He served two terms as clerk, two terms as treasurer and two terms as member of the board of county supervisors, being a member at the time the present court house was built and his name is on the corner stone with the other members of the building committee. He also served as a member of the school board for over twenty years.

Mr. Cook had a very keen sense of humor, which he used only in a kindly way and made many friends thereby. His ability to see the humorous side of things made him the life of any party or gathering. His home life was ideal and he was idolized by his family as well as his friends, therefore his passing will leave a vacancy that can never be filled, both in the home and in the community at large.

Besides the widow he leaves two daughters, Mrs. Anna Martin, present deputy county clerk, and Miss Mary Cook who spent many years with the Banking House of A Castetter and is now employed at the Citizens State Bank. Also one son, Wm. P. of Ft. Calhoun, cashier of the Ft. Calhoun State bank. Another son, Harry, died just as he was entering his majority.

The following lines were written by his niece, Miss Jennie Bayer, of Pender, and were read to him by her a few weeks ago when she was here on a visit:


Hark to the echoes of other days, When North and South had parted ways As Lincoln’s first call for volunteers Comes ringing adown the bygone years: And there from mountain, valley and glen, Marches a phalanx of loyal men. On April twenty-third, sixty one, When civil conflict had just begun, A youth in his teens I fain would cite, Who enlisted on the side of right, At Hopewell, Pennsylvania, that day, Joining the military array. On his country’s altar laying all; Ready to stand or willing to fall, With courage high and to conscience true, He took his place in the ranks of blue. Enlisting in the good Keystone state, With Company “F”, Regiment Eight. Part of that famous P.R.C.V. Reserved for hard fighting, you shall see. All his engagements were reckoned great, The names this record will hereby state. The one “Before Richmond”, “The Seven Days Fight” Where so many brave men fell for the right. Some call it “The Battle of Mechanicsville” “Twas a hard fought battle, by what name you will Dear faces at home became very pale, For; “Not a man is left to tell the tale” Was the news flashed back to the old home state From Company “F”, of Regiment Eight. Many were slain in that fatal affray, While others were captured and sent away Away to old Libby, that prison accursed, Outranking all others, the vileness stood first. Eight weeks he suffered as no tongue can tell, As round him many a comrade fell Into the sleep that knows no waking. While his prison record was in making. Then marching again to the bugle call ‘Neath that dear old flag now loved by all. With Pope he engaged at “Second Bull Run” Heavy with toll ‘ere the battle was done For three days they fought and fought again, The whole Southern army faced by Pope’s men. Under McClellan “South Mountain” was fought, Forcing the pass to the valley they sought; Then following on again you’ll find him With McClellan, at awful Antietam, The records say ‘twas a terrible fight, And the moon looked down on a dreadful sight. For both armies fought the battle well, And many brave soldiers that day fell. He engaged in the Fredricksburg campaign, Where twelve thousand Union men were slain. On either side ‘twas a fearful onslaught, ‘Twas under Burnside this battle was fought. With Grant in “The Battle of The Wilderness” Where the siege was so fierce with glory less. For they fought in the woods for teen days And slaughtered each other in horrible ways. Now this was in eighteen sixty-four, When the conflict was practically o’er, And his time of enlistment being past, To the Northland his face is turned at last, Where at Pittsburgh his unit was relieved, And an honorable discharge received. This was on the twenty-fourth of May Then joyfully he hastened away Again his home and loved ones to seek At the country place called Yellow Creek. Once more on the farm he follows the plow, His days of conflict being ended now, If on his name you would like to look ‘Tis with pleasure given JOE S. COOK. The stars above shed radiance down, In a halo for this hero’s crown, Who suffered much that in our ensign These their kindred stars might ever shine, That none from this loved constellation Might fall from its exhalted station. Oh hallow’d stars! Surcharged with glory Eloquent in your silent story Of him who stood by this Ship of State, When in the balances swung its fate, each radiant star and crimson bar, Caressed by the breezes near and far E’en adown the ages yet to be, Shall tribute pay to the loyalty, Of this veteran, who did his share, To keep them ever unsullied there. When he comes to the pearly gates divine, God grant he may have the true countersign; And to that great roll call, loud and clear, May he confidently answer, “Here”. Trusting the Captain of his salvation, Who kept his life and saved our nation. As these Stars and Stripes shall float unfurled To the admiration of the world Remember then the reverence due These gallant heroes who wore the blue. Whose service with baptism of fire Preserved this Union for us entire; And may this our heritage sublime Endure through cycles of coming time.

# 2 - - Tribune 6 July 1922


Joe S. Cook passed away at his home on west Colfax street Monday, July 3, 1922, aged nearly 81 years.

Joe S. Cook was born in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, September 8, 1841. He enlisted April 23, 1861, in Co. F. 8th Pennsylvania Reserves, and served three years in the army of the Potomac, and spent three months in Libby prison. He was discharged from the service May 30, 1864, his term of enlistment having expired.

On November 21, 1865, he was married to Miss Harriet C. Gates and in 1868 they came to Nebraska, the following year coming to Blair, and for fifty-four years he has been identified with the interest of the town and county. He was elected county treasurer and served in this capacity for four years, and was afterwards county clerk for a term of four years. He was also county commissioner for two terms. He was engaged in the grocery business for several years and held the office of secretary of the school board for fifteen years.

Joe Cook has been as closely identified with the interest of the town perhaps, as any man who has ever resided here, and as deeply interested in its welfare. His family of two daughters and two sons grew to womanhood and manhood here, and the instructions received from their father have guided their footsteps in paths of righteousness.

While in the service of his country Mr. Cook contracted asthma, which has troubled him ever since, but in a more severe form in recent years, and for the past several months he had been gradually growing weaker and undergoing much suffering from the disease, until relief came to him on Monday.

Funeral services were held at the home on Wednesday afternoon, conducted by Rev. J. A. Johnson of the Methodist church, assisted by Rev. H. J. Sealey of the Congregational church, and burial took place in the Blair cemetery. The pall bearers were friends of many years standing: I.C. Eller, James E. Maher, Henry Grimm, John McKay, P. M. Tyson and Chas. T. Farnham.

Surviving is his companion of fifty-seven years, his daughters, Mrs. Annie Martin, and Miss Mary Cook, of Blair, and his son, William P. Cook of Ft. Calhoun, and several grandchildren whom he loved as his own. One son, Harry N. Cook, died in 1896.

Mr. Cook was a member of the local Grand Army of the Republic and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

So the march of the “old soldier” is over, his battles are all fought, his victories all won, and as in other days he lies down to rest awhile under the arching sky, awaiting the bugle’s call.

Joe Cook will be greatly missed in the town where he spent so many active years of his life.

# 3 - - from The Enterprise, July 6, 1922

JOSEPH S. COOK GONE-Pioneer Prominent In Development of County Dies At His Home In Blair

Another of our old pioneers has been called to his last reward, Joseph S. Cook, a man prominent in the early history of the county and generally known and highly respected as a citizen, a neighbor and friend, passed quietly away at his home on west Colfax Street on last Monday, July 3rd.

To us who have known him for all these past years and have counseled with him time out of mind and have regarded his discretion and wisdom in the highest sense and as coming from one whom always spoke for the good of his fellow men, it seems almost impossible that he is no more. But such is the plan of nature. He who holds the universe in His power has spoken and His law is omnipotent.

The deceased was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, Sept. 8, 1841. He grew to manhood in the county of his nativity and on April 23, 1861 enlisted in Company F. 8th Penn. Reserves serving three years in the Civil War in the Army of the Potomac about three months of which time was spent in the noted Libby prison. His term of enlistment expired May 30, 1964 and he was honorably discharged.

After his discharge he returned to his home and on Nov. 21, 1865 was married to Miss Harriett C. Gates and in 1868 with his bride came west to this county settling up near Admah where he resided until 1879, he then being elected as county clerk moved to Blair.

To Mr. and Mrs. Cook four children were born, two daughters and two sons. The daughters, Mrs. Anna C. Martin and Miss Mary Cook are living in Blair. The eldest son, Harry died in 1896 and Wm. P. the other is a resident of Ft. Calhoun. All highly respected for their sterling qualities and high ideals of living and to them the aged wife and mother can turn with the restful assurance that her welfare will be first in the minds of her children.

Mr. Cook not only served as County Clerk for two terms but was also elected for two terms as County Treasurer and later served as a member of the County Board of Supervisors and for a period of about twenty years was a member of the local school board and it was during his tenure of office on the school board that the present Blair High School building was erected.

In all his career as a public official we have yet to find the person who spoke ill of him and he was always pointed to as a man of unimpeachable integrity and of sincere motives in whatever he undertook to do.

He was a member of the local Grand Army of the Republic and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which two orders had charge at the burial service which occurred on Wednesday afternoon, July 5, a short service conducted by Rev. Seeley of the Congregational Church and Rev. Johnson of the Methodist Church at the home and interment in the Blair Cemetery where the beautiful and touching ceremony of the Odd Fellow was performed.

To our friend and counceller who has gone before we bow our head in sorrow with those of the family and in the life that he lead among the people of Blair we trust that his ideas of honor and justice to all his faithfulness in the little things as well as the big that go to make life worth while and his nobility of character may be emulated by all who have come in contact with him.

Besides the aged widow, he leaves to mourn him the two daughters and one son mentioned previously, several grandchildren and other relatives.

~~~ Obituaries courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.~~~

Printed in the Blair Pilot on 7/5/1922