The History of Otsego County, New York


D. Hamilton Hurd

Published by Everts & Fariss, Philadelphia


COOKE, James H - Springfield

Among the worthy Pioneers of Otsego County was Abner COOKE, 
grandfather of James H., a native of Dartmouth, Mass., born Oct. 6, 
1768. He settled in the northern part of the present town of 
Springfield in the year 1788. He remained on his original location for 
a few years, and then removed to the farm now owned and occupied 
by the subject of this sketch. His family consisted of six children, 
viz., Mrs. Susan CONANT, John, Paul, Thomas, Abner, Jr., and 
Daniel. Mr. Cooke was a pioneer inn-keeper, and the first 
"pettifogger" in Springfield. He was the graduate of no law school, 
neither had he sat under the tutelage of a Livingston, a Kent, or a 
Walworth; but he was possessed of a quick perception, coupled with 
sound judgment and indomitable will, which caused him to be sought 
after by the early litigants, and many of the pioneer attorneys who 
had been trained in the "black-lettered lore" found in Abner Cooke a 
foeman worthy of their steel. His death occurred on the homestead 
farm, March 18, 1853.
Abner Cooke, Jr., father of James H., was a prominent and 
and influential citizen. He was elected clerk of the county of Otsego 
in 1829, which office he held two terms. He subsequently moved to 
New York and entered upon the practice of law. He afterwards 
became a resident of Texas, and was chosen chief-justice of that 
State. He died, leaving the following children, viz.: William N., 
residing at San Antonio, Texas; Mrs. Catherine Cornelia PIERCE, 
residing in Boston; Commander A. P. Cooke, of the U. S. Navy; 
James H., and Mrs. Ann THOMPSON, residing in Springfield. 
Martha Frances Cooke, a daughter, died at the age of twelve years.
James H. Cooke was born in Springfield in 1841, and is still a 
resident of the town. He ever manifests an interest in all matters 
pertaining to the public welfare, and is regarded as one of the 
enterprising and substantial citizens of the county. He is a 
communicant of the Episcopal church, and is senior warden of 
St. Paul's church, Springfield.

Excerpt from History of Otsego Co., NY, page 332


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