Rutherford B. Hayes Collections

Collection ID: HAYES-3
Location: HAYES-3

(Description ID: 594029)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums 

John Joseph Cook 


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

The John Joseph Cook Collection consists of 287 letters preserved by the John Joseph and Marthesia Baldwin Cook family of Blackford County, Indiana. John Joseph was an uncle to Lucy Webb Hayes. The collection includes numerous letters from Lucy and Rutherford B. Hayes as well as their daughter, Fanny Hayes. Additional Cook family correspondence can be found in the Rutherford B. Hayes Papers. The collection also includes correspondence from several Cook relatives written during their Civil War service: Edward Baldwin Cook who served in the 130th Indiana; Bates Millard Cook, 21st Ohio Independent Battery, Light Artillery; Isaac Nelson, 89th Ohio; and James Cook McKell of the 173rd Ohio.

Biographical Sketch
John Joseph Cook, son of Isaac Cook and brother to Maria Cook Webb (mother of Lucy Webb Hayes) was born May 28, 1809, at Willow Branch, Union Township, Ross County, Ohio. In 1839, he married Marthesia Baldwin at the Regular Baptist Church in Blackford County, Indiana. County surveyor, postmaster, and the second clerk of courts, Cook also farmed in Harrison Twp. He and Marthesia were the parents of five children: Maria Webb, Rhoda P., Edward Baldwin, Bates Millard, and Marthesia B. Following Marthesia's death in 1855, John Joseph married Elizabeth Holliday, widow of attorney Joseph W. Holliday. Two children, Adaliza Scott ("Adda") and Joseph, were born before Elizabeth died in 1861. John Joseph remained in Blackford County until his death in 1880.

Scope and Content
The collection is composed primarily of the correspondence of the immediate family and relatives of John Joseph and Marthesia Baldwin Cook. The two hundred eighty-seven letters span the years from 1837 to 1909, and were probably preserved by John Joseph's eldest child, Maria Webb Cook. The collection includes fifteen letters from Lucy Webb Hayes, three from Rutherford B. Hayes, eleven from Dr. Joe T. Webb, brother of Lucy, and six from Fanny, daughter of Rutherford B. and Lucy Webb Hayes. The correspondence documents and provides insights into the extended family relationships of Lucy Webb Hayes' mother, Maria Cook Webb. Both Lucy and her mother, Maria Cook Webb, are mentioned frequently in correspondence between Lucy's aunts and uncles.

The collection also includes handwritten and typed transcripts of Marthesia Baldwin Cook's narrative of her family's journey from Vermont to Indiana in 1836, letters to John and Marthesia Cook (1837-1857), poetry of Marthesia Cook (1834-1852), and a daily journal kept by John J. Cook (1872-1874). A portion of the transcripts were part of the original collection when acquired by the Hayes Presidential Center, while others, including the typed transcripts, were produced by the Hayes Presidential Center. Twenty-eight original photographs of members of the Hayes, Cook, Baldwin, and Boggs families, as well as newspaper clippings on the Cook, McKell, Scott, Boggs, and Baldwin families round out the collection. The collection is arranged with each author's correspondence appearing in an individual folder. Any existing transcriptions or photocopies appear in a separate folder immediately following the original documents. The finding aid provides a brief biographical note for each known correspondent, the number of letters, and the span dates of each. An item level listing, located at the repository, is also available for each correspondent's letters.

Ac. 5250
287 items 

1. Lucy Ware Webb Hayes [1831-1889], daughter of Dr. James Webb and Maria Cook. Married Rutherford B. Hayes in 1852. Correspondence includes fifteen letters [1846-1883] primarily directed to her uncle, John Joseph Cook and/or his daughters Maria and Marthesia Cook. Transcriptions only. Original documents placed in the LWH outgoing correspondence.

2. Rutherford B. Hayes, nineteenth President of the United States [1822-1893], and son of Rutherford Hayes, Jr. and Sophia Birchard. Married Lucy Ware Webb in 1852. Correspondence [1870-1892] includes three letters, two of which are addressed to Lucy's uncle, John Joseph Cook, and a single letter to Cook's daughter, Maria Cook. Transcriptions only. Original documents placed in the RBH outgoing correspondence.

3. Fanny Hayes [1857-1950], daughter of Rutherford B. Hayes and Lucy Ware Webb. Six letters [1889-1893] addressed to her second cousins, Maria and Marthesia Cook, daughters of John Joseph Cook. Transcriptions only. Original documents placed in the Fanny Hayes correspondence.

4. Dr. Joseph Thompson Webb [1827-1880], son of Dr. James Webb and Maria Cook, and brother of Lucy Webb Hayes. Served as the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry regimental surgeon, and later appointed to the superintendency of the Longview Insane Asylum [1871-1874] at Carthage, Ohio. Ten letters [1846-1880], addressed to his uncle, John Joseph Cook. Transcriptions only. Original documents placed in the Joseph T. Webb correspondence.

5. John Joseph Cook [1809-1880]. Three letters [1850-1856], including two addressed to his first wife Marthesia, and one letter to his eldest daughter Maria Cook. Also included are vital records of Cook's immediate family members, several legal documents, and transcriptions of his daily journal [1872-1874].

6. Marthesia Baldwin Cook [ ? -1855]. Two letters [1851] to her husband John Joseph Cook. Transcription of account of journey by residents of Goshen, Vermont to Baldwinville, Indiana in 1836 as well as that of poems by Marthesia Baldwin Cook. Transcriptions.

7. Maria Webb Cook [1841- ?]. Eldest child of John Joseph and Marthesia Baldwin Cook who was born at Blackford County, Indiana. Three letters [1896-1905] to Addah Cook, daughter of Bates and Mary Cook [?]. Transcriptions.

8. Edward Baldwin Cook [1845-1864]. Third child and elder son of John Joseph and Marthesia Baldwin Cook, born near Hartford City, Blackford County, Indiana, and died November 23, 1864 of typhoid fever at Chattanooga, Tennessee during the Atlanta Campaign. He was buried at the National Cemetery at Chattanooga. "Ed," at the age of eighteen, enlisted as a private in Company I of the 130th Indiana Volunteer Infantry on March 1, 1864 at Kokomo, Indiana. He died unmarried. Forty-nine letters [1864] written to his father or to his sister, Maria Cook, during his Civil War service, and two additional letters, addressed to his family, regarding military pay and personal effects, are included. Photocopies and transcriptions.

9. Bates Millard Cook [1847- ?] Fourth child and second son of John Joseph and Marthesia Baldwin Cook, born at Blackford County, Indiana. Bates enlisted as a private for a term of three years in the 21st Ohio Independent Battery, Light Artillery, on February 28, 1863. He was wounded at Walker's Ford near Knoxville, Tennessee in December of 1863. Bates mustered out of the service July 21, 1865. He married in December of 1876 at Hartford City, Indiana, to Mary J. [ ? ]. Their children were Emma, Adah, and George Scott. Around 1880, they left Indiana to settle near San Jose, California, and, a short time later, Los Gatos, California. Fifty-seven letters [1863-1867] addressed to his father or his sister, Maria, written during his Civil War service. These include several post-war letters regarding his discharge. A second series of letters, including two transcriptions, [1874-1909], directed to his father and sister, Maria Cook, as well as a second sister, Marthesia Cook, essentially covers the years that Bates and his family resided in California. Transcriptions.

10. Mary ? [ ] Wife of Bates Millard Cook. Married Bates M. Cook in 1876 at Hartford City, Indiana. Twenty-one letters to her sisters-in-law in Indiana [1877-1894], of which thirteen were written after the family moved to California. Transcriptions.

11. Adah, Bessie, and George Cook. [Adah, 1879; Bessie, 1884; George, 1885] Three of the four children of Bates and Mary Cook. A fourth child, Emma, died in December of 1880. Fifteen letters [1890-1905] addressed to their Aunt Maria Cook. Transcriptions

12. Adaliza Scott [Adda] Cook. [1858-1891] First child from the marriage of John Joseph Cook and Elizabeth Holliday [1828-1861]. Adda married Ralph Walter Huntington of Norwalk, Ohio on January 4, 1887, at Spiegel Grove, Fremont, Ohio. They first lived at Moss Point, Mississippi, and then at Cincinnati, Ohio. Lucy Elliot Keeler writes "Left motherless while a very little child, ... she came from Hartford City, Indiana to Kingston, Ohio, to reside with an aunt. She was brought up with a great family of cousins, learning among them many of her attractive qualities... In the summer of 1882, she came to Fremont at the desire of her cousin, Mrs. Hayes; was adopted by General and Mrs. Hayes as a niece, and lived as one of the family until the time of her marriage." Fourteen letters [1867-1893], primarily addressed to her father, John Joseph Cook and to her half sisters, Maria and Marthesia Cook. Transcriptions [See also Adda Cook Huntington transcription binder].

13. J. W. Holliday. [ ] Attorney and first husband of Elizabeth Holliday (Elizabeth became the wife of John Joseph Cook, following J. W. Holliday's death). Four letters [1847-1854] three of which were written during Holliday's military service during the Mexican War. Lived in Hartford City, Indiana and may have moved later to Indianapolis, Indiana.

14. Phebe Cook McKell [1813-1901] Sister of John Joseph Cook and Maria Cook Webb [and therefore, aunt of Lucy Webb Hayes]. Three letters [1839-1864] to her brother John Joseph Cook. Phebe married in 1836 at Willow Branch, Ross County, Ohio to William McKell. They were the parents of thirteen children. Phebe died at Chillicothe, Ohio. Three letters [1839-1864] are addressed to her brother John Joseph Cook, one of which contains a postscript written by brother William Cook. Another letter is a partial excerpt from an 1862 letter written by Frank Cook during the Civil War. Transcriptions.

15. James Cook McKell [1837- ?] Son of Phebe Cook and William McKell, and therefore nephew of John Joseph Cook enlisted in the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, serving from October of 1861 to January of 1865. McKell was wounded at the Second Battle of Bull Run, and also served at Resaca and the Atlanta Campaign. Married Emma Thorpe in 1867 at Burlington, Iowa. They moved to Omaha, Nebraska in 1889 where Jim was a dealer in china ware. Sixteen letters [1857-1897] of which fourteen were written to his cousin Maria Cook during the Civil War. An 1897 letter to Maria indicated he was about to move to Des Moines, Iowa. Transcriptions and photocopies.

16. Joseph Scott McKell [1846- ?] Son of Phebe Cook and William McKell and therefore nephew of John Joseph Cook. Married Helen Mary McCandless in 1881. One letter [1903] to his cousin Maria Cook. Transcription.

17. Margaret Scott Cook Boggs [1817-1887] Sister of John Joseph Cook [and Maria Cook Webb and therefore aunt of Lucy Webb Hayes]. Margaret married in 1841 Moses Boggs of Pickaway County, Ohio. They resided at Elmwood Farm near Kingston in Ross County, Ohio, and were the parents of six children. Adda Cook Huntington, John Joseph Cook's daughter by his second marriage, grew up in this family. Fourteen letters [1837-1864] to her brother John and his first wife Marthesia Baldwin Cook. Transcriptions and photocopies.

18.Matthew Scott Cook [1803-1882] Elder brother of John Joseph Cook [and Maria Cook Webb, and therefore aunt of Lucy Webb Hayes]. Matthew was a Ross County, Ohio farmer, banker, and state legislator. In 1840, Matthew married Eleanor Worthington Tiffin, daughter of Ohio Governor Edward Tiffin. They were the parents of nine children. Seven letters [1842-1862] to his brother John Joseph Cook. Transcriptions and photocopies.

19. Isaac Nelson [1840-19 ] Son of Elizabeth Thompson Cook and John Nelson [and therefore a nephew of John Joseph Cook and Maria Cook Webb, and cousin of Lucy Webb Hayes]. Seventeen letters [1863-1900] of which a portion was written during his Civil War service as a captain in the 89th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was with Sherman on his March to the Sea.

20. John T. Webb [1805-? ] John Thompson Webb was a younger brother to Lucy Webb Hayes' father, James Webb, M.D. He inherited 1000 acres on Paint Creek (probably Ross and Pike Counties of Ohio) from his father and mother, Isaac and Lucy Ware Webb. One letter [1837].

21. J. T. Cook [ ] Cousin of Maria Cook, daughter of John Joseph Cook. One letter [1894].

22. E. L. Cook [ ] One letter. [1860].

23. Rhoda Plant Baldwin Spaulding [ ] Mother of Marthesia Baldwin Cook, first wife of John Joseph Cook. One letter [1852]. Transcriptions: see Susan and Isaac Spaulding file (28a)

24. Charles P. Baldwin [ ] Brother of Marthesia Baldwin Cook, first wife of John Joseph Cook. Five letters [1844-1853]. Transcriptions: see Susan and Isaac Spaulding file (28a)

25. Edward P. Baldwin [ ] Brother of Martheseia Baldwin Cook, first wife of John Joseph Cook. Three letters [1847-1851.Transcriptions: see Susan and Isaac Spaulding file (28a)

26. Henry Clay Baldwin [ ] Brother of Marthesia Baldwin Cook, first wife of John Joseph Cook. Four letters [1851-1905].Transcriptions: see Susan and Isaac Spaulding file (28a)

27. Rhoda Baldwin Perry [ ] Sister of Marthesia Baldwin Cook, first wife of John Joseph Cook. Four letters [1839-1854].Transcriptions: see Susan and Isaac Spaulding file (28a)

28. Susan and Isaac Spaulding [ ] Perhaps Susan Spaulding was a sister to Abel Baldwin, and therefore an aunt of Marthesia Baldwin Cook, first wife of John Joseph Cook. Two letters [1837].

28a. Transcriptions for Edward P., Henry C., Charles P., Rhoda Perry, and Rhoda Spaulding.

29. Abel, J. A., and John J. Baldwin [ ] Cousins of Maria Cook through her maternal line [that of Marthesia Baldwin Cook]. Three letters [1890-1897].

30. Jessie A. Cook and Alma L. Handley [ ] Two letters [1888]. Transcriptions.

31. M. E. Rockwell [ ] Cousin of Maria Cook. One letter [1898]. Transcriptions.

32. E. H. Smith [ ] One letter [1885]. Transcription.

33. H. D. Marcy and Mary Marcy [ ] Cousin of Maria Cook. Two letters [1895-1901].

34. Q. A. R. Holton [ ] Cousin of Maria Cook. Four letters [1887-1894]. Transcriptions.

35. Fannie Holton Kirkman [ ] Two letters [1888-1890].Transcriptions.

36. Miscellaneous. Transcriptions.

37. Family Histories. Boggs, Rutherford and Lucy Webb Hayes, Harvey and Mary Marcy, Cook Scott, McKell, and Baldwin Families. Transcriptions.


Edward P. Baldwin
John Coffen Baldwin
Dr. J. R. Baldwin
M. D. Baldwin
Rhoda Baldwin
John Boggs
Margaret Scott Cook Boggs
Moses Boggs
Samuel Boggs
Lucy Wall Cook Boggs
Bates Cook
Charlie Cook
Katie Cook
Maria Cook - Bessie Cook
Mary A. Cook
J. J. Cooke (died 1852)
Lucy Webb Hayes
Fannie Hayes
Scott Russel Hayes and nurse Winnie
Adda Cook (Huntington) x 2
Ralph W. Huntington
Mrs. Matt Jones
Captain James C. McKell
Mrs. Sarah Plant Russell
Thompson Scott
Cynthia Smith
Bob Stevenson
Dr. J. D. Webb
Dr. Joe T. Webb
Hartford City, Indiana view
Miscellaneous and unidentified