John F. Cook Socorro County, New Mexico

John F. Cook, who died in Socorro February 17, 1906, had located there in 1881, coming to New Mexico from Pueblo, Colorado. He was born and reared in Washington county, Virginia, his natal day being June 29, 1842. In the place of his nativity he was educated and he learned the carpenter's trade in the old Dominion. At the outbreak of the Civil war, in 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate service as a private of Company D, First Virginia Cavalry, with which he was connected until December, 1861. He then re-enlisted for the remainder of the war in Stewart's Artillery, and missed only two important battles in the operations of the armies in the east. With his command he surrendered at Appomattox, being at that time with the army under Lee.

When the war was over Mr. Cook went to Missouri and followed farming in that state and in Kansas. He then went to Colorado and was engaged in carpentering at Pueblo. In the meantime he had been married, near Parsons, Kansas, in 1875, to Miss Annetta Fisher, and to them was born a son, George E. Cook.

On leaving Colorado in 1881, Mr. Cook located in Socorro, where he began business as a contractor and carpenter. He assisted in the construction of the smelter, and after it was opened he continued as boss carpenter for two years. He was then chosen deputy sheriff of Socorro County, filling the office until 1892, in which year he took charge of the smelter as guard of the property and agent for the St. Louis Smelting & Refining Company in the Territory, which position he held until his death. He was also connected with the cattle business, having clone operations in this line in 1894, and in the eighties he prospected to some extent, but his attention in later years was confined to his duties in connection with the smelting company and to his cattle interests.

Mr. Cook was a thirty-second degree Mason. He belonged to Rio Grande Lodge No. 9, A. F. & A. M., at Albuquerque; the Santa Fe Lodge of Perfection No. 1, and the Consistory, and was also a member of the Mystic Shrine at Albuquerque. He had membership relations with the Elks Lodge No. 461 at Albuquerque, and in politics was a stalwart Democrat. 

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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