West Milton Selectman Martin V.B. Cook (1838-1891)

By Muriel Bristol | August 20, 2021

Martin Van Buren Cook was born in Milton, November 16, 1838, son of Joseph and Rebecca (Ricker) Cook.

Martin V.B. Cook was obviously a namesake for the eighth U.S. President, Martin Van Buren, who held that office between 1837 and 1841. Cook’s father, Joseph Cook, was presumably an admirer and likely a Democrat. (Naming people after presidents and other political figures was much more common in the nineteenth century than it is currently). Van Buren was President Andrew Jackson’s hand-picked successor. The inflationary banking Panic of 1837 cast a shadow over his presidency and he was not reelected.

M.V.B. Cook’s mother, Rebecca (Ricker) Cook, died in 1843. His father, Joseph Cook, married (2nd) in Milton, December 28, 1843, Lydia Blaisdell, both of Milton. Elder Jacob Davis performed the ceremony. She was born in Lebanon, ME, circa 1807, daughter of Enoch Blaisdell.

Joseph Cook, a farmer, aged fifty-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Lydia Cook, aged fifty-three years (b. NH [SIC]), M.A. Cook, aged twenty-three years (b. NH), M.V.B. Cook, a farmer, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), and Joseph Kenney, a farm laborer, aged twenty-one years (b. NH). Joseph Cook had real estate valued at $6,000 and personal estate valued at $3,000. Their household was enumerated between those of Henry Varney, a farmer, aged thirty years (b. NH) and Stephen Twombly, a farmer, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH).

M.V.B. Cook appeared in the Milton business directory of 1869-70, as a Milton justice-of-the-peace. (Joseph Cook appeared also as a justice-of-the-peace).

The Milton School Superintendents of 1869 were James Doldt, M.V.B. Cook, and James W. Applebee. (Rev. James Doldt (1809-1886) was a Congregational minister; and James W. Applebee (1844-1931) was a Milton teacher).

Joseph Cook, a farmer, aged sixty-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lydia Cook, keeping house, aged sixty-three years (b. ME), Mary A Cook, a teacher, aged thirty-two years (b. NH), Martin V.B. Cook, a farm laborer, aged thirty years (b. NH). Joseph Cook had real estate valued at $5,000 and personal estate valued at $1,765. Martin V.B. Cook had real estate valued at $800 and personal estate valued at $300. Their household was enumerated between those of James H. Varney, a farmer, aged forty years (b. NH) and Stephen Twombly, a farmer, aged sixty-six years (b. NH).

Martin V.B. Cook married in Wakefield, NH, December 27, 1870, Lizzie S. “Sarah” Sanborn, he of Milton and she of Acton, ME. He was a farmer, aged thirty-two years, and she was aged thirty-two years. Rev. Nathaniel Barker performed the ceremony. She was born in Acton, ME, September 11, 1838, daughter of Luther and Abigail (Berry) Sanborn.

Daughter Nellie A. Cook was born in Milton, May 31, 1872.

M.V.B. Cook appeared in the Milton business directories of 1873, 1874, and 1880, as a Milton justice-of-the-peace. (Joseph Cook appeared also as a justice-of-the-peace in those years and 1875, 1876, and 1880).

Daughter Argie Cook and son Archie Cook, twins, were stillborn in Milton, March 30, 1874.

The Milton School Superintendents of 1875 were G.W. Olney, M.V.B. Cook, and J.F. Joy. (George W. Olney (1840-1894) was a woolen mill superintendent; and Rev. Joseph F. Joy (1838-1912) was a Free-Will Baptist minister).

Martin V.B. Cook replied to an 1876 NH state education question, with a description of the new Milton Mills school building. (See Milton in NH Education Report, 1876).

The Milton School Superintendents of 1876 were M.V.B. Cook, J.N. Lowell, Freeman H. Lowd. (Rev. John N. Lowell (1846-1903) was a Congregational minister; and Freeman H. Lowd (1853-1933) was a clerk and bookkeeper (his wife was a daughter of Ira Miller)).

Daughter Bertha E. Clerk was born in Milton, in 1877. Daughter Nellie A. Cook died of consumption of the blood in Milton, July 24, 1878, aged six years.

The Milton Selectmen of 1878-79 were C.C. Hayes, Asa A. Fox, and M.V.B. Cook. (Charles C. Hayes (1822-1893) was a farmer and setter of water wheels; Asa A. Fox (1837-1913) was a Milton Mills carpenter (and a son of Asa Fox)).

Joseph Cook, a farmer, aged seventy-one years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Lydia Cook, keeping house, aged seventy-three years (b. ME), his son, Martin V.B. Cook, a farmer (b. NH), aged forty-one years, his daughter-in-law, Sarah E. Cook, keeping house, aged forty-one years (b. ME), and his granddaughter, Bertha Cook, aged three years (b. NH). Their household was enumerated between those of James H. Varney, a farmer, aged fifty years (b. NH), and Deborah Pike, keeping house, aged seventy-nine years (b. NH).

M.V.B. Cook appeared in the Milton business directories of 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, and 1889, as a Milton justice-of-the-peace.

The Milton Board of Education of 1887 was John Simes, Luther Hayes, and Martin V.B. Cook. (John U. Simes (1836-1927) was a Milton Mills merchant; Hon. Luther Hayes (1820-1895) was a lumber manufacturer).

M.V.B. Cook’s step-mother, Lydia (Blaisdell) Cook, died of lung congestion in Milton, October 28, 1890, aged eighty-three years, five months, and twenty-eight days.

DIED. In Farmington, Oct. 29, Lydia Cook, aged 83 years, 5 months and 27 days (Farmington News, October 31, 1890).

WEST MILTON. M.V.B. Cook continues to draw wood into town (Farmington News, December 26, 1890).

WEST MILTON. M.V.B. Cook is quite ill with rheumatic fever (Farmington News, December 4, 1891).

Martin V.B. Cook died of Bright’s Disease in Milton, December 21, 1891, aged fifty-three years, and one month. J.E. Scruton, M.D., of Union, [Wakefield,] NH, signed the death certificate.

M.V.B. Cook’s father, Joseph Cook, died of cystitis in Milton, August 12, 1892, aged eighty-three years, and two months. John P. Elkins, M.D., of Farmington, NH, signed the death certificate.

LOCALS. Joseph Cook of West Milton died last Friday at his home (Farmington News, August 19, 1892).

WEST MILTON. The M.V.B. Cook place is said to have been sold to Mr. Kimball and spring work is being done there (Farmington News, May 2o, 1898).

Daughter Bertha E. (Cook) Drawbridge married in Union, Wakefield, NH, June 11, 1899, Edward F. Drawbridge, she of Milton and he of Middleton, NH. He was a clerk, aged twenty-six years, and she was a milliner, aged twenty-two years. Rev. Robert H. Drawbridge performed the ceremony. She was not well and died of Bright’s Disease in Milton, less than a month later, July 6, 1899, aged twenty-two years, three months, and twenty-one years. Charles W. Gross, M.D., signed the death certificate.

WEST MILTON. On last Sunday relatives and other friends of the late Martin V. Cook went from this neighborhood to Milton Mills to attend the funeral of Mrs. Bertha Cook Drawbridge, formerly of West Milton. The Rev E.W. Churchill was the officiating clergyman, and singing was given by a mixed quartette. A great many persons were present in the large house which had been the home of the deceased, and others were in the grounds, and many beautiful flowers breathed of sympathy felt for the widowed mother, a woman held in deep respect, who mourns the loss of the last of her family, the death of the latter having been preceded by that of Mrs. Cook’s twin children, of a little daughter named [Nellie] Lizzie, and of their father. These having been removed some time ago from a private cemetery to the public enclosure near the Cutts place in Milton Mills. Mrs. Drawbridge was interred in the latter grounds. She attended in her girlhood the Nute high school, after leaving the district school, remaining as a pupil in the high school until an affection [affliction] of her eyes compelled her to relinquish her studies. She was twenty two years of age last March (Farmington News, July 14, 1899).

Administrator’s Notice. The subscriber hereby gives notice that he has been duly appointed administrator of the estate of Martin V.B. Cook, late of Milton, deceased, Intestate. All persons indebted to said estate are requested to make immediate payment, and all having claims to present them to the subscriber for adjustment. EDWARD F. DRAWBRIDGE, Administrator. Middleton, N.H., September 18, 1899. 29 (Farmington News, September 22, 1899).

William F. Cutts, a farmer, aged sixty-nine years (b. ME), headed a Milton household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his sister-in-law, Sarah E. Cook, a housekeeper, aged sixty-one years (b. ME). William F. Cutts owned their farm, free-and-clear. Their household was enumerated between those of Lincoln Goodwin, a farmer, aged thirty-nine years (b. ME), and Arastus B. Shaw, a carpenter, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH).

Mrs. Martin V.B. Cook appeared in the Milton directories of 1900, and 1902, as having her house ½ mile south of Milton Mills. (William F. Cutts appeared also as a farmer, ½ mile south of Milton Mills).

M.V.B. Cook’s sister, Mary Ann Cook, died of apoplexy, i.e., a stroke, in North Rochester, NH, September 17, 1904. M.A.H. Hart, M.D., signed the death certificate.

WEST MILTON. Mrs. Lizzie Cook of Milton Mills is visiting Mrs. Annie Cook (Farmington News, September 1, 1905).

J. Frank Farnham, an excelsior manufacturer, aged fifty years (b. ME), headed a Wakefield (“Union Village”) household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Ora E. [(Cutts)] Farnham, aged fifty-one years (b. ME), his daughter, Hazel A. Farnham, aged sixteen years (b. NH), and his boarder, Sarah L. Cook,  a widow (own income), aged seventy years (b. NH). Ora E. Farnham was the mother of two children, of whom two were still living. Sarah L. Cook was the mother of three children, of whom none were till living.

West Milton. Mrs. Lizzie Cook of Union, a former resident, is visiting Mrs. Annie Cook this week (Farmington News, May 10, 1912).

Annie E. (Davis) Cook (1851-1927) was the widow of Ira A. Cook (1843-1898). Her West Milton residence was known as “Maple Cottage.” It was situated on the Middleton road, so called, in the second house north of the Farmington road. That is to say, she lived on what is now called Governor’s road, two houses from its intersection with what is now NH Rte. 75). She entertained guests and boarders (boarders being usually Nute Ridge or West Milton schoolteachers), and she was active in local school activities.

West Milton. Mrs. Lizzie Cook of Union is visiting Mrs. Annie Cook the present week (Farmington News, June 21, 1912).

West Milton. Mrs. Lizzie Cook and Mrs. Frank Farnum of Milton Mills were guests at Maple Cottage on Tuesday (Farmington News, September 27, 1912).

West Milton. Mrs. Annie Cook is visiting her friend, Mrs. Lizzie Cook, at Union this week (Farmington News, April 4, 1913).

West Milton. Mrs. Annie Cook was the guest of Mrs. Lizzie Cook at Union one day last week. On Saturday the former Mrs. Cook visited her aunt, Mrs. Sophia Boyden of Dover (Farmington News, March 6, 1914).

Lizzie S. “Sarah” (Sanborn) Cook died of interstitial nephritis in Union, Wakefield, NH, June 4, 1914, aged seventy-five years, eight months, and twenty-three days. She had been resident there for twenty years, with her previous residence in neighboring Milton. Charles C. Rogers, M.D., of Farmington, NH, signed the death certificate.

WEST MILTON. The old friends and neighbors of former resident Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Cook were grieved to learn of her death, which occurred at the home of her niece and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Farnum of Union, Last Thursday morning. Death followed a short illness at the age of 76 years. The deceased was born in Acton, Me., the daughter of Luther and Abbie (Berry) Sanborn. She was the widow of Martin V.B. Cook of this town, whom she survived about twenty-two years. Mrs. Cook passed many years at the old Cook homestead, now owned by C.P. Grace. She was a woman of gentle and motherly kindness, possessed of a Christian character and the attributes of a high and noble purpose. Many among us have reason to remember her by these qualities. Funeral was held from the home last Sunday afternoon, with a large attendance of relatives and friends and a profusion of beautiful floral tributes (Farmington News, June 12, 1914).

References:

Find a Grave. (2013, August 13). Martin V.B. Cook. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115375461/martin-v.b-cook

Find a Grave. (2013, August 13). Bertha Cook Drawbridge. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115375165/bertha-drawbridge

Wikipedia. (2021, August 10). Martin Van Buren. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Van_Buren

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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