Historical Details

Cook, Edmond M. Family History

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 11/16/2020


by Julia Cook

Edmond M. Cook, representative rancher of Lusk, Niobrara County, Wyoming, is owner of the Cook Ranch, which was homesteaded by his father, along with additional lands and many improvements.   Mr. Cook raises commercial grade Hereford cattle. His brands are EC and EC bar. At present he runs a herd of 350 head of cattle on his 6,000-acre ranch, which is located 15 miles north­ east of Lusk.

Edmond M. Cook was born on April 6, 1910, in Converse County, the part that is now Niobrara County, Wyo. His parents were Edmond Alfred and Christina Mill Cook.

Edmond Alfred Cook was born at Ripon, Wisc. to James A. and Alma Lucinda Lee Cook on May 2, 1869. Edmond A. Cook was a prominent figure in the progress of the development of eastern Wyoming. He served on the school boards, and also as County Commissioner, was one of the early members and Past Masters of Harmony Lodge No. 24, A.F. and A.M. of Lusk, a 32nd degree Consistory member and a Nobel of the Mystic Shrine.   He was a stagecoach driver on the Cheyenne Deadwood stage line, was a veteran of the Spanish-American War, served in the Philippine Islands as a teamster and wagon master, in general, immediate charge of all wheeled and pack transportation of General Arthur McArthur's division of the 8th Army Corp.  This was during his successful campaign from Manila to San Fernando. He left the Army, after three years’ service in the Philippine Islands, and a short tour of China and Japan, and returned to Wyoming and was employed by Joe Gantz as foreman of the Box X ranch.  He soon homesteaded and started the nucleus of the ranching business which he operated for 20 years. He raised horses which required high built corrals, many of the big pine pitch posts are still in use, having been reset.  When the scab was prevalent on cattle, he had a commercial dipping vat. He sheared sheep, painted buggies and houses, enjoyed playing the banjo and other musical instruments.  He passed away on Feb. 3, 1926.  Edmond M. Cook's mother was of a prominent pioneer family in Niobrara County, Christina Mill was born on May 20, 1885, in Des Moines, Iowa.  Her parents were Jacob and Philliphena Kappleman Mill. Her father came to the United States from Baden, Germany, as a youth to South Dakota.

In 1891 the family made the trip to Wyoming in a covered wagon. She attended grade school at Hat Creek and high school in Chadron, Nebr. Edmond A. Cook and Christina Mill were married on March 29, 1905, in Lusk, Wyo. She now makes her home in Lusk, with a daughter, Helen Cook Strube. Edmond M. Cook attended public schools in Niobrara County, Wyoming.   He was with the Civilian Conservation Corporation camp at Pinedale, Wyo. and on to Saugus, Calif. camp 1334 during 1933-34, his rating was teamster and assistant supply sergeant. The CCC boys were transported to Pinedale, Wyo. in a truck donated by S. W. (Dade) Boyd and driven by Joe (Dutch) Miller. He was employed by the Continental Production at Lance Creek from 1937-42, he then came to full time ranching.

Edmond M. Cook married the former Julia Mae Black, daughter of Hugh and Julia Baxter Black of Bright, Wyo. on Sept. 26, 1935 in Harrison, Nebr.    Her father was born at Dorseyville, Pa. Feb. 2, 1868.  As a young man Mr. Black went to Washington, Iowa. Later on to California, where he attended school for two and a half years. Returning to Colorado, he settled in Wash­ ington County. On Sept. 2, 1905 he was married to Julia L. Baxter of Holbrook, Nebr. in Denver, Colo.  She was born at Clearmont, Mo. Feb. 12, 1882 to Benjamin and Ernaline Shanklin Baxter. She moved with her parents, by wagon to Holbrook, Nebr. in 1886 where she grew to womanhood. She taught two years in schools near Akron, Colo.  They resided in Akron, Colo. until 1918. Mr. Black was a Presbyterian, a member of the Masonic Lodge No. 74 of Akron, Colo. Mrs. Black was a life member of the Martha Washington Chapter, Order of Eastern Star of Akron, Colo.

Enroute to the homestead in northern part of Niobrara County, Wyoming they spent a school term at Edgemont, S.D. Central School District No. II having been established, Julia Mae attended this school all through eight grades, attended high school and became a beautician in Lusk.      It being a three-day trip to town by wagon for supplies Mrs. Black remained at the homestead, and at one period had never been to town for seven years. Their address was Warren, Wyo, later changed to Bright.

Mr. and Mrs. Cook have a son, Edmond Arthur.  He attended schools in Niobrara County and was graduated from Wyoming Uni­ versity in 1957 with a major in agriculture. Through a 4-H membership he received a scholarship to Wyoming University, was a member of Farm House and Alpha Zeta Honor­ ary Fraternity.    He served with the U.S. Army for two years. Later returned to the University of Wyoming, received a Master’s Degree in animal science.  He is now a County Agent at Stapleton, Nebr.    He mar­ ried the former Vina Lacy and they have a daughter, Tena Lea.

Mr. Cook is a former member of the school board for District No. I, Niobrara County, and a former member of the Agricultural Soil Conservation Board. He was chairman of the Niobrara County Fair Board, a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, a member of the Wyoming Water Development Association, a member of the Stock Growers Association, a board member of the Niobrara County Historical Society and Stagecoach Museum. Mr. and Mrs. Cook are both Charter members of the Niobrara County Historical Society. When cars first came in use he helped many an old timer with their new gas buggy.  Mrs. Cook is a former 4-H Leader, is a past president and member of the community Ladies Club, is a past president and member of the Cowbelles Group 4; her hobby centers around sewing, home arts and crafts.

Mr. Cook's hobby centers around horses. He has a chariot and beautifully trained team of horses which he has used for chariot racing at various fairs and events in Wyoming and Nebraska. He has placed first in many such races.   Mr. Cook runs a fine operation, he is considered one of the leading ranchers in his area. He and his family are active in many community affairs and are respected by all who know them.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Cook, Edmond (04/06/1910 - 04/03/1984) View Record
Obituary Cook, Julia (02/14/1915 - 03/30/1993) View Record