|Birth: ||May 13, 1901|
|Death: ||Jan. 10, 1977|
Santa Clara County
Charles Rolland Cook was born 13 May 1901 in Redmond, Sevier, Utah to Charles Riley and Hannah Caroline Munson Cook.
Although Dad was only able to go through the 8th grade of school before being sent into the coal mines of Utah at the age of 14, there wasnít anything he couldnít do and did do through his life as will be iterated all through this bio on him. At the time, he went into the mines his father remained on top as he was an accomplished Blacksmith which was the profession of many of the Cook men. Dad too became an accomplished Blacksmith later when an adult. After working in the mines for around three years or so he contracted consumption and was banned from the mines. His next job was with the railroad. Dad did various jobs for the railroad eventually becoming an apprentice engineer.
His mother was quite ill by now so he was at her beck and call on his off time. He told me that grandmother loved her ale and would have him fetch a pail for her daily until her death when Dad was 17.
Whether it was grief or that grandfather didnít know or what, but Dad was assigned the job of caregiver for his four siblings. He did everything that was needed for them regardless of what it might be. Grandfather saw to it there was food and clothes available but Dad did everything else as well as working. Grandfather would allow Dad 50 cents of his salary but kept the rest for needs of the family as well as his gambling which he loved, although not very good at it.
When Dad was 21 he decided to leave to follow his best friend, Gentry Pine, to California. Sometime before this Gentry had gone to Palo Alto, California to visit our Aunt Frankie. When Dad arrived in California he went to Aunt Frankieís to see Gentry. While there my mother apparently was there and Dad said that up to this time he had no interest in girls, but said he fell in love at first sight. He immediately started to court Mom but she resisted saying he was too young as she was 32 year of age with my sister Lucy (14) and Mildred (11). Dad was persistent however and eventually Mom gave in. Mom and Dad were married in San Jose, California on 22 July 1922.
Lucy told me that Dad decided to take them to San Francisco for the wedding celebration for the day. While there they went to a serve yourself eatery. She remembered with laughter when Dad, who loved whipped cream and strawberries, took a dish of strawberries loading them up with loads of whipped cream. As they were going to sit down Dad passed in front of a large fan which blew the whipped cream all over him.
Sometime in September 1922 Dad took Mom, my two sisters Lucy and Mildred to Utah to meet his family. They remained there for about 2 years then decided to return to California. They decided on the way to go to Forney, Idaho to visit Momís oldest sister Katherine May Kellogg Pine, Gentryís mother. Leaving Forney they made it to Challis, Idaho where they got froze in for the winter, however it was 17 years before they were able to get to California as they ran out of money.
Dad took various jobs to support his family. One of the jobs he took was working on the road in Clayton, Idaho. His team of horses were rather skittish and dad made the mistake of tying the rains around his wrist while lifting a large boulder intending to throw it over the side of the road. Something frightened them and they bolted dragging Dad with that large boulder in his middle. It broke his back. The whole next year dad was in the Pocatello, Idaho hospital in a complete body cast while the doctors tried to help him to no avail. In 1924 doctors didnít really know what to do as generally in those days such an accident usually killed you. They told Mom to take him home as there was nothing else they could do.
They returned to Challis and for the next 17 years made their living by selling products for Sears Roebuck, Mayfair, Montgomery Wards and JC Penny. Dad also became an employee of Singer Sewing Machine Company. If a machine needed repair Mom would bring them home to Dad and he would repair them. Mom did all the selling of all sewing machines and the products through the catalogs. Mama canvassed the area in and around Challis, as the only time Dad was able to get around on crutches was in the summer during the hottest days.
During their time in Challis I was born in 1927. Dad took care of me and made all our clothes while Mom continued to canvas the area for sales. By 1929 they had purchased several properties one being a sawmill. During the winter months of course Dad couldnít do anything but he hired my cousin Dick Cook and my cousins husband Garn Riddle to work the mill. They supplied the surrounding area of Challis with the lumber needed. Dad made enough off the mill to pay Dick and Garn with enough to live on. We moved from Challis up to the mill which was 9 miles up Garden Creek. There were no roads to it. The mode of transportation was by horse back. On 14 June 1929 my baby sister Margaret Belle was born. Mom said she was a very happy child, laughing a lot which gained her the nickname ďLaugh-a-lotĒ. Unfortunately she only lived until 25 May 1930. On that day she was playing on the floor when suddenly she gave a whimper. Mom rushed to pick her up to see what was the matter. Worried she yelled to Dad to get the doctor but as he left Mom yelled again to not bother as the baby had died in Momís arms. Dad apparently didnít hear her and brought the doctor back. Dr. Kirtley, of course couldnít do anything but pronounce her dead. By the time he arrived her body was covered with black splotches. They never really knew what killed her though, as in those days they apparently didnít perform autopsies. Mom and Dad said she was probably bitten by a Black Widow as they were plentiful.
We continued to live at the mill until the fall of 1933 when it was time for me to start school. From then on while in Challis we moved to town for the school year and to the mill when school was out.
In 1938 I got my first dog and as puppies do they grab at anything to play with. One day my dog bit Dads big toe causing him to jerk. For the first time in 14 years he had felt something in his lower body. They went to Dr. Long in Salmon telling him what had happened. Dr. Long said that there was a live nerve in his foot under the big toe that my dog had found.. Thinking Dad had been getting insurance payments all those years the Doctor said Dad should go to a larger town for treatment where there were doctors studying this type thing. When Dad said they hadnít been getting any funds the Doctor suggested getting lawyers and suing so they did. We had to move to Boise for that time so we did, living in Bobís Auto Court in Boise for the year it took, but eventually Mom and Dad won the case. After all the lawyers and Doctors were paid for their services during the suing Mom and Dad had $80,000 left, which was still a great sum in 1939 when it had been settled.
We went back to Challis so that we could gather our possessions that we planned taking with us and so they could sell their property acquired. They owned seven homes in Challis plus the mill. They rented six of the houses. Challis being an impoverished town still recuperating from the crash they were only able to sell the mill. They decided to leave anyway as who knows when they would have another opportunity.
Mom and Dad decided we would go to New York to see the Worldís fair and then on to Arizona to live. Before going on to New York though we went to Price to see my sisters where they both now had lived for many years. Lucy of course since 1928 and Mildred from 1933. When we got there Lucy was so ill they werenít sure if she would live so plans were changed. It was decided that Lucy and her four children would go with us to Arizona. First they wanted to stop in Palo Alto, California for a couple weeks to visit Momís three sisters as all now lived in the same place. During the two weeks we were there both Dad and Lucy improved health-wise so once again plans changed. They decided to stay in the area, after all if they didnít continue to improve they could always move on to Arizona.
Mom and Dad purchased an acre of land with two buildings on it. Dad constructed a house out of the two as now he was able to get around much better on his crutches. Lucy and Dadís health continued to improve to the point that in January 1940 Dad could get around now without his crutches and we bought Lucy her first pair of shoes so she would also soon be walking.
Dad went to San Jose and was hired by Singer Sewing Machine Company to work in that office. Dad was so good at repairing machines that machines were sent to Dad as far away as New York to repair as when an area had a machine they couldnít repair Dadís reputation had spread so they would send them to him. . Eventually Dad became the troubleshooter for Singer. If an office was in trouble Dad would go in get that office working and on its feet then be sent to another to do the same until it was working ok. At the time Dad finally retired in 1959 he was working in Palo Alto. They had moved from the ranch in 1953 buying a home for themselves and for me next door to one another. By 1959 I had been married and divorced twice having a child from each marriage. By 1967 where we lived in East Palo Alto was becoming undesirable as it had gone downhill and now pushers and drug dealers were moving in. I told Mom and Dad I had to get my kids in a better area so they decided they too would move. This time we went in on the purchase of our new homes together. We bought 1/3 acre of land with two houses on it. Mom spoke for the front house and I took the back one. However when it came time to move in Mom and Dad decided they would prefer getting the rent from the front house so they remained in East Palo Alto.
About 1968 they had a race riot about a block from the house where Mom and Dad lived. The police were chasing the rioters and some ran right through and around Mom and Dadís home. As soon as I got off work I rushed to see if they were all right. Outside of the incident of the police running through the yard they hadnít known anything was going on. I told them what had been happening and insisted they move to Palo Alto with me. My house was large and we had plenty of room. They at first were just going to stay with me till school was out as they always rented to college students, having about a month to fix their house up, paint it etc. before the next batch of students came. When the time came for them to move into their house I suggested they continue living with me and that way they could continue getting rent. After a bit they decided that was a good idea.
April 13, 1969 my son was killed in a motorcycle accident. I can still hear Dad scream when I told him and Mom. They had heard me going in and out of the house all night but thought I was hunting for my daughter as when they went to bed she hadnít gotten home from a date. She got home about 1am telling me their car had broken down and they werenít near a phone to let me know. About 1:15am a police friend phoned to tell me of the accident. The hospital hadnít known who Dicky was so he was laying on a gurney when our friend recognized him and phoned me. When I got to the hospital the doctor told me Dicky was medically dead but I couldnít accept it till around 11 that morning. The doctor finally convinced me so that is when I told Mom and Dad. I buried him at Alta Mesa where our family members are usually buried.
About 1974 Dad and Mom both got quite ill. Mom recuperated but Dad didnít. For the next 3 years Dad was in the hospital more than he was out. We kept trying to bring him home only to have to rush him back. In December 1977 Mom became ill again but refused to stay home as she was afraid it would make Dad worry and get worse. December 10 Dad had a massive stroke and never knew any of us again. He still knew Momís touch and would respond to her. January 10 Mom was so ill I practically had to carry her into the hospital to see Dad. When we got there Betty the nurse for Dadís doctor was there, crying. They were feeding Dad but his eyes were rolling back in his head. I had no idea he was dying and told Mom ďhe wonít know us tonight Mom so letís goĒ. She agreed and we left. Since we hadnít eaten it was decided to get something and then go home. By the time we got home the hospital had been trying to reach us since we had left around 7pm. They told us Dad had passed shortly after we left.
When we went to make arrangements for Dadís burial I told them we wanted him with Dicky, my son, but there were no plots near that area. Because of this Mom and I decided to buy three plots so when it came our turn at least we would be together. Mom is now in her grave too as she passed in 1989.
Dad and Mom were both very exceptional people. I know most children think this of their parents but in this case most family and non-family members would say the same thing. They are greatly missed by me and those who knew them.
Star Kathleen Cook Pelton (daughter & author of Bio)
Charles Riley Cook (1878 - 1943)
Hannah Caroline Munson Cook (1879 - 1918)
Star Macey Kellogg Cook (1890 - 1989)
Margaret Belle Cook (1929 - 1930)*
Charles Rolland Cook (1901 - 1977)
Katherine Caroline Cook Hooper (1904 - 1929)*
Lavon Emmeline Cook Jasperson (1906 - 2002)*
Ivan E Cook (1909 - 1983)*
Ione Cook Nelson (1911 - 1988)*
Alta Mesa Memorial Park
Santa Clara County
Plot: Subdivision Central, Section 3 Plot 10
Created by: Star C. Pelton
Record added: Sep 30, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9533870