Mary Jane <I>Wild</I> Cook

Mary Jane Wild Cook

Macon County, North Carolina, USA
Death 16 Feb 1956 (aged 95)
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, USA
Burial Roswell, Fulton County, Georgia, USA
Plot Row 8, Plot 2
Memorial ID 36095172 · View Source
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Mary Jane Wild and Charles Comer Cook had 8 children, 1 adopted daughter (Nora Coward Dickerson), and 43 grandchildren. The last 2 living grandchildren (Barbara Cook Beiter and Ann Cook Sage) died one day apart in 2017.

On 2 Sep 1948, Mary Jane Wild Cook of Route 1, Roswell, Georgia, answered questions from her nephew Robert Lee Kincaid, son of her sister Virginia Augusta Wild Kincaid, at the home of her youngest son William Claude Cook. Here is the transcript with notes (probably by Robert Lee Kincaid) in [].

"I was born Mar. 11, 1860 at our home in Macon County, North Carolina at a place near Burningtown. My father was Alexander Leroy Wild; my mother was Celia Bird Wild. I was third in a family of nine children. The children in order of birth were as follows: Modena, who married John A. McClure; John; Mary, who married Charles Comer Cook; Virginia Augusta, who married James R. Kincaid; Margaret, who died in early childhood; Robert; Laura, who married John Sullivan and went to Texas; Norman; and Bell, who married Harrison McCollum. All are now gone except me and Bob, who lives in California.

I remember my grandfather, John Wild [Oberra's great grandfather], very well. It seem to me that he came to Macon County, North Carolina from directly across the waters. We always understood that he was from Holland, and he could speak the Dutch language. My father, Alex, learned to say many words in Holland-Dutch. He could count to one-hundred in the language. Grandfather John Wild was a blacksmith and a handy man around in the community. I do not know who my Grandmother Wild was. It seems to me like she may have been a DuWees. That name is in my mind somehow.

I remember Grandpa Clark Bird very well. He must have been around 80 when he died. It seem to me that Grandmother Polly Curtis Bird died just about the time of the Civil War. I scarecely remember her. The Birds were great hunters. I remember hearing my grandfather and the boys in the family telling of their big deer hunts in the mountains.

During the time of the war, we lived in a double house near a big peach orchard and a river. Father went to the war [in Virginia] pretty early, and he was captured sometime around 1862 or 1863 and was taken to a prison in Delaware. He did not come back until the end of the war, and I presume he stayed in prison during that time. I think he was a wagoner during his service in the Confederate Army, but in prison I think he was a cook, because I have heard him tell about cooking for the other prisoners. He often told us that the best way to cook tough beef was to boil it a long, long time. He suffered a great deal from hunger while in prison, and at times the prisoners were forced to eat big rats. I remember our home was pestered a great deal by Home Guards coming and going. They would come to the house and demand of Mother anything she might have to eat, and insist upon searching the house to see if we were hiding anyone. Mother was aggravated a great deal by many of the annoyances of these visiting soldiers, our Home Guards.

After Father returned home from the Army, he took up his work in the blacksmith shop where he seemed the handiest. All of his life he was primarily a blacksmith. The blacksmith shop was burned three times in his life, but he always managed to start another when he was burned out. After one was gone, the first thing we children knew was that he had another bellows ready to go to work again.

I do not know why Father and Mother moved from Macon County, North Carolina to Union County, Georgia, about 16 miles south of Murphy. I was about 15 years old when the move was made. It took three wagons to hold our things. The lead wagon was pulled by four horses. There were several men, and women, and children in the whole company during the trip. We carried along two tents and camped out at night when we had no place to stay. The thing that I remember most of that trip was crossing Nantahala Mountain. Modena and I, being old enough to go it alone, walked on ahead as we climbed the mountain. I remember that it must have been six miles from foot to foot of the mountain, and as we climbed up the side, we soon got into snow. We took near cuts and were quite a distance ahead of the wagons. We saw some big tracks in the snow, which looked like bear tracks. Finally we got to the top of Nantahala Mountain where there were deep drifts of snow, and where the wind blew bitterly. We nearly froze to death waiting for the wagons to come slowly up the mountain. We could see the wagon tops way down the mountain as they circled back and forth, back and forth up the cork-screw road. We could throw a rock down upon the tops of the wagons, and it looked like we could spit upon them, we were so far above them. When the wagons finally arrived, Father and the men had to take shovels and clean out the big drifts before the teams could pull the wagons through. We at last got to the bottom of the other side and made our camp in a big snow. Father and the men cleared away the snow, put down fodder and bedding, and we pitched out tents over the bedding, as our resting place. I do not remember how long it took us to make this wagon journey from Franklin, North Carolina to the place on Jack Creek in Union County where we made our home.

About two year later, Father had to go back to Franklin to collect the money from the man to whom he had sold his farm. For some reason or other, he took me along with him. When he got back to Macon County, he found that Bill Shepherd, the man to whom he had sold the farm, had recently killed a man by the name of Bill Lakey, and was hiding from the law. He found out where Shepherd was and looked him up in his hiding place, and made an appeal for his money. I do not know how it came out, but Shepherd gave to Father a fine mare to go on the debt. When we were ready to return to our home in Georgia, Father arranged for me to ride the mare. Since I could not ride bareback, he bought a side saddle for me. So I rode the mare on the side saddle all the way back to our home. I seems like we were crossing a river or big stream rearly all the time. I remember when we got to the Nicholson Ford at Notla River, there was a little bridge there, and I was greatly frightened as I rode the mare across the little bridge and looked down into the deep water. The side saddle later went to your mother, Jinny.

I remember once that Uncle [Tom] Cunningham, who had been someplace with a wagon and two mules, came to our house in North Carolina and found the river frozen over from bank to bank. He took the wagon across the [ice]. I do not remember whether he unhitched the mules or not.

Father soon established in Georgia his blacksmith shop. He also had a syrup mill and ground hog [thresher]. He also ran [a tan yard] where he tanned leather for people in the community. He could do anything. I remember that he made tongues for Jew's harps. There was nothing that seemed to bother him. He had turning lathes in his shop and could make furniture. I do not know positively whether he made the big four-poster bed which he gave to Jinny for a wedding present, but I rather think he did. He also have to me a similar bed when I was married. You know how a ground hog [thresher] works. It is pulled by four to six mules or horses which go round and round in a circle, stepping over the power arm which operates the threshing machine. The people in the community would bring their grain in for him to thresh out on toll. I do not know when Father and Mother sold their property to Mel Smith and moved to Cherokee County, near Woodstock, Georgia. It must have been around 1895. In their new home near Woodstock, they set up house-keeping again, and Father, as usual, began to do blacksmithing for the people in the community. Grandfather was a short, dumpy, heavy set man, and he was crippled with paralysis in his last days. He was born Nov. 22, 1831, and died May 15, 1900. Mother, who was born Apr. 28, 1832, lived about among the children until her death, Nov. 29, 1924. They were married Mar. 4, 1855. They were buried in the Little River Camp Ground, four miles east of Woodstock. A marker about three feet high is at their graves.

Of the children of Grandfather John Wild, I can remember the following: John; Posie; Alexander Leroy; Rev. Barnett Wild; and Betsy, who never married; Tilda, who I think married [Joshua] Bird; and Mary, who married the last time a man by the name of Potts. I remember also that Asbury Bird, one of the brothers of Mother, was drowned. Jess[e] Bird, another brother, died during the war. I married Charles Comer Cook, of Union County, Georgia, at my parent's home. Rev. Asbury Sullivan was the minister. My husband died Nov. 3, 1939. We had eight children, all of whom are living. I have now living three great-great-grandchildren."

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  • Maintained by: donbraffitt
  • Originally Created by: Neal Cash
  • Added: 20 Apr 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 36095172
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Jane Wild Cook (11 Mar 1860–16 Feb 1956), Find A Grave Memorial no. 36095172, citing Union Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Roswell, Fulton County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by donbraffitt (contributor 48022167) .