WALTER R. COOK
Walter R. Cook, of Castro Valley, has won substantial success in the chicken business because he has given intelligent
direction to his work and has followed scientific methods. He now has a well improved ranch and is numbered among
the progressive and enterprising citizens of his community. Born at Kearney, Buffalo county, Nebraska, on the 29th
of May, 1883, he is a son of Charles and Anna (Wright) Cook. The family moved to Kimball county, that state, where
he spent his boyhood and attended the public schools, after which he assisted his father, who was extensively engaged
in raising sheep, cattle and horses. In 1906 the family came to California, locating in the Castro valley, in which
locality at that time there were but two poultry farms. The community was sparsely settled and good land could
be bought for two hundred dollars an acre that is now worth eighteen hundred dollars an acre.
Walter R. Cook located on twenty acres of land owned by his wife, and there followed farming until 1911, when he
turned his attention to chickens. He began with eighty seven White Leghorn hens, in addition to which he bought
outside chicks. Later he took his eggs to outside parties for hatching, but eventually began to do his own hatching,
using at first an old style oil heated incubator. He met with encouraging success and finally installed electrically
heated incubators and has made other improvements which have made his place the equal of any in the district. He
is now handling only pedigreed stock and has over three thousand chicks, which he ships to all parts of the state,
and as far away as Kentucky. He has built up a large business, founded on the quality of his stock and his square
dealing, and is meeting with prosperity. He has a good set of buildings and is very comfortably situated.
In 1910 Mr. Cook was united in marriage to Miss Mary Dittmer, who was born at Hayward, Alameda county, and is a
daughter of Herman and Metea (Eggert) Dittmer. Her father was born in Germany, where he was reared and educated.
He came to the United States on a sailing vessel, and on September 26, 1862, enlisted in an Illinois regiment of
infantry, with which he served during the remainder of the Civil war. After the war he went to San Francisco, California,
where he engaged in merchandising for some years, but finally came to Hayward and was the owner of a pioneer saloon.
He was married in San Francisco and he and his wife died at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Cook. Mr. and Mrs.
Cook are the parents of a son, Robert. Mr. Cook has always supported the republican party, and is a member of the
Woodmen of the World. He is a charter member of the Alameda County Farm Bureau, with which he is still identified,
and has been active in all movements for the advancement of the community's interests. He is an active and untiring
worker, is painstaking and thorough in whatever he undertakes and has well merited the success which is now his.
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928
Alameda County, CA
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