Biography of Van Rensselaer R. Cook

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Cook, Van Rensselaer R., Grand Island, p. o. Sheenwater, one of the oldest and best known residents of Grand Island, was born in the town of North East, Dutchess county. N. Y., August 16, 1820, one of eight Sons and two daughters born to Lewis and Hannah (Darling) Cook. He was the seventh son of this union, all of whom are now dead. His father kept a hotel in North East Center for many years and died when about seventy years of age. Van Rensselaer attended the common schools. assisted his father until he went out of business and then engaged as a farmer. In 1851 he came to Grand Island and the following year purchased sixty acres of timber land, which he cleared, converting the timber into spiles and cord wood and selling them. He would cross the river in a boat, which was a flat bottomed one propelled by man power. He owns the farm where he resides. In politics he is a Republican, has served as justice of the peace for thirty-six years, being excused in 1890 on account of his age. Duringhis career as justice he never had a decision reversed. Previous to his being justice he was town constable. In 1853 he married Susan House of Canada, daughter of Louis A. and Sarah (Garner) House, and they had six children, all living except one son, Lorenzo, who died when thirty-four. His children are as follows Hannah, Lewis, Lorenzo, Henry, Mary and Salome J. Mr. and Mrs. Cook are members of the Congregational church, of which he was trustee. The log house which Mr. Cook built in 1855 he is still living in, having added a frame addition. His son Henry opened and named Eagle Park, prepared the grounds and conducted the hotel a number of years.


Source:
Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898

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