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W H Cook Auto Supply - East Walker St
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William Heberd Cook

W. H. Cook, as he was generally know was born June 19, 1881 in Vincennes, Indiana. He died in Breckenridge, October 4, 1940 and is buried in Albany, Texas. W. H. was married to Ethel Williams in Albany, Texas May 29, 1907.   From the written record of Gladys Cook, Jones, W. H. at 18 years of age went to St. Louis, Missouri to work in the drygoods wholesale house of T. M. James where he was approached by a Mr. Raines, a merchant in Albany, Texas who was in St. Louis buying his yearly merchandise. Mr. Raines offered W. H. a job in Texas paying his expenses to Albany. Ater six months of long hours and hardwork, W. H. went to work for Sedwick Drygoods and Grocery.

Arriving in Albany, Texas from Vincennes in 1904 and working in for Mr. Raines, he eventually entered into the dry goods & grocery business with Jno. F. Sedwick in Albany, Texas under the firm name of Sedwick & Cook Dry Goods until 1919 when the business was sold and he began leasing and selling mineral and royalty interests. In 1924 he moved to Breckenridge where he operated at 200 East Walker St. “W. H. Cook Auto Supply” until his death. The relationship with Jno. F. Cook apparently did not end when the business was sold because the families continued to have mineral interests together until 1969, when John H. Sedwick, son of Jno. F and then president of The First National Bank of Albany included in a letter that their relationship was “more of a father-son, or real close brothers, that just normal business associates.” He continued “In the summer of 1915, my dad let me go to Breckenridge with Mr. Cook to work in the store they had there. I did the sweeping out and lighted the lamps at sun down and sold during the day. Mrs. B. S. Walker and daughters, Gladys and Pansy, were my best customers. I also trucked the merchandise over from Albany in a Model T solid tire Ford truck. At dark, Mr. Cook and I drove out to Sandy Creek, where the big bridge is now [over Hubbard Creek Lake] and took a bath, then back to Breckenridge and put out mattress out on the sidewalk and slept ‘till dawn. There was an old hotel where the new bank building is now located and the rooms were about 120 degrees, so we slept outside and opened the store at sunrise and closed it at dark. The big boom hit Breckenridge the next year, but I missed that as I had to go to school.”   

The parents of William Heberd Cook were Mattie Hanna Heberd  (b. 29 Jan. 1855, Vincennes, IN, d. 29 Jan, 1936, Breckenridge, Texas) and Thomas Dowling Cook (b. 4 April, 1852 Terre Haute, IN, d. 18 Dec. 1897). They were married 12 Oct. 1875 in Vincennes, IN.  W. H. lived with his maternal grandparents, William Heberd and wife, Irene Hanna after his parents were separated. Mattie Heberd’s sister, Mary Heberd married Luther Tillman James, a first cousin to the notorious Jesse Woodson James (b. 5 Sept. 1847 d. 3 April, 1882). Luther Tillman James was in the dry goods and hardware business with his father Thomas Martin James in Kansas City from whom the family still has a china set marked “T.M. James, Kansas City”. The outlaw, Jesse James, was the nephew of T. M. James, but after assisting the first time Jesse was shot, had nothing futher to do with him.

Thomas Dowling Cook was originally in the hardware business with his family in Vincennes, but left on his own as a traveling representative for a Cincinnati business. He died north of Corydon, IN as the result of a wagon accident when he fell out or was thrown. Thomas Dowling was the son of Louis Mills Cook (b. Morristown, N.J. 31, Oct. 1824, d. 31 March, 1886, Indianapolis, IN) and Phebe A. Dowling who were married 31, January 1850 in Vincennes, IN. (Book CD, Pg. 184, Virgo County Marriage Records). Thomas had two siblings, William Griswold Cook, a doctor (b. 8 Apr. 1852, d. 18 Dec.. 1897 in Prescott AZ. and a sister, Mary S. Cook. Both siblings died unmarried without issue. Thomas Dowling Cook was the grandson of Thomas Dowling (b. 1806 d. 1876) an Irish immigrant, printer and Indiana legislator. 

Louis Mills Cook was the son of James Cook (b. 24 Nov. 1798, Morris County, NJ d. 26 July 1872, Terre Haute, IN) and Anna Mills (b. 1792, Morristown, NJ d. 9, January 1857, Terre Haute, IN). James Cook before relocating to Vincennes in the hardware business, served two terms in the New Jersey Legislature in 1834 and 1835, was a merchant in New York City in the 1840’s operating a business under the name of Cutter, Cook & Co. at 56 Cedar St., now the location of CitiBank Tower. [Doggett's New York City Directory 1843 & 1844; 1845-46; Longworth City Directory 1842]

James Cook, the son of Stephen Cook, was a member of a rather large family (ten children) and the second wife of Stephen Cook. Stephen Cook (b. 1751 d. 1844) was married first (1753) in Southampton, Suffolk, NY to Sarah Havens (b. 1753) and after her death to Phebe Mitchell Halsey  ( m. abt. 1790) who was the mother of James Cook.  James was apparently the youngest child, but was named to served with a brother, Stephen Burnet Cook as an executor of his father’s will (3038 N – Morris County Register of Wills, Bk. F. Pages 41-45).  Stephen Cook’s father was Abraham Cook (b. abt. 1715) and mother, Sibel Burnet (m. 1740, East Hampton, NY). Sibel Burnet is distantly related to David Grouverneur Burnet (b. 4 April 1788 Newark, NJ), 1st president of the Republic of Texas.

Anna Mills, wife of James Cook traced her ancestry to John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of the Mayflower so that descendants of William Heberd Cook can support membership in the Alden Kindred of America (Index Code ACW-1509).


Mattie Hannah Heberd, the wife, of W. H. Cook, traces her ancestry through Ebenezer Hibbard to Ethelred II the Unready, King of England, d 1016. [Pg. 578, The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants, Roberts, Gary Boyd, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 2004.]