Mary Ann Turley Cook was the sister of my Great-great grandmother, Charlotte Turley Bushman. Mary Ann lived in California much of her life. Today we celebrate her birthday.
The Theodore Turley Family Book, pp. 59-61
Mary Ann Turley Cook
Mary Ann Turley was born in Toronto, Ontario on July 13, 1827 to Theodore and Francis Amelia Turley. She married John J. Cook September 8, 1851.
Mary Ann’s parents emigrated to Canada in 1825 with two children. They settled near Lake Ontario, having been given a plot of land and a blooded herd of cattle by the King of England for services rendered him. He continued preaching Methodism. In 1837 her father and mother were baptized and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sold their farm and moved to Far West, Missouri, arriving in July, 1838. They later moved to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1839 and in 1846 traveled by ox team to Winter Quarters, Nebraska where they stayed until 1849. During that time six members of the family died, including her mother. In 1849 they traveled by ox team to Salt Lake City, Utah and in 1850 went with about five hundred others to build a settlement in San Bernardino County, California, where a large tract of land was purchased. It was here that Mary Ann met and married John James Cook.
The following is taken from History of Ventura County California, Volume 2. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1926:
“Among the early settlers of Ventura County was the John J. Cook family. Their identification with this county dates back to 1869, which dates back ninety-nine years ago, which period practically embraces its development from a stretch of wild plain and barren wilderness to its present prosperous condition, and during these years the members of this family bore their full part in the up-building of the community.
John J. Cook, who was orphaned early in life, was of German descent, born in Mohawk County, New York, May 22, 1827, while Mary Ann (Turley) Cook was of English antecedents, her father coming to this country and serving in the Civil War with the rank of Captain [that didn’t happen]. Mary Ann was born in Toronto, Canada, July 13, 1827 and died December 24, 1904, at the age of seventy-seven years.
In 1869 the family left San Bernardino County, locating near what is now Bardsdale, Ventura County, but which then was in Santa Barbara County. In 1872 the family moved to Santa Barbara and in 1873 to Ukiah, Mendocino County, where they lived until the spring of 1875, when they returned to Ventura County, for permanent residence, Santa Paula, California.”
The following article was taken from the Santa Paula Daily Chronicle dated 12/26/1904, written by Etta L. Ricker upon the death of Mary Ann Cook:
On December 24, 1904, the gates of heaven rolled wide for this good woman and she passed away to eternal rest. Her passing calls for more than a casual notice. Mrs. Cook was one of the pioneers of this state, born in Toronto, Canada, July 13, 1827, she journeyed from there with her parents to California, making the entire trip across the continent with ox teams. Arriving in California in 1851 she soon after married John Cook, an honored pioneer of this state. It can never be said of Mrs, Cook that she lived in vain. In those early days of California her whole life was given to help those in need of help. She was mother, sister, doctor and nurse to all. None were too poor, too dirty, or too wicked to be comforted, nursed and cared for by her. Many a sad heart was comforted by her loving care, and she would share all she had with those in need, trusting with the faith that never faltered for her own poor needs.
In the early days of San Bernardino as well as of Ventura County she came at last to be a veritable Peter among the poor and needy. “If only her shadow might fall on them they felt comforted.”
. . .Mrs. Cook has left a more beautiful monument than any chiseled from marble. It is her good works for others, her kindness to the poor and needy, and the help she gave to those that needed help. . . .”
John James Cook, while traveling by train through Arizona, was murdered and no one seems to know where he was buried or any more of the details.
Children of Mary Ann Turley and John James Cook:
Henry Theodore Cook, b. 1853
John Edward Cook, b. 1855; d. 1855
Mary Effie Cook (Hector), b. 1857; d. 1942
Isabel Priscilla Cook, b. 1860; d. 1862
Sarah Ann Cook (Harris), b. 1863; d. 1934
Caroline Owena Cook (Smith, Silvey), b. 1865; d. 1945
Charlotte Thankful Cook, b. 1867; d. 1867
Marinda Maria Cook (Hall), b. 1869; d. 1946
Jonathan Cook, b. 1868; d. 1868