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George Frederick Cook

GEORGE FREDERICK COOK. The attorneys practicing at the bar of Marion are numbered among the most resourceful, capable and highly-trained men of their profession, whose abilities are directed not only toward building up a valuable connection, but also in constructive work for their community. One of these representative citizens is George Frederick Cook, a native son of the county, and one whose reputation has outgrown local bounds. He was born at Chatham Hill, Smyth County, July 28, 1886, a son of Henry H. Cook, and grandson of Zachariah Cook, who was born in Tazewell County, Virginia, and died on Clear Fork in Bland County, where he had large agricultural interests, and where he had spent his life. He married Sarah Crabtree, who was born on Clear Fork, but died at Chatham Hill, at the home of his son, Henry H. Cook. The Cooks are of Dutch ancestry, the immigrant of the family having come from Holland to the American colonies and located in Pennsylvania, from whence migration was later made to Bland County, Virginia.

Henry H. Cook was born in Bland County, Virginia in 1855, and was there reared, but subsequently moved to Chatham Hill, and from 1876 to 1893 was the leading merchant of that village. In the latter year he began farming and stockraising, and now owns and operates 2,000 acres of land, and has about 300 head of cattle.’ Active as a republican, he has served as a justice of the peace for over twenty years. The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, has in him one of its most earnest members and generous supporters, and for a long period he has been one of its stewards. He married Martha L. Fox, who was born at Burkes Garden, Tazewell County, in 1863 They became the parents of the following children: William D., who died at Chatham Hill it The age of thirty-five years, having been a farmer during all of his mature years; Sallie, who lives with her parents; and George Frederick, who was the youngest.

After attending the public schools of Rich Valley, Virginia, George F. Cook entered the Ellendale, Virginia, High School, and was graduated therefrom in 1904. He then became a student of Emory and Henry College, and remained there through his junior year, and while there belonged to the Calliopean Literary Society. In 1910 he was Graduated from the law department of Richmond College, and while there was made a member of Mu Sigma Rho, the Greek letter literary society, and served as its president during his senior year. Admitted to the bar in 1910, he began the practice of his profession at Marion, and has built up a large civil and criminal practice in this vicinity. He is a republican, and was elected commonwealth attorney in 1911 and again in 1915, and is the only candidate for office that ever carried every precinct in Smyth County as he did in 1916. Mr. Cook was the youngest commonwealth attorney to hold this office in Smyth County. Although very popular, and with a magnificent record for efficiency and fearlessness, Mr. Cook was not a candidate for a third term. He is a member of the Royal Oak Presbyterian Church. Fraternally he belongs to Marion Lodge No. 54, Ancient Free aiad Accepted Masons, and to Bristol Lodge No. 232, Benevolent ind Protective Order of Elks. In addition to his large private practice Mr. Cook is general counsel for the Bank of Marion, and is onits directorate. He owns a nice comfortable residence on Main Street, Mal-ion, and a farm of 178 acres of blue grass land in Rich Valley, Virginia. During the World war Mr. Cook was Government appeal agent for Smyth County, and devoted a great deal of time to the duties of this office.

On November 23, 1916, Mr. Cook married, at Marion, Virginia, Miss Elsie Campbell, a dau hter of Joseph 0. and Blanche (Matson) Campbell, residents of Marion, where he is engaged in the manufacture of lumber. Mrs. Cook was graduated from Washington College, Washington City, with the degree Bachelor of Arts. Mr. and Mrs. Cook have two children: Mary Campbell, who was born January 15, 1918 and Blanche Martha, who was born December 26, 1921.

Source: Virginia and Virginians, Vol. VI, pp. 284-285.