Lemuel Cook

Although the articles copied here give Lem credit as the last

last survivor he most likely was not. He was, however, the

last surviving pensioner of the Revolutionary War.

      


This By Frank W. Cook as told to him by Lemuel Cook.    

Lemuel Remembers Washington


As a young lad I had an opportunity none will have again. We, the Cook kids who grew up at Clarendon were told about the Revolutionary War by it's last soldier, our Great Grandfather, Lemuel Cook, who we more affectionately called grampa Lem. He would delight in telling us about his life and we were glad to listen. We'd watch for Lemuel to come out and sit in his rocker either on his front porch or under the big old elm tree in the front yard, as he always did on warm summer afternoons. We would watch for him to motion us to come over with his cane, he always knew we were watching and would run to see who would get there first for the best seat. It would usually start with a question. Tell us about George Washington, what did he look like? He would say "let me think on it", a gleam would come to his eye and he would begin to speak slowly and deliberately.


I saw General Washington a few times, said a few words to him and he back to me. I'll not forget. First time I set eyes on him was at White Plains or thereabouts. I'd joined up at the first call and those first couple of years were hard ones. Our company was resting near White Plains after being pushed off the Island and out of New York City and. up River. My job was with Major Tallmadge, being in the Light Dragoons we had horses to take care of. Mine was a good ole Bay I'd brought from home. I was caring for my horse and a couple of others that needed rubbing down and heard a commotion a ways down the road. I could see by the uniforms it was officers leading several company's of Foot. One fellow sat in the saddle head and shoulders above the others. I knew he must be the General, we had heard how large a man he was. As they came closer all I could do was stand there with my mouth open. An officer in front gave me a dirty look like to be saying, "How Come you don't salute?" I whipped off a good fancy one. The officers dismounted and went to talk with the Major I suppose. I went back to my horse, a while later the General came around the headquarters where I was, to stretch his legs I suppose and said, "Is that your horse soldier?" "Yes, Sir", said I coming to attention. He put me at ease and asked my name, "Lemuel Cook, from Connecticut, Sir". "That's a right smart mount you have there Lemuel Cook from Connecticut". "He's done good by me, General" said I. "Well, you take care of him, you will be glad you did", with that the General went about his business. That's all there was to it, I'll never forget though, all the things that must have been pressing on him he took time for a kind word. He had the kindest look in the eyes I've ever seen. Got the chance to see him a few times more being in the quartermasters, they called us artificers in them days. Didn't see him again until some two, maybe three years later. We were going down thru the Head of Elk, things were better, we had been winning we knew we had a big battle coming up somewhere to the south. Scuttle butt was that the General had gone on ahead and would meet us along the way. Ws had stopped and I was minding my own business paying' no mind to no one when I heard a rich full voice say, "Lem Cook, is that you?" "I thought that might be you with that Bay." I had whirled around with my eyes bugging out and mouth wide open again, amazed that he had remembered me. I finally managed a "Yes Sir", "It's very good to see you Sir". "I admire the lines of your Bay, Lem, I have one like it at Mount Vernon," "Yes Sir, he's a little worse for wear but I've been keeping.' your advice, my brothers made me promise to bring him back to the farm when there was done." 11That's what we are about, Private" and with that the General was gone as quickly as he appeared. I'd grow~ six inches since last time we'd met, he must have recognized the horse than me. It seems as though he still towered a foot over me. But I was ten. feet tall after that, they all asked "How come the General knows you?" they all asked. I didn't tell 'them. We saw him again at Yorktown, which turned out to be the big one where we was heading. Last time I spoke to him was at Danbury when he gave me my discharge, I was standing there with my brother, still have my' discharge here someplace, but will have to tell you about that another time. The General had a look about him you don't forget, there's hardly any words to describe him. Those were hard days for the most part but there was some good things about them too.


LEMUEL COOK Was born at his Father's farm in Northbury the eighth of nine children. Only five survived due to an epidemic that hit the family, the year Lemuel was born. It is not known but it is thought that his father received a part of the real estate that Henry III held at Northbury. It is known that they jointly owned a hundred acre section. In any event the family remained in the Thomaston - Plymouth vicinity and that the family were members of the First Congregational Church of Plymouth, which had been founded by Lemuel's grandfather, which was then called the Northbury Society. When Henry 4 died the family was left in depressed circumstances, but through it all the family remained together. Hannah became the guardian for True, Lemuel and Mary. Selah was only 16 but was apparently able to take care of himself and to contribute to the well being of the family. At the outbreak of the Revolution in 1775 Lemuel was the first of the Cook sons to enlist, Selah the second in 1776 and served for six months and returned to Northbury and then reenlisted in 1782 for 3 years, Trueworthy enlisted in 1777 and served for 3 years returning to Northbury to care for his mother while the other two fulfilled their service to their country. Seleh also remained at the farm during the period that True and Lemuel were fighting so that there was someone always at home to assure that the family was well looked after.
Lemuel served for the entire war and he was wounded several times but never seriously enough to keep him out of the thick of it for any length of time. Having received his discharge at the close of the war, Lemuel returned to Northbury where he married Hannah Curtis in 1783. They remained in Connecticut for several years and about 1788 the family came to Clinton, Oneida County, New York, where Lem later received 100 acres of Bounty Land for his service during the war. His brothers also came to Clinton, it is known they were first settlers of the town in 1788, their mother was also among the group that came with the Plymouth Congregational Society, as they are all mentioned in the early church records at Clinton during the first year of settlement. Lemuel and his family, for some reason returned to Plymouth before 1795 as he was one of the incorporators of the Village of Plymouth that year, changing the name from Northbury. He remained in Connecticut until 1804 when he re­turned to New York. The family settled at Pompey in Onondaga County. Both True and Selah had also emigrated there with their families before 1795, and here again they were first settlers of the town where they both purchased large tracts of land. True later went north to Granby Center, N.Y. where he died in 1822, nothing further is known of Selah it is thought that he remained at Pompey.


Lemuel purchased a farm of 60 acres which had originally been part of True's holdings. The farm was in the Military Tract at Pompey at the southern edge of the Indian reservation and was located a short distance north of the village on the Henneberry Poad. He was successful in operation of the farm for a number of years. In 1818 he applied for his first pension, his wounds had begun to make it increasingly difficult for him to perform the hard labor required in the operation of the farm, particularly a farm as large as his and his younger sons then living with him were not yet old enough to be of much assistance to him. Both Lemuel Jr. and Miles were also residing at Pompey at this time, they undoubtedly were able to help their father to some extent, but they had farms and families of their own to take care of making it difficult to extend the extensive assistance which was obviously necessary. In 1821 Lemuel sold the farm at Pompey and came to North Bergen in Genesee County where Curtis had emigrated a few years before.


Curtis was as yet unmarried and had come to western New York with Richard Brown and his family and had helped him carve out an existence in the wilderness, they were the first white settlers at Byron. With the help of Curtis as they apparently pooled their efforts until 1824, when Curtis married , Lemuel's youngest sons Gilbert and Saleh were then able to be of great assistance to their father in the operation of the farm and they did quite well and prospered. In 1828 Lem purchased a section of Curtis' first farm and he also owned other large sections at North Bergen. About 1832 the family removed to Clarendon a short distance north an west of the farm at North Bergen, where Lemuel was to remain the rest of his life. Gilbert married and Selah remained with his dad and between the two all did well at Clarendon. Elm's farm reached 100 acres and was located on the South Holley Road at the southeast corner of the Munger Road. The farms of his sons and grandsons were also located very near and abutted Lemuel's last farm. After the death of his first wife Lemuel married again, his wife Ruth was a former resident of Monroe County in the town of Sweden before her marriage.


Lemuel and Selah worked the farm until 1851 when Selah decided to try his hand on his own in Michigan and removed to Flint in Genesee County. Lemuel retired from farming shortly thereafter and sold the farm to Rathburn Tousley his grandson, who helped Lem after Selah left and continued to operate the farm for a number of years before he emigrated to the Dakota Territory. Lemuel remained at the farm until 1860 when his wife died and abided by the wishes of his sons that he should take life easy after nearly 80 years of farming. He divided his time between Gilbert and True who took care of him during his declining years, and often walked to Clarendon with the help of a cane he was then obliged to use to pick up his pension, and to see that his grandsons and great grandsons held of his exploits in the war and among the Indians which he always enjoyed recalling.


From 1818 until the day he died Lemuel remained on the pension rolls, in 1828 his stipend allowance was increased to $l00 per year, in 1855 he received an additional 60 acres of Bounty Land which he used for acreage at Clarendon. Under pension laws passed by Congress in 1864 and 1865 he re­ceived $200 and $500, which he received the last year of his life. There can be no doubt that he was on the pension rolls longer than any other veteran of the Revolutionary War. He remains the oldest resident ever to have lived in Orleans County. It has long been kown by the family and a generally accepted fact that he was the Oldest Survivor of the Revolution and that he was the Last of the survivors that were on the rolls with him, the closest being at least a year younger.


By 1840 all of Lemuel's children had also emigrated to western New York and to Clarendon, the family can now be found all over the United States and several parts of the world. All of whom can trace their family line to a small country village in western New York to a proud determined individual who has left us an extremely rich heritage. The place where he rests is in the small family cemetery where the peace is broken only by the wind in the trees and an occasional visitor, time may obliterate the monument of stone marking his passing but can never diminish the monument to his memory which is in each of us.


LAST SOLDIERS OF THE REVOLUTION

by ELIAS BREWSTER HILLARD 1864


Interview With LEMUEL COOK Surviving Dragoon


Of all the men who had marched with Washington. and Arnold, with Gates and Greene and Mad Anthony Wayne, only seven were still alive. All were past 100 years, the eldest, Lemuel Cook was 105 years of age.


Lemuel Cook is the oldest survivor of the Revolution. He lives in the town of Clarendon, Orleans County, New York. His age is 105 years. Mr. Cook was born in Northbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut September 10th 1759 the son of Henry Cook and a grandson of the first settler of the town also named Henry Cook. He enlisted at Watertown when only sixteen years old. He was mustered in at Northampton in the Bay State 2nd Regiment of Light Dragoons in the command of Colonel Elisha Sheldon in the Company of Captain William Stanton. He served throughout the war and was discharged at Danbury, Conn. June 12, 1783. The circumstances of his service he relates as follows?
"When I applied to enlist, Captain Hallibud told me I was so small he could not take me unless I would enlist for the war. The first time I smelt gun powder was at Valentine's Hill (Westchester, N.Y. Oct 1776). A troop of British horse were coming, 'Mount your horses in a minute', cried the Colonel. I was on mine as quick as a squirrel. There were two fires-crash! Up came Parrow, good old soul, and said, 'Lem, what do you think of gunpowder? Smell good to you?'


The first time I was ordered on sentry was at Dobb's Ferry. A man came out of a barn and leveled his piece and fired. I felt the wind of the ball. A soldier near me said, 'Lem, they mean you, go on the other side of the road.' So I went over, and pretty soon another man came out of the barn and aimed and fired. He didn't come near me. Soon another came out and fired. His ball lodged in my hat. By this time the firing had aroused the camp and a company of our troops came on one side, and a party of the French on the other and they took the men in the barn prisoner and brought them in. They were cow boys. This was the first time I saw the French in action. They stepped as though on edge. They were a dreadful proud nation. When they brought the men in, one of them had the impudence to ask, 'Is the man here we fired at just now?' 'Yes,' said Major Tallmadge, 'There he is, that boy.' Then he told how they had each laid out a crown and agreed that the one that brought me down should have the three. When he got through with his story, I stepped to my holster and took out my pistol, and walked up to him and said, 'If I've been a mark to you for money, I'll take my turn now. So, deliver your money or your life! He handed over four crowns and I got three more from the other two."


Mr. Cook was at the Battle of Brandywine (September 11, 1777) and at Cornwallis' Surrender (October 19, 1781). Of the latter he gives the following account :


"It was reported that Washington was going to storm New York. We made a by-law in our regiment that every man should stick with his horse, if his horse went he should go with him. I was waiter for the quartermaster, and so had a chance to keep my horse in good condition. Baron Steuben was mustermaster. He had us called out to select men and horses fit for service. When he came to me he said, 'Young man, how old are you?' I told him. 'Be on the ground tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock' said he. My colonel didn't like to have me go. 'You'll see,' said he 'they'll call for him tomorrow morning.' But they said if we had a by-law we had to abide by it. Next morning old Steuben had got my name, there were eighteen out of the regiment, 'Be on the ground' said he 'tomorrow morning with two days provisions.' 'You're a fool,' said the rest, they're going to storm New York.' No more idea of it than going to Flanders. My horse was a bay, and pretty. Next day I was the second on parade. We marched off towards White Plains. The 'left wheel' and struck right north. Got to King's Ferry, below Terrytown, there were boats, scows, etc. We went right across into the Jerseys. That night I slept with my back to a tree.
Then we went to Head of Elk. There the French were. It was dusty, 'Peered to me I should have chocked to death. One of 'em handed me his canteen, 'Lem,' said he, 'take a good horn, we're going to march all night.' I didn't know what it was, so I took a full drink. It liked to have strangled me. Then we were in Virginia. There wasn't much fighting. Cornwallis tried to force his way north to New York, but fell into the arms of LaFayette, and he drove him back. Old Rochambeau told 'em, I'll land five hundred from the fleet against your eight hundred.' But he darnst. We were on kind of a side hill. We had plenty little to eat and nothing under heaven to drink. We hove up some brush to keep the flies off. Washington ordered that there should be no laughing at the British, said it was bad enough to have to surrender without being insulted. The army came out with guns clubbed to their backs. They were paraded on a great smooth lot, and there they stacked their arms. Then came the devil-old women, and all (camp followers). One said, 'I wonder if the damned yankees will give me any bread.' The horses were starved out. Washington turned out with his horses and helped them up the hill. When they see the artillery, they said, 'There, them's the very artillery that belonged to Burgoyne.' Greene came across from the southward, the awfulest sight you ever see; Some I should presume had a pint of lice on 'em. No boots nor shoes."


The old man's talk is very fragmentary. He recalls the past slowly, and with difficulty, but when he has his mind fixed upon it, all seems to come up clear. His articulation also, is very imperfect, so that it is with difficulty that his story can be made out. Much of his experiences in the war seem gone from him, and in conversation with him he has to be left to the course of his own thoughts, inquiries and suggestions appearing to confuse him. At the close of the war he married Hannah Curtis of Cheshire, Conn. and lived a while in that vicinity, after which he removed to Utica, New York. There he had frequent encounters with the Indians who still lived in  the area. One with whom he had had some difficulty over cattle assailed him at a public house, as he was on his way home, coming at him with great fury, with a drawn knife. Mr. Cook was unarmed, but catching up a chair he presented it as a shield against the Indians thrusts until help appeared. He says he never knew what fear was, and always declared that no man would take him prisoner alive. His frame is large and his presence commanding, and in his prime must have possessed prodigious strength. He has evidently been a man of most resolute spirit, the old determination still manifesting itself in his look and words. His voice the full power of which he still retains, is marvelous for its strength and volume. Speaking of the present war, he said, in his strong tones, at the same time bringing down his cane with force upon the floor, 'It is terrible, but terrible as it is the rebellion must be put down'. He still walks comfortably with the use of a cane, and with the aid of glasses he reads his book, as he calls his Bible. He is fond of company, loves a joke and is good natured in a rough sort of way. He likes to relate his experiences in the army and among the Indians. He has voted democratic since the organization of the government, supposing that it still represents the same party it did in Jefferson's time. His pension, before it increased, was one hundred dollars. It has now increased to two hundred dollars. The old man's health is comfortably good and he enjoys life as much as could be expected at his great age. His home at present is with a son whose wife, especially seems to take kind and tender care of him. Altogether he is a noble old man, and long may it yet be before his name shall be missed from the rolls of his country's deliverers. -Elias Brewster Hillard.
This piece has been published several times in various forms. The original author's manuscript is at the New York State Library at Albany, which also included two pictures of Lemuel.
 

Copy of Article in Rochester Union Advertiser May 22, 1866
LEMUEL COOK - THE LAST REVOLUTIONARY PATRIOT AND PENSIONER - DEAD

Lemuel Cook, who is believed to be the last of the Revolutionary heroes and pensioners, died at Clarendon, Orleans Co. New York on Sunday evening, the 20th at the home of his son True W. Cook.
Mr. Cook according to his own statement was born in Plymouth, Litchfield County, Connecticut. The year of his birth is uncertain, but from statements made to the writer some years ago, when his mind was unimpaired, he was probably born in 1764. He was about 17 years old when he entered the service of his country in the spring of 1781.


A writer for the New York Herald, in giving a sketch of the surviving Revolutionary pensioners on October 10, 1863 states that, "He enlisted for the 2nd Light Dragoons, Col. Sheldon, but was mustered into Stanton's company of infantry, and continued in that company and in the service of the United States until June 1783, when he was, at the termination of the war, discharged at Danbury, Conn."
He has retained in his possession a copy from the War Department of his discharge, signed by George Washington, which states that he was a private in the 2nd Light Dragoons, Conn. Regiment. His field officers were stated as Col. Sheldon, Lieut. Jennison, and Major Benjamin Tallmadge.
The date of discharge is the same as stated in the Herald, it winds up as follows; The above named Lemuel Cook has been honored with the badge of merit for three years faithful service."
Soon after entering the service, Mr. Cook marched with the army to that memorable campaign in Virginia,. and was at the closing struggle at Yorktown, and witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis on the 19th of October 1871.


Mr. Cook moved from Conn. to Oneida Co., New York, thence to Bergen, Genesee Co. and from the latter place to Clarendon, N.Y. where he has resided for about 30 years.


Mr. Cook was a life long Democrat in his politics, and until within a few years ago was punctual in his attendance at town meetings and elections. He continued to write his name to orders and pension papers until the last winter when he became to enfeebled to write. His autograph has been sought for from all parts of the country. In the spring of 1861 a Hartford publisher sent an artist to procure his photograph, the first and only one that has been taken of him and the picture is remaricably correct.
Among the last autographs is one now in the possession of the Bureau of Military records at Albany, furnished at the request of Mr. Doty.


According to the statement of the Herald, there was on the twelfth of March 1861 12 surviving Revolutionary pensioners in the southern states. (This has now been proved to have been entirely false.)


The funeral will take place tomorrow at 10 in the morning in a grove near the house of his son, Curtis Cook, if pleasant, in the south east corner of Clarendon. As 'Ir. Cook was a Mason he will be buried under its honors as well as those of war, the Rev. Col. James T. Fuller has been sent for to officiate as chaplain of the ceremonies which will be attended to the burial of the Last Survivor of the Army of the Revolution.


Clarendon, May 22, 1866 -George M. Copeland.

There are several false statements made in this piece, but it is the most nearly correct of any of the articles published at the time of Lemuel's death.

The following piece appeared in the ORLEANS REPUBLICAN May 24, 1866
Lemuel Cook Sr, the last of the Revolutionary heroes, died on Sunday night in Clarendon, N.Y at the age of 107 years. He was born in Plymouth Conn. and at the age of 16 years he entered the Army of the Revolution, first in the Dragoons and then in the infantry under Colonel Sheldon. Mr. Cook in the second enlistment served 3 years in the Army, was present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown and took an honorable discharge at the close of the war which was signed by General George Washington. Mr. Cook came to western N.Y, to reside over 30 years ago. He has been in feeble health for a couple of years past but up until 1864 was quite active The funeral of Lemuel Cook took place on Wednesday, none of the churches were large enough to accomodate the crowd attending so the body was taken to a nearby grove where he laid in state and the funeral service was held. The masonic fraternity took charge of the proceedings. The sermon was preached by the Reverend James M. Fuller, his discourse will be remembered as a masterpiece, his text taken from the Psalms 44-1 to 3. The burial was also with military honors at the family cemetery a short distance down the road.

The following description of the funeral appears in Copeland's History of Clarendon at page 284
A large procession brought Lemuel from the home of his son True to the woods across from the farm of his son Curtis, where the funeral was held. A few boards were placed in front of the speaker, where the coffin rested, and the large audience seated themselves as best they could, and for two hours listened to the eloquent words which came forth in memory of the departed soldier. The text was taken from the words, "We have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us". This was the most impressive funeral that ever took place in Clarendon, and the only one that has ever been held in that most beautiful and grand of all God's temples, the woods, where the golden pencils of light came streaming down through the arches of shade in all the richness of glory and softness of perfect peace and hollowed rest. In the words of Byron--"He has fought his last fight, He has seen his last battle, No sound can awaken him to glory again."
-David Sturges Copeland 1888


Mrs. Nettie Cook Smith often spoke of her memory as a little girl following the funeral procession from the home of True Cook on the Merrill Road, where Lemuel lived the last years of his life, to the large wooded section directly across from the farm of Curtis Cook on the fiunger Road for the funeral, and then on to the cemetery service a short distance down the road to the west. Nettie was a daughter of Franklin and grand daughter of Lemuel Cook Jr.

This article -By ROBERT SPENCER

 It was July, 1864. Still another year of agony and desolation faced the nation divided
 by Clyil War.


"It is terrible." Lemuel Cook, 105, of Clarendon, Orleans County, New York, was speaking of the carnage. "But, terrible as it is, the rebellion must be put down." And, as though making an exclamation point, he brought down his cane with force upon the floor.

Lemuel Cook was the oldest of the North's 12 surviving veterans of the American Revolution. And for a moment, the old determination flared again and out of his past, out of the present tumult and pain and pride, came the salty account of another struggle - Yorktown, Oct. 19, 1781, final British defeat in the American War of Independence.


Cook had been with General Washington's army at Yorktown and at Cornwallis' surrender there. Of the latter, the very old man now spoke, "slowly and with difficulty" and "his talk broken and fragmentary:"
"We were on a kind. of side hill. We had plaguey little to eat and nothing to drink under heaven. We hove up some brush to keep the flies off. Washington ordered that there should be no laughing at the British; said it was bad enough to have to surrender ... The army came out with guns clubbed on their backs ... Then came the devil - old women and all ... The horses were starved out. Washingtcn turned out with his horses and helped them up the hlll ... Greene came from the southard; the awfullest set you ever see. Some, I should presume, had a pint of lice on 'em. No boots or shoes."


Cook's interviewer that summer day in 1864 was the Rev. Illias Brewster Hillard, a Congregational minister from Connecticut. He was on a long journey - by rail, stage coach and horse - to visit and photograph the last 12 pensioners of the Revolutionary War. They lived from Maine to Missouri.
A strong sense of urgency spurred Hillard on the mission he had undertaken for N. A. and R. A. Moore, Hartford, Conn., publishers, who wanted to record the first hand stories and photographs of "The Last Men of the Revolution." Each man already was at least 100 years old.


Near Rochester lived two of The Last Men: - - Lemuel Cook, of Clarendon, who had served three years as a private in a Connecticut regiment, the Second Light Dragoons. Before witnessing Cornwallis' surrender, he was at Brandywine and in other battles. After the war he became a farmer near Utica. Late in life he went to live with his son in Clarendon, five Miles south of Holley.


- - Alexander Milliner, of Adams Basin, Monroe County, about midway between Spencerport and Brockport. He had been a First New York Regiment drummer boy for 3˝ years, was at the Valley Forge encampment and was wounded in the thigh at the battle of Monmouth.


Hillard found that in the Continental army Milliner apparently was "the life of the camp, could dance and sing, 'nothing troubling him over five minutes at a time' ... he is small, more so than his picture would indicate." His enthusiasm never waned. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Milliner, then 101, wanted to take his drum. and go to Rochester and beat for volunteers. The drum now is part of the permanent collection of Irondequoit Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.


In the e'arly 1800s Milliner built boats and operated an Erie Canal dock in Rochester. He died in 1865 at age 105 and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester.


Still standing in Clarendon is the 143 year-old house in which Lemuel Cook lived and where, in 1866, he died at age 106.


Since 1934 the house has heen the home of Clarendon Supervisor and Mrs. Alvin Hilfiker. They have  made many architectural changes in the building in the last 35 years.
The house is at 16575 Boots Road, near the Byron-Holley Road, in the southeastern corner of Orleans County.


Hilfiker was elected Clarendon supervisor four years ago.


Cook's closest surviving relative is thought to be a great-great-grand niece, Mrs. Gilbert L. Kishlar of 113 South Main St., Holley.



The above post card incorectly states his age at death as 102.
It was actually 106.
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THE LAST SOLDIERS
- F. W. Cook

In 1840, according to the Federal Census there were literally hundreds of surviving Revolutionary Soldiers on the rolls of our country's deliverers. The next quarter century would see them all swept away, all but one. By 1863 there were only 12 Veterans living, Whose names appeared on the pension rolls and Official records of the Nation. They passed to their reward in the following order.


Amaziah Goodwin, Alfred, Maine died June 22, 1863 aged 105 years
Benjamin Miller, Albany, New York, died September 24, 1863 aged 100 years
John Goodnow of Boston, Mass. died October 22, 1863 at age 102
James Berman, of Missouri, died January 10, 1864 at 102 years
Samuel Downing, Edinburg, New York died March 16, 1864 aged 102
Jonas Gates, Chelsea, Vermont died March 18, 1864 at 101 years of age
John Pettingill of Henderson, New York, died April 23, 1864 at 99 years of age
Rev. Daniel Waldo, Syracuse, New York, died July 30, 1864, aged 103 years
William Hutchins of York, Maine, died August 4, 1864 at age 102 years
Adam Link, Sulphur Springs, Ohio died August 15, 1864 at age 103 years
Alexander Milliner, Adams Basin, New York died March 15, 1865 aged 105 years

Lemuel Cook of Clarendon, New York died May 20, 1866 at 107 years of his age.
 
Lemuel was clearly the eldest of all of these Last Survivors and he was without any question the Last Pensioner the last year of his life. In 1867 the 39th Congress gave pensions to two other men by "Special Acts" in their behalf because they could not meet the criterion of previous pension laws, they were; John Gray of Brookfield, Ohio who died March 29, 1868, age unknown, who served less than six months; and Daniel F. Bakeman of Freedom, NY who died April 5, 1869. The only existing reference to his age is on his headstone which says he wes 109 years,


nor is there any existing record of his service in NY where he said he served nor in the National Archive., nor record of the testimony given before the 39th Congress prior to the passage of his Bill. Be that as it may, while he lived Lemuel was the Oldest and the Last Survivor and was born before the two that were added to the rolls after his death. With any distinction there are and have been those who would lay claim to it, I say let them prove it, if they can, none have yet succeeded. 


There are many Revolutionary Soldiers that appear in our Cook and related families, we have yet to determine an exact number here are a few of them. 


Selah Cook 1756-1809 Private Ct
Trueworthy Cook 1758-1822 Private Ct
William Tousley Jr. 1761-1827 Private Vt father of Orson and Matilda Tousley
Timothy Coleman 1752-1831 Lieut. NY father of Joshua Coleman
Jonathan Mason 1733-1771 Lieut Ct grandfather of Susan (Mrs. Lemuel Cook Jr.)
William Stewart ? NJ maternal grandfather Eva Bird (Mrs. Edgar Howe)
Benjamin Pettingill 1761-1844 Pvt. Mass mater. grandf. Amos P. wetherbee and father of Mary Pettingill Rice (Mrs. Beckwith Cook)
Daniel Cook 1763-1806 Pvt Mass grandf. of Mary Ann wife of Homer Cook
William Millikin 1752-1808 Pvt NH great grandf. Julia - Mrs. Dallas D. Cook
Samuel Lewis 1749-1790 Pvt Mass great grandf. of Florence Lewis Harrison
Ebenezer Soul. 1750-1812 Pvt NY grandf. of Martha Jane - Mrs. Joshua Coleman II
Moses Holmes II ? grandf. of John Holmes II 


These are only a few with connecting relationships in the 5th, 6th and 7th Generations there are many many others. There are extensive records of their service all of it most interesting. As many as 15 soldiers have been discovered in one family, that number may prove to be greater. This seems to be the case in many of our families, perhaps this is coincidence, we cannot know. In any case it is remarkable, and something we have every reason to be proud and thankful for.   --- F. W.Cook

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF LEMUEL COOK

I Lemuel Cook, pf the Town of Clarendon in the County of Orleans and state of New York, considering the uncertainty of this mortal life, and being of sound mind and memory, do make publish this my last Will and Testament, in manner and form following: that is to say

Firstly, I give and bequeath to my eldest son MILES COOK the sum of one hundred dollars, I also give and bequeath to my daughter ESTHER COLEMAN the sum of ten dollars, I also give and bequeath to my son LEMUEL COOK Junior the sum of two hundred dollars,  I also give and bequeath to my son WORTHY COOK the sum of one hundred dollars,  I also give and bequeath to my son LYMAN COOK the sum of two hundred dollars,  I also give and bequeath to my daughter ELECTA TOUSLEY the sum of ten dollars,  I also give and bequeath to my son CURTIS COOK the sum of two hundred dollars,  I also give and be­queath to my son GILBERT COOK the sum of four hundred dollars,  I also give and bequeath to my grandson EDGAR HOWE the sum of forty dollars,  and I do hereby enjoin upon my son Gilbert Cook and James M. Hollister, whom I do hereby appoint executors of this my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made, and that I also give good and sufficient bail that my wife RUTH COOK shall be supported in a good and decent manner, with all the necessities of life so long as she shall remain my widow, her support and living to be amply secured to her before the above legacies shall be paid, unless in the opinion and judgment of the executors, by and with the advice of the Surrogate there is amply sufficient real and personal estate to pay the aforesaid legacy and secure to my wife Ruth Cook her support and living as aforesaid.   And lastly, as to all the rest, residue and remainder of my personal estate goods and chattels, lands, tensments of what soever kind and nature I give and bequeath to LEMUEL COOK Jr.,  WORTHY COOK, LYMAN COOK, CURTIS COOK, MILES COOK, GILBERT COOK and ESTHER COLEMAN and ELECTA TOUSLEY, to be equally divided between them.  And my Will is that the above legacies or bequeathments be paid to the above named persons as soon after my death as the goods and chattels, real and personal estate can be sold to good advantage by the executors.   Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 27th day of April in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Fifty Five.

LS.---------- Seal

 Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Lemuel Cook, to be his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us, who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of the testator.

                        THOMAS TEMPLETON                        JAMES M. HOLLISTER                        LS.


COPY   ESTATE OF LEMUEL COOK FROM THE OFFICE OF SURROGATE FOR ORLEANS COUNTY PETITICN FOR PROOF OF WILL. 

The petition of GILBERT COOK of the Town of Clarendon in the County of Orleans and state of New York, respectfully shows:  That Lemuel Cook Sr. late of the Town of Clarendon in the said County of Orleans, deceased, died in the said town of Clarendon on or about the Twentieth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, being at that time an inhabitant of the County of Orleans;  that he died leaving a Last Will and Testament, which is now produced in the Surrogate's Court of the said County of LEMUEL COOK       Orleans, before the said Surrogate, which bears the date 27th day of April in the year of our Lord 1855, and by which said Last Will and Testament the said deceased nominated and appointed Gilbert Cook and James M. Hollister executors thereof;  that the said deceased died possessed of Real and Personal Estate in the said County of Orleans;  and that the following named persons are all the heirs at law and next of kin of the said deceased, and their respective ages and places of residence are as follows: 

TRUE WORTHY COOK, MILES COOK, GILBERT COOK, CURTIS COOK all residing at Clarendon, Orleans Co., N.Y. 

ELECTA TOUSLEY, residing in Gaines, Orleans Co., N.Y. LYMAN COOK, residing in Buffalo, Wisconsin

SELAH COOK, residing in Flint, Michigan All adult children of the said deceased
 

MERRITT COOK, CHARLES COOK, and FANNY HAMMOND all residing in Clarendon, N.Y.  HOMER COOK residing in Lake Mills, Wisconsin grandchildren of the said deceased and children of LEMUEL COOK Jr. deceased, and EDGAR HOWE residing in Flint, Michigan grandchild of the said deceased and son of HANNAH HOWE deceased.

The above are all of full age and the only heirs and next of kin of the said deceased.

SPENCER COLEMAN, SIMEON D. COLEMAN, JOSHUA COLEMAN Jr., ELECTA RUYDER, and SALLY HOLMES, grandchildren of said deceased and children of ESTHER COLEMAN deceased, all of full age and residents of Clarendon, NY. 

and that the Real and Personal Estate of the said deceased will not exceed the sum of $2,000.00.

                  Dated July 14th 1866 GILBERT COOK

                  Witnessed by the Clerk of Surrogate Court.      LS.   Seal 

Although the proceedings of probate were begun by the family there was never any final disposition made by the court and the will was never probated.



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