John C. Cook, one of the leading citizens of the Rifle section of Garfield county, this state, is a native of Dearborn county, Indiana, born on October 29, 1838, and the son of Elisha and Charlotte (Briddle) Cook, the father born in the state of New York and the mother in Maryland. They settled in Indiana in very early days and remained in that state until 1852, when they moved to Iowa, locating in Wapello county. There the father became a successful and prosperous farmer. He was an ardent Republican in political allegiance, and both he and his wife were active members of the Baptist church. Their offspring numbered eight, four of whom have died. The four living are Andrew N., a resident of Council Bluffs, Iowa; John C., the subject of this article; and Nancy J. and Sarah E., twins, who are still living in Wapello county, Iowa. The father died in 1880 and the mother in 1886. John C., the second in age of the living children, received a common-school education and remained at home working for his parents until he attained the age of twenty-seven. He then began farming in Iowa for himself and remained there engaged in that pursuit until 1874. Before this, however, early in the Civil war, he enlisted in the Union army as a member of Company D, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry, and was in active field service until he was seriously injured at the battle of Shiloh. This disabled him for further service and he soon afterward received an honorable discharge. After spending a short time at his Iowa home when he returned from the war, he came to Colorado and settled on the Divide, north of Colorado Springs. Here he ranched and raised stock until 1885, when he moved to his present location, three miles north of Rifle. He has a ranch of one hundred and sixty acres, one hundred acres of which are easily cultivated and yield abundant and profitable crops of hay, fruit and vegetables. He has a good water right to his property with a sufficient supply of water for irrigation and the wants of his large herds of cattle, and his business in both general ranching and the stock industry is extensive. He is a zealous Republican in political affiliation and takes a leading part in public local affairs. From 1888 to 1892 he served as county commissioner and in addition has held other local offices of importance, rendering good and faithful service to the county in each and winning the approval of the citizens generally without regard to party. On December 28, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Josephine Calvin, who was born in Edgar county, Illinois, and is the daughter of John C. and Elizabeth A. (Lewis) Calvin. Her father was a native of Ohio and her mother of Illinois. The father was a merchant in early life, and on retiring from this business became a farmer. He also was a stanch Republican in politics. He died in 1873, having survived his wife, who passed away in 1869, four years. They had eight children, six of whom are living, Wesley, Charles, William P., Amos, Josephine (Mrs. Cook), and Margaret, wife of Isaac N. Craven. Mr. and Mrs. Cook have had seven children. Grant died on July 12, 1880, and Elisha R. on November 8, 1903. The five living are Elmer, Frank, Harry, Josephine G. (Mrs. Ora Card, of Salt Lake City) and Roy. When Mr. Cook located on his present ranch the country was wild and undeveloped. Deer, he says , were as thick as snow-birds and Indians were numerous, but they gave the new settlers no trouble. The region was a good field for his enterprise and this was wisely and diligently employed.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.