The childhood of William S. Cook, a prosperous ranch-man of the Plateau valley, Mesa county, this state, living about two miles north of the village of Collbran, was darkened by the shadow of bereavement in the death of his mother when he was but nine years old; and portions of his later life were oppressed by poverty and apparently unremunerative toil, with their incident hardships and privations. But now, through his unconquerable energy and his unvarying frugality and thrift, he is well fixed in a worldly way, and can look back with composure over the storms and trials through which he has passed. He was born in Benton county, Missouri, March 25, 1852, and is the son of George E. and Mary A. (Matthews) Cook, the former a native of Rhode Island and the latter of England. The father migrated to Iowa in his youth, and later to Missouri. In 1857 he moved his family to Kansas, where his wife died in 1861, aged about forty years. In 1878 he came to Douglas county, Colorado, and a short time afterward went to California, since which time he has never been heard of by his son. William S. Cook remained at his home in Kansas until he reached the age of nineteen, securing a meager education in the public schools and earning his own living for some years at various occupations. At the age of nineteen he came to this state and located in Douglas county, having at the time, as the sum of his earthly possessions, the clothing he wore and ten cents in money. He remained in Douglas county ten years employed in riding the range and herding cattle. On October 2, 1882, he landed in Grand valley, Mesa county, and two years later took up his residence in Plateau valley on the ranch which is his present home. Since that time he has been a resident of this section and has been actively engaged in developing a profitable farming and stock business and in his way promoting the general growth and progress of the community in which he lives. He was married in 1879 to Miss Ida Jones, a native of Douglas county, Colorado. Eight children have blessed their union, of whom six are living, Madge, Lena, Flora, William S., Jr., James and Albert B. Those deceased are Maud, who died in 1881, and John who died in 1898.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.