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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HON. SAMUEL MILLS COOK, a public-spirited, influential citizen of Granby, was born in that town, November 1, 1822. He represents one of the most respected pioneer families of the district. His father, the late Deacon Perez Cook, who came in boyhood to Granby, was born in Hadley, married Hannah Clarke, a native of the town, bought a farm here, and was afterward identified with the best interests of the place, occupying a prominent position among the town and county officials. He and his wife lived to a venerable age, dying on the old homestead, now occupied by the subject of this sketch, successively, in 1876 and 1879. Eight children were born to them, as follows: Henry, Hervey, and Henry (second), all of whom died in infancy; Sarah Louise, the first-born, now living in Minnesota; Samuel Mills, of this sketch; Henry, who died at the age of twenty-one years; Angeline, formerly a teacher in Tennessee, now residing with her brother, Mr. S. M. Cook; and Hervey S., who also resides with Mr. Cook.

Samuel Mills Cook, who acquired a good education in his youthful days, began the battle of life at the early age of fifteen years, his culture, perseverance, and self-reliance being his chief endowments. At the age of sixteen years he was appointed a teacher in the district school at Belchertown, where he had taught but one term when he was promoted to the village school in the centre of the town. He spent a year here when, being desirous of advancing his own education, he entered the Belchertown Academy as a pupil teacher, under Mr. Joshua Pearl, at the same time availing of every opportunity to pursue his own studies. Then he taught with Mr. Pearl in the Warren Seminary for a time, subsequently going from there to Chicopee, where he had charge of the grammar school for seven years. Mr. Cook was next professionally employed at Limestone Springs, S.C., where he taught mathematics and languages for a year. After this he abandoned teaching. He set out for St. Cloud, Minn., but stopped enroute at Minneapolis — then a small village, containing but eight hundred souls — and for two years carried on a successful lumbering business. In 1858 he came once more to Hampshire County, where, in addition to farming, he engaged in paper manufacturing as a member of the well-known firm of Taylor, Cook & Co., proprietors of a paper-mill in South Hadley. He subsequently received severe injuries in the mill, after which he returned to his present farm, where he is living practically retired from the activities of life. His estate is finely improved and amply supplied with substantial and well-arranged buildings and all the necessary machinery and implements for general farming conducted according to the most approved methods. He is also interested in the lumbering business, owning ten thousand acres of timbered and prairie land in Minnesota.

On October 19, 1857, Mr. Cook was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Smith, a native of this county and daughter of Levi and Fanny (Hayes) Smith, the latter being a sister of ex-President Rutherford B. Hayes. Mr. Cook was elected in 1880 and re-elected in 1881 to represent the county in the Senate. He has since been prominent in official life, serving his constituents with credit to himself and benefit to them. He has always taken an active interest in the welfare of his native town and county. He has been Assessor, Selectman, was for thirty years chairman of the School Committee, and has held his present office of County Commissioner for fourteen years. Politically, he is an earnest supporter of the principles of the Republican party and one of its most influential members. He is a Trustee of the Northampton Institution for Savings, and was one of the first Directors of the bank at South Hadley Falls. Religiously, both Mr. and Mrs. Cook are valued members of the Congregational church of Granby.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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