Showing posts with label San Francisco Chronicle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Francisco Chronicle. Show all posts

Friday, January 26, 2018

A Sense of Character- An Addendum to My Tale of Michael S. Cooke

Michael Cooke's business stationery-courtesy of Ralph Lane
One of the things I enjoy about finding records, notes, letters and newspaper stories about the more distant ancestors is that it gives you a real sense of their character and their personalities. My cousin Mark Tapply made this point in a previous point about Charles Tapply's army desertion: "Who in their right mind, would go off and fight for a huge corporation (the British East India Company)and their profits, while leaving his wife and 2 kids alone to fend for themselves? That took a lot of courage!"   Good point. His comment made me see things through the eyes of my great-grandfather and gave me an insight into his thinking.

After my last post a few days ago, I was back again at Newspapers.com trying to find anything more I could add to the story of Michael Stinson Cooke. I found it.
Michael Stinson Cooke died on the 27th of October, 1897 at his home in San Francisco. Less than a week later, this touching story ran in the San Francisco Chronicle. I've transcribed it for you because it's a bit difficult to read in the image:

Followed Its Master; They Were Inseparable In Life and In Death

     The officers of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were called upon yesterday by people living in the Richmond district to kill a horse that had become quite historical in that locality, but which, since the death of its master about a week ago, had lost its value in this world.
     About a week ago M.S. Cook, residing at the corner of Cook street and Point Lobos avenue, died at his home. Through life he had been well known in the district, and Cook street had been named after him. Cook possessed a beautiful sorrel horse, which for the past twenty-five years has been his constant and inseparable companion. One of the sights of the district was to see old man Cook and the horse out every day for their constitutional. They both grew old together.
     When Cook died a week ago his family did not know what to do with the horse. During life it was too dear to Cook to part with, but since Cook had died the animal's vocation in life ceased. Fearing that if allowed to live the horse might fall into other hands, and having for themselves no further use for it, the family decided to have him shot. When Office Walton arrived, Mrs. Cook refused to have the shooting done in an other place save the lot where the animal has been brought up. So he was compelled to kill the animal there.

What a lovely and touching story this is! And it reveals so much about the character of these people that they showed such concern and compassion for the horse that had become a member of the family.
Just another reminder that good genealogy is about more than facts and figures.