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History of Belle Rive and Dahlgren, Illinois And Surrounding Territory

Prepared by Continental Historical Bureau of Mt. Vernon, Illinois
December, 1960

Page B-12

Lenna Smith and Mrs. Ed Page Reporting.....

The immigrant ancestors of Theophilus Cook settled in Virginia Colony in the early years of its settlement.  The exact date of arrival is not known, but court records show that William Cook, great grandfather of Theophilus, bought eight hundred acres of land in what is now Southampton County, Virginia, in 1667.  After a time, about 1770, the family moved to what became Fairfield County, South Carolina, where Theophilus was born on February 22, 1788.

After the Revolutionary War (in which his father, John, served in the Second Regiment, South Carolina Infantry), members of the Cook, Caldwell and other families moved to Tennessee, where Theophilus Cook married on October 24, 1811.  His bride was the former Elizabeth Caldwell, who had been born in Newberry County, South Carolina.

Theophilus served in the War of 1812 under General Jackson, and his military record shows two periods of service in this conflict.

He served the company commanded by Captain George Smith in a regiment of mounted volunteers in General Coffee's Brigade against the Creek Indians, volunteering in Sumner County, Tennessee in either September or October 1813.  The reason the dates are indefinite is that the record was made from memory almost forty years after the actual periods of service, as the War Department did not keep service records as they did in later periods, and therefore the Theophilus Cook record was made by affidavits made out by himself and by men who knew him.  He was honorably discharged from this period of service at Ditto's Landing on the Tennessee River about the last of December, 1813.

Theophilus Cook also served in the company commanded by Captain Robert Moore in the First Regiment of Mounted Volunteers commanded by Colonel Thomas Williamson.  He volunteered in Sumner County, Tennessee, in September, 1814 and was honorably discharged at Nashville, Tennessee about May 1, 1815.

Theophilus Cook was already a father at the time of his service for his country, as Sarah had be born July 28, 1812 and Feriba, another daughter, was born in January 30, 1814.  On February 1, 1816, he became the father of his first son, Josiah Brown Cook.

In the winter of 1816-1817, the family moved to Jefferson County, Illinois, settling in Moores Prairie Township near where Belle Point School house now stands.

Following is a complete list of the children of Theophilus and Elizabeth Caldwell Cook:  Sarah, born July 28, 1812, who married John Jenkins; Feriba, born January 30, 1814, who married Willis B. Holder; Josiah Brown, born February 1, 1816, who died February 17i, 1845; Mary, born June 1, 1817, who married John A. Calvert; Robert Perry, born January 31, 1819, who first married Harriett J. Morgan and later married Sarah Sturman; Daniel D., born October 11, 1820, who married Nancy Parent; Johnithan S., born February 12, 1822, who married Susan Blake; Matilda, born April 3, 1824, who married Richard Kinison on July 1, 1847 (he lived in Kentucky until he was fifteen years old; then he came to Illinois and lived in the vicinity of Belle Rive the rest of his life.  He farmed for a living and was a great hunter.  They raised their family on a farm southeast of Belle Rive, and were the great grandparents of Mrs. Ed Page0; William C., born October 3, 1825, who died December 2, 1847; Elvina, born August 16, 1827, who died February 17, 1845 (the same day that her brother Josiah died); and Margaret J., born April 21, 1830, who married Thomas Shipley.

Theophilus and Elizabeth Cook had two sons who died in the Mexican War, but the records does not indicate which two they were.

Theophilus Cook was a lay preacher (Methodist exhorter), and was highly respected by all who knew him.  He died on June 15, 1858.  The Cooks are buried in New Hope Cemetery, a short distance south of Belle Rive, Illinois.

Among the descendants of Theophilus and Elizabeth Cook are and have been a number of professional people and people of some local prominence, including Rev. Cook Kinison and Federal Judge Robert Holder.  Mary L. (Kinison) Orrick lived north of Fairplay School for years, and F. M. Kinison lived southeast of Fairplay all of his life.  Lucretia E. (Kinison) Glenn lived the first house east of Fairplay.  Many others have lived in the area.

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