Cooke family

October 10th, 2008

Another one of the first families of Clintonville was the Cooke family. According to the family’s history, Roswell Cooke (1764-1827) came to Ohio with his wife and five children in 1800 from Connecticut. His two eldest sons, Rodney and Chauncey, took up land 6 miles north of the state house, their farms adjoining (in the vicinity of Cooke Road and North High Street). They cleared the land and both erected “houses out of round, unhewn logs, with puncheon floors and primitive fire places, with mud-and-stick chimneys.” The brothers lived the rest of their lives on these farms. Family history states that in 1827 they constructed one of the first grist and saw mills on the Olentangy River, which later became known as the Whipp and then as the Weisheimer Mill. They also operated a distillery. (Photo courtesy of Terry Miller.)

Rodney’s son, H.C. Cooke, was born in 1825, and took up residence on the old Cooke homestead at 4243 North High Street. Over time H.C. amassed 300 acres. He was a successful businessman, including in the stock business, and then owned the firm Cooke, Grant & Cooke, contractors in the construction of heavy masonry for railroad and other bridges. He was one of the officers of the Worthington & Columbus streetcar line. (You can click on this map to enlarge it.) (Photo courtesy of Carl Cooke.)

Just a bit more background information. The current name of the company Henry C. Cooke founded is the Fritz-Rumer-Cooke Co., Inc. They are still in business. The Secretary of State’s website states that one of their prior names was the Fritz Rumer Cooke Grant Company, changed to Fritz-Rumer-Cooke Co., Inc. in 1918. The company’s website states that it was founded in 1879 and incorporated in Ohio in 1911, and is still managed by descendants of the Cooke family. (This information courtesy of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.)

Rodney Romoaldo Cooke (1832-1866), brother of Henry C.

October 10th, 2008

Roswell Cooke came to Ohio from Connecticut in 1800 with his wife and five children. The two oldest sons, Chauncey and Rodney, took up adjoining land in the vicinity of today’s Henderson Road and North High Street. Son Rodney (1793-1833) married Laura Cowles and together they had nine children: Esther (married to L. J. Weaver), Roswell (m. Lorinda Skeels), Helen (m. John Good), Rosalia (m. John Webster), Rachel (m. William Buck), Laura (m. Lester Roberts), Rodney Romoaldo (m. Chloe Williams), Demon, and Henry C. (m. Abigail Taylor).

Rodney’s son Rodney was a teacher and a farmer, and he served in the Civil War (Company G, 57th OVI). He was honorably discharged but returned from the war an invalid. Broken down in health, he was largely incapacitated for performing manual labor on his farm. He died in 1886, having been confined to his bed 11 years. A bit more biographical information can be found in A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County Ohio (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1901) pp. 248-252, excerpted here.

Maple Grove School

October 10th, 2008

In 1842, Clinton Township School District 1 acquired land at Henderson and High Street from Chauncey Cooke, and in 1878, built a brick school building on the southwest corner. The building was used both as a school and for worship services by various denominations. In 1920, the district deeded the school to the Methodist Church, and the Maple Grove Methodist Episcopal Church was organized. It was at the time the only church between Clintonville and Worthington. (Photo courtesy of the Ron Ohsner family)

Never too many Cookes in the kitchen…

October 10th, 2008

Cooke family members married Buck, Armstrong, Hess, Maize, Webster, and Brown family members. The Cooke family held a series of family reunions from the late 1890s through the first decade of the 1910s, and maintained a log and minutes of their get-together. (Photo courtesy of Carl Cooke)

Armstrong family

October 10th, 2008

Another noted family in the vicinity of Henderson and High Street was the Armstrong family. Henry C. Cooke’s daughter Flora had married Llewellyn Armstrong. This is their house on the corner of Cooke Lane and High Street. A caption by Lulu Pearle Browne (Ohsner) also states “Clem Cooke [a son of Albert C. Cooke] born here—when first built Al and Lulu Cooke lived here.” (Photo courtesy of the Ron Ohsner family)

Alice Cooke

October 10th, 2008

Alice Cooke Hess was the daughter of Henry C. Cooke, and worked for some years as a school teacher at the Clinton Heights Avenue School. She married Charles Hess, the great grandson of pioneer, Balser Hess. (The Hess family land formed Union Cemetery.) Alice and her husband eventually lived in the large house built by Henry Cooke at Deland and North High Street shown in my book and on this web site. This is her grave stone in Union Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of Terry W. Miller.)

Hess Barn

October 10th, 2008

Alice Cooke (daughter of Henry C. Cooke) married Charles Hess, a great grandson of Clinton Township pioneer Balser Hess. Alice had been a teacher at Clinton School. The Cooke-Hess house and farm were located just south of the corner of Henderson and High between Deland and West Cooke Roads on the west side of High Street, opposite the Ed Cooke home. The house was originally the home of Henry and Abigail Cooke. (Photo courtesy of the Ron Ohsner family)

The bottom photo is a picture of the Hess family on their farm; Henry is supposedly in the middle. (Photo courtesy of Carl Cooke.)

Orlando Aldrich (b.1840)

October 10th, 2008

Orlando Aldrich was a prominent lawyer and OSU law professor. Aldrich was the first president of the Worthington, Clintonville & Columbus Street Railway Company and served in this position from 1891 to 1898; he subsequently held an office of the Columbus, Delaware, & Marion Electric Railway. Aldrich had purchased 23 acres of land on the southwest corner of Henderson and North High in 1882; it was a fruit farm called Maple Grove Farm. Aldrich had three great hobbies: horticulture, collecting great art, and collecting rare books about archaeology, and he engaged in these avocations from his lovely house located about where Maple Grove Church parking lot is located today. A bit more biographical information can be found in A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County Ohio (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1901) pp. 280-282, excerpted here.

Aldrich home

October 10th, 2008

The land just south of Henderson and High was originally owned by Asa L. Parker, and was called Maple Grove Farm. Parker had purchased the land at sheriff’s sale in 1875 for $3,144. Judge Orlando W. Aldrich acquired the land from Parker in 1882, for the sum of $10,000. The old Aldrich home was charming, with a tower jutting two stories above the roof of the house. Judge Aldrich had used the tower as a study and a personal art gallery. From it one got a very good view of the Ohio State University buildings and the river valley. (Drawing by Bill Arter)

The farm remained in the Aldrich family until 1923, when Charles F. Johnson purchased it and sold it in turn to Frank Sweigart. Sweigart remodeled the house, converted it into what has been variably called “Southern Colonial” or “Greek Revival”, and moved it so that it would face Aldrich Road instead of High Street. The house was later demolished to make way for a parking lot.

Frank Sweigart

October 10th, 2008

Frank Sweigart worked for Charles F. Johnson for eight years. Sweigart was a sales manager, treasurer and then advertising manager under Johnson. He was also on the educational committee of the Columbus real estate board for two years. and a member of the state educational committee. He eventually resigned from Charles Johnson’s employ to become vice president and general manager of J. E. Martindill Inc., and was in charge of Marburn, a country estate development on Olentangy River Rd. This is a picture of him in 1923, given to me by his granddaughter Karen.

He eventually owned the house which stood just south of the southwest corner of Henderson and High Street. Here’s a picture of his wife, Anna Sweigart, and six of her children on the porch of that house at 22 Aldrich Rd. Her sister is also in the picture. Frank Sweigart is the one taking the photo. (Photos courtesy of Karen Sweigart Longava.)

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