Jefferson Davis Cook

Emma Melvina Cook Ray Mann

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I have very fond memories of Grandma Emma. She was tall and thin and according to family stories, her nickname was "Slats" because she was as thin as bed slats. Grandma was very kind and I often stayed at her home overnight. She would read me bedtime stories and listen to me as if I were the only thing on her schedule for the day.

When I was just about four years old, Grandma, Harry and Aunt Dot would pick me up in Pontoon Beach in our house and we would go to church together. Grandma was my Sunday School teacher and I really don't remember ever missing church. They attended Calvary Baptist in Edwardsville, Illinios.

At this time, they lived on E. 27th St. in Granite City but later moved to Glen Carbon / Edwardsville where Aunt Dot started school. Grandma was not well. After years of working in the plants during WWII, her lungs were damaged and she was fragile. But the Edwardsville house was really a fun place to visit. The attic was filled with old momentos and there was a play house in the back yard. Harry raised fresh vegetables and I can remember Emma and her mother, Cora Mayhue Long Cook, shucking corn under a shade tree.

I could talk my grandma into just about anything. I can remember going to sidewalk sales in Edwardsville and Dot and I begged Grandma to buy us a couple of dresses that were clearly too large. She did the best she would at hemming them but mine was huge. I still have the photo.

When Grandma's health became worse, they moved back to Granite and lived on Buxton Street. It was next door to Harry's daughter, Irma, and for years, Harry went to Irma's for supper every Saturday night and watched Lawerence Welk. Irma was quite the cook.

Grandma smocked. I wish I had learned how to smock because I was always impressed with all the pillows on her sofa.

One of the things that I learned about my grandma, came as quite a surprise to me. Grandma was married several times. First she married Lew Wade Ray. They lived in Detroit but Emma returned to Granite City and her parents about 1942 - 1943. They divorced and then there were 2 other marriages. The family story that I heard was that one of them was a "guitar picker" and had boys that take "Sonny's socks". One of husbands may have been named Mr. Coy but I have not found the name of the other husband.

Emma and Harry married and had one child rather late in life.

EMMA MANN OBIT, Granite City Press Record
MANN, Emma - of 2819 Buxton, Granite City, ILL on Friday Dec. 20th 1968; dear wife of Harry Mann; dear mother of Robert Lewis Day (should be RAY); Dorothy Lynn Mann; dear step-mother of Mrs. George (Irma) Harriett; Robert Mann; Mrs. Homer (Helen) Morehouse; Mrs. Ben(Beraldine) Thieson; dear daughter of Mrs. Cora Cook; dear sister of Mrs. Datha Ely; Mrs. Hazel Schmidt; Mrs. Albert (Billie) Bagi; Mrs Joseph (Betty) Lesko and Haskell Cook; four grandchildren, 13 step-grandchildren. Funeral services will beheld Monday Dec. 23 at 1 pm from the Calvary Baptist, Granite City, Interment Valley View Cemetery, Edwardsville, IL ...

I think it is fair to say that rarely does a day go by that I don't think of my grandma Emma with great fondness.

Cook Kids

back row: Haskell, Betty Jo, Billie Jean
front row: Emma, Datha, Hazel

Emma Cook
Grandma Emma

Emma, Harry, Cora
Emma, Harry, and Cora Long Cook - her mother

Harry and Emma - Fair
At the fair in the 1940's Harry and Emma