1. Isaac Marion5 Cook (Abraham C.4, William3, William2, William1) was born March 30, 1846 in Shelby Co., KY, and died June 19, 1914 in Shelby Co., KY. He married Mary Elizabeth Carpenter May 16, 1866 in KY, daughter of James Carpenter and Lucy Whitaker.
Children of Isaac Cook and Mary Carpenter are:
2 i. Shelby Thomas6 Cook, born February 11, 1868 in Shelby Co., KY; died May 22, 1893 in Shelby Co., KY. He married Bulah Hedden 1889.
3 ii. Lulah Catherine Cook, born November 10, 1869 in Shelby Co., KY.; died April 26, 1959 in KY.. She married (1) Isaac C. Tharp Abt. 1889. She married (2) Frank P. Lewis Aft. 1889.
4 iii. James Abraham Cook, born June 30, 1872 in Shelby Co., KY; died September 29, 1882.
5 iv. Jesse Cash Cook, born November 28, 1874 in Shelby Co., KY.; died May 11, 1922 in Shelbyville, Shelby Co., KY.
6 v. Melissa Y. Cook, born May 08, 1877 in Shelby Co., KY.; died July 09, 1910. She married Harry P. Miles Bef. August 15, 1905.
7 vi. George M. Cook, born March 02, 1881 in Shelby Co., KY.; died September 17, 1882.
8 vii. Edna Frances Cook, born May 26, 1885 in Shelby Co., KY.; died July 27, 1908 in Lakeland, KY.
9 viii. Price Cash Cook, born June 09, 1887 in Shelby Co., KY; died February 16, 1951 in Franklin Co., KY. He married Evelyn Moore September 21, 1910 in Jeffersonville, IN.
10 ix. Charles Lowell Cook, born February 02, 1889 in Shelby Co., KY; died May 03, 1964 in Shelbyville, Shelby Co., KY. He married Sallie Thomas Lee June 05, 1913 in Shelby Co., KY.
A Different Kind of Tombstone
When visitors at Pigeon Fork Cemetery in Shelby County, Kentucky come upon the tombstone of Isaac Marion (Ike) COOK, they often do a double take.
Even graveyard aficionados, long accustomed to seeing likenesses of angels, cherubs, and lambs, don’t quite know what to make of the jackass which is the central feature of Ike’s tombstone. Since the term “jackass” has become synonymous with “nitwit”, some might speculate that Ike Cook had an eccentric sense of humor or that the donkey was his last sardonic comment on the sojourn of life.
Family descendants, some of whom still live in the area, will confirm a more obvious explanation for his strange tombstone.
Here’s the story:
Isaac Marion Cook was born in Shelby County 30 Mar. 1846, the youngest of seven children. His parents were Abram C. Cook and Sarah Cook who were cousins and grandchildren of William and Margaret Cook who had emigrated from Henry County, Virginia about 1783.
On the 16th of May, 1866 Ike married Miss Mary Elizabeth Carpenter who was also a Shelby County native. She was born 9 Nov. 1846, the daughter of James Carpenter and Lucy Whitaker . The Carpenter family came to Shelby County in 1820. They were descendants of the German Zimmerman family who had come to Madison County, Virginia in 1717 to work the mines there. The Whitakers were among the earliest pioneers of Shelby County. James and Lucy Carpenter both died very prematurely, leaving Mary Elizabeth and her 5 younger siblings as orphans.
Ike and Mary E. Cook lived in the neighborhood of Harrisonville where Ike farmed and developed a find reputation as a horse and jack breeder. Surviving among family papers is a certificate showing his 1889 membership in The American Breeders Association of Jacks and Jennets. Records of the American Mammoth Jackstock Registry, now in the hands of Mr. Jack Patton of London, KY, show that Ike was the owner of several registered animals. The first stud book lists “Liberati”, a jack foaled 10 May 1884 and gives the full pedigree. One might say jackasses are big in genealogy too!
Ike and Mary E. Cook were members of Pigeon Fork Baptist Church. They had nine children, seven of whom grew to adulthood. Two sons, Jess C. and Charles L. Cook were well known horsemen in their own right.
Mary E. died 15 Aug. 1905 and Ike followed 19 Jun. 1914. Fifty years after his death only the stone chimneys of his home survived, yet the jack barn was still standing. Now only his marker at Pigeon Fork serves as a testimonial to his life’s work.
Reference: Written by: Pat Cook Sengstock
Published: Bluegrass ROOTS - Volume 21 - Number 4 - Winter 1994 - Page 138