Samuel N. Cook, a prosperous and prominent farmer of Ellington township, living on section 29, was born in London, England, December 25, 1844, and is a son of John and Ann (Reynard) Cook, also natives of England, the former born January 13, 1802, the latter March 4, 1814. The father engaged in gardening in his native land and in 1845 he bade adieu to his friends and native country and sailed with his family to America. He located in Adams county and the following year he purchased forty acres of land now owned by Harris Cook, joining the land of Samuel N. Cook on the south. He farmed there until his death, which occurred September 16, 1876. He was one of the worthy pioneer residents of the county and died respected by all who knew him. In his family were seven children: James H., now deceased, who served for three years in the Civil war as a member of the One Hundred and Nineteenth Illinois Infantry; Reynard, of Quincy, who for three years served as captain in the Third Wisconsin Infantry; John, a member of a publishing company of New York; Mrs. Anna Smith, of Kansas; Samuel N.; Harris, who is on the home farm; and Mrs. Rebecca Haynes.
Samuel N. Cook was only six weeks old when his parents came to the United States. He was reared and educated in Adams county, no event of special importance occurring to vary the routine of farm life for him in his youth. He continued to reside upon the home farm until 1881, when he purchased forty acres where he now resides. Here he raises corn and stock; some of his land being devoted to pastures, and he has good grades of cattle and hogs. He also owns eighty acres about a miles from his home place, devoted to general farming, and twenty acres of timber land.
On January 28, 1875, Mr. Cook married Miss Martha Powell, who was born in Ellington township, September 16, 1848, a daughter of John Powell, who was born in Kent county, Delaware, June 13, 1802, and was a son of Mark Powell, of Delaware. His father was a native of England. John Powell wedded Mary Lewis, who was born in Kent county, Delaware, March 10, 1809, and was a daughter of Benjamin Lewis, also a native of that state. Mr. and Mrs. Powell came to Adams county in 1832 and settled in Ellington township, where he entered three hundred and twenty acres of land from the government. This was entirely wild and unimproved and the first tax which he paid amounted to only sixty cents. He continued the cultivation and development of his farm until he wrought a wonderful transformation in its appearance and it became very productive. He died March 6, 1881, at the age of eighty years and his wife passed away November 11, 1892, when eighty-two years of age. There were fifteen children in the Powell family, of whom the following are living: Mrs. Hester A. Kidney, of Oklahoma; Mrs. Nancy Cochran, of Iowa; Mrs. Margaret Cook, of Quincy; Mrs. Cook; Mrs. Matilda Banghert, of Bloomfield, Illinois; and Thomas, a farmer of Quincy. Unto Mr. and Mrs. have been born five children: Charlotte, Cora, John, Arthur and Edgar.
Mr. Cook votes with the republican party and has been called to public office by his fellow townsmen who recognize his worth and ability, having served as township collector, road commissioner and school trustee. He is public spirited and fosters every movement for the general good, and his personal worth has endeared him to many friends, who have known him from his boyhood days to the present time.
Source: Past and present of the city of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois, p. 925-926; by William H. Collins, Cicero F. Perry, joint author; John Tillson. History of the city of Quincy, Illinois. [from old catalog]. Chicago, S. J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1905.