Braxton Cook, farmer, was born in Eastern Township in 1886, the seventh of eight children of Rev. Abraham and Nancy (Plasters) Cook, natives of North Carolina and Tennessee. The father, born in 1810, came with his father, Randolph, to this county (now Franklin), and married when of age, and then settIed permanently in Hamilton County. He was a minister of the Missionary Baptist Church for over thirty years, preached, and was well known throughout this part of the State for all the excellent qualities of a true man and minister, and his loss was severely felt. He died in 1863. His father, of Irish origin, was a soldier of the Black Hawk war. The mother, Nancy, was born in 1815 and died in 1880, a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Our subject was educated in the pioneer log cabin, so often described in these pages, and May 7, 1857, married Sarah J., daughter of Charles and Cynthia Webb, formerly of Kentucky, who was born in Franklin County in 1839. Their children are William, Willis A., George W., Malinda J., Nancy C., Cynthia E. and Cordelia. His wife died November 27, 1873, and June 22, 1874, he married Prudy, daughter of William and Elizabeth Summers. Their child is Robert F. He immediately located on land entered by his father in Pierce's administration, the patent for which he still possesses. He has cleared the dense forest, and increased his land to 132 acres fourteen miles northeast of Benton. In October, 1861, he enlisted in Company F,. Fortieth Illinois Infantry, and after active service, was discharged
in September, 1862, on account of disability, and resumed farming. He is a thorough musician, and for twenty years taught the subject throughout the county and its surroundings. He is familiar with all the earliest pioneer life described elsewhere, and tells how he and two companions in 1854 killed twenty-seven wild turkeys in a few hours of a night's hunt. He has a rugged constitution, and has been a hard laborer, and never was witness in litigation but once. He is a Democrat, first voting for Douglas. Since 1854 he has been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, of which his wife is a member also, and both are excellent people.