From The Sunbury News, Auguat 11, 2016:

Because You Asked . . . .

Cooks of Down-Town Columbus Street  

By Polly Horn, Curator of the Myers Inn Museum

Lyman Spencer Cook, not related to the Harlem Township Cooks, married Martha Myers, daughter of Lawrence Myers, co-founder of Sunbury. They lived in a log cabin on Lot 36 (on Plat Map). In 1850, Martha and her 2 year old son died a month apart. Their daughter died at the age of 9.

In 1856 Lyman married Elizabeth Wilcox, daughter of shoemaker Crandall and Mary Wilcox. Elizabeth’s brother Cornelius had a blacksmith’s shop on the north half of Lot 44. To this union Mary (1857), Henry Spencer (1858), Carrie E. (1863) and Charles Cook (1865) were born.

The Sunbury News of March 13, 1930 ran the following front page story. . . .

Henry S. Cook has supplied the wants of this community in the harness business since 1887. He learned the trade from his father, L. S. Cook.

L.S. Cook operated a harness shop here for many years. In fact one may say that Henry Cook was born and reared in a harness establishment and has had the same all his life.

Sunbury was a small, mud street village when Mr. Cook first entered business. Only a handful of merchants were located here, and if a business directory of these days had been preserved, you could have found these firms listed : Blakely Bros., general store; Dave Frosh, Men’s clothing and furnishings, Kimball & Armstrong, general store, Sprague and Burrer, merchant millers, Dr. Cameron, druggist, and Cornelius Wilcox and E. R. Hempstead, blacksmiths.

In those days a set of work harness cost $28, single harness $30; before the late war price mounted to $48 and the same would cost $75 today (in 1930).

"Cookie" as practically every villager calls our leather worker, was first located on the west side of the public square. For 16 years and until the fire in 1926, he maintained a shop on the east side of the square. Since then he opened a place of business in the rear of his home where we found him repairing a hame the other afternoon. His present stock includes every important item of harness and he repairs old straps as well as turns out new.

His skill is known for miles around and when classy turnouts were popular, the horse generally wore his product. Not only horse owners have profited thru him but children as well, and few in the community have not had a skate strap or ball glove patched by Mr. Cook.

Besides his personal affairs he has served the community as councilman for fourteen years, was treasurer of the board of education twelve years, and township clerk twenty one years. He resides with his wife on the west side of down-town Columbus Street and they have two sons in Westerville.

If we were presenting flowers this week, Henry Cook, our oldest businessman and a most respected businessman would be the recipient, and we hope to enjoy many more years of business association with him. The End of the 1930 article by Editor Oatfield Whitney.

Henry was born in the house now at 11 Columbus Street. He married Phoebe Hultz in 1886 and they had two sons: Leonard in 1891 and Harold in 1893. Both boys moved to Westerville following high school.

The harness shop was on the south half of original Lot 37 which is 25 S. Columbus today. Henry took over the business from his father. When Henry moved his harness shop to the back paart of Lot 30 (today 30 South ) Vernon Street they rented the old harness shop. By 1966 it was called the "Deering House" named after Pauline Deering who was a telephone operator that lived in one of the apartments with her husband Herbert C. Deering and sometimes her father John Warne.

Henry’s house was built on the north half of Lot 27 (21 South Columbus Street) between his fathers’s home and the harness shop. Census records often find 3 to 5 boarders such as E. C. Teut, manager of Nestle’s, with the Cooks.

In 1919, an Act of Congress gave women the right to vote. In the photo local women held their first political rally in front of the Henry and Phoebe (Hultz) Cook house in preparation for voting in 1920.

The little building behind Henry’s house was probably built to be his harness shop following the 1926 fire on Vernon Street. When I was a girl "Grandpa" lived there but I have no idea whose grandfather or his name.

Today Jennifer Ceneviva has a barber shop in the Henry Cook house which is also owned by Allen and Gloria Wandle.

By the way, the hame Cook was making in the 1930 article above is one of two curved supports attached to the collar of a draft horse to which the traces are fastened.



. . . . And Now You Know



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