The Cook gravestone with the names of the twelve children of Strother and Lucy Cook – George W., John S., Mary J., Susan B., Lucy J., Strother M., Sarah T., Allen T., Julia A., Elizabeth M., Emma D. and James S. Cook.
Yesterday we talked about the happy occasion of the golden wedding celebration of Rev. Strother Moses Cook and his wife, Lucy Mitchell Jenkins in 1888. Born March 10, 1809, Strother was eleven years older than his wife, born September 20, 1820. At their marriage in 1838 he was 29, she was 18. When they celebrated their 50th he was 79, she, 68.
Four years later Lucy was sitting in her home, before an open fire, reading a newspaper. She fell asleep, the newspaper dropped into the flames and caught her clothes on fire. A young Negro boy was in the room with her; he threw a bucket of water on the flames, but it did little to help. Lucy lived but a few hours.
Interior Journal, Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky
Friday, January 23, 1891
Burned to Death
Mrs. Lucy Cook, wife of Rev. Strother Cook, was so badly burned that she lived but a few hours. Her husband had gone to church, leaving her at home with a young Negro boy. She went to sleep while reading a paper near an open fire, and the paper fell from lap to the grate, igniting her clothing. The Negro threw a bucket of water over her, but it did little good. She was 70 years of age and had spent her life in the service of the Lord. She raised a family of 12 children, all of whom survive but one, who was killed in the service of the Lost Cause. One of her sons, Elder Strother Cook, is a missionary to Africa and it will be months before he will hear of his terrible loss in his mother’s tragic death. Mrs. Cook was a member of the Baptist church for over half a century and was a lovely Christian, a devoted wife and a tender mother. An old gentleman who was present says that the funeral sermon, which was preached by Rev. W. A. Borem, at Shawnee Run Church, was the most touching he ever listened to and that the procession is said to have been the largest ever seen in Mercer County. The pall-bearers were six of her grand-children, young men ranging in age from 17 to 21 years.
Strother survived his wife by four and a half years, passing away July 21, 1895, at the age of 86.
Wednesday, July 24, 1895
After along and useful life, Rev. Strother Cook, Sr., one of the oldest ministers of the Baptist denomination, died at his home in Mercer Sunday morning at an early hour, of a carbuncle, aged 86 years. He joined the church at Providence, Boyle County, when quite a youth, at which time Rev. John S. Higgins, remembered and loved by all of the older people in Lincoln, was pastor. He began preaching at McCormack’s church, in Lincoln County, in 1833, which was then a Baptist church, and hence spent 62 long years in proclaiming the glad tidings, during which time he turned thousands from the error of their way. He leaves 11 children to mourn the loss of a loving father and quite a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom were with him during his last hours, Rev. Strother Cook, Jr., his next eldest son, who is a missionary to Africa, arriving in time to be present at the dissolution. An unusually lengthy procession followed his remains to Shawnee Run Church in Mercer Sunday, and after a funeral discourse by the pastor, what was mortal was laid to rest in the cemetery by the side of his beloved wife, who preceded him to the grave four and one-half years.