Fox Valley Chapter Patriot Profile


Private John Cook 1761 - 1837

This page contains information on John Cook one of the soldiers who fought in the American Revolution and who are buried in one of the counties served by the Fox Valley Chapter. This page contains his biography and photographs of his grave in Joliet, Will County, Illinois.

This page also contains photos of the wreath laying ceremony held on April 18, 2004 organized by Shirley Steidl, Regent of the Louis Joliet Chapter of the DAR.


Biography of Patriot John Cook


John Cook was born in Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey on December 25, 1761. In 1776 he was residing in Orange (now Bloomfield) in Essex County, New Jersey.

In the summer of 1776, at about 14 and a half years old, John entered the New Jersey Militia as a volunteer in the Company of Captain David Bates. The company was marched to Long Island and was placed under the command of William Alexander, known by the courtesy title of Lord Stirling. Stirling became a significant figure in the annals of American revolutionary war history. He is best known for his courageous exploits in the Battle of Brooklyn which helped facilitate the American army’s retreat. He was later taken prisoner and then released in a trade, subsequently becoming a Major-General. His aide-de-camp during his heroic efforts was James Monroe. He died in 1783 only days after the first peace proceedings.

John Cook’s company took part in the Battle of Brooklyn in August 1776, in the area of Flatbush. This was the first major campaign between the Continental Army and British forces.

After the American forces under General George Washington were defeated by British General William Howe, John Cook’s company returned to New Jersey and was stationed around Amboy and Elizabethtown for about two months, after which the company was discharged and John Cook returned to his home in Orange.

Shortly after returning to Orange, John Cook again became a volunteer in the New Jersey Militia, this time as a substitute for Samuel Squires, who had been drafted for a term of three months. John Cook served in the Company of Obadiah Kitchell in the regiment of Colonel Hathaway in the brigade of General Winans. This was about the same time period when General George Washington crossed the Delaware River on numerous occasions, on one such occasion capturing "a good many prisoners." After serving the three month term of Samuel Squires, John Cook returned to his home in Orange.

Not long after his return, John Cook was approached by the father of Daniel Kamp who asked John Cook to serve as a substitute for his son Daniel, who had been drafted for a three month term in the company of Captain David Bates. John Cook agreed, and served the three month term as a substitute for Daniel Kamp, being stationed around Elizabethtown and Newark. During this three month term John Cook took part with 70 to 100 other volunteers in bringing a number of boats from Staten Island.

In June of 1780 John Cook was again serving a two to three month term with the New Jersey Militia in a company commanded by Elizah Squires in a brigade under the command of General Heard.

On June 6, 1780 about 5,000 British troops under the command of General Mathews crossed from Staten Island to Elizabethtown Point and took possession of Elizabethtown the following day. The militia of which John Cook was a part of fled before this superior British force.

As the British pressed on toward Springfield their flanks were continuously harassed by an ever increasing militia. After a brief skirmish, and hearing that American reinforcements were coming from Morristown, New Jersey, the British retreated back to the coast to regroup and await reinforcements. They remained here about 10 days.

Reinforced, on the morning of June 23rd the British again advanced toward Springfield in two columns that included cavalry and about 20 cannons, which they felt was sufficient force to crush the American troops. However, the American forces responded so ferociously the British were forced to withdraw. As the British retreated, they set fire to Springfield, made their way back to Elizabethtown and re-crossed back to Staten Island.

In June of 1781 John Cook joined the troops under General Lafayette, with a team of farm horses and a wagon, and continued in this service for about one year, and was present when Cornwallis surrendered after the Battle of Yorktown.

After the war, John Cook returned to Orange, Essex County, New Jersey where he remained a few years. John Cook and his wife Catherine were married on September 17, 1792 at Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey. They had four children: twins Harriet and Julia were born May 7, 1793; Robert, who served in the war of 1812, was born September 22, 1800; and William was born March 28, 1805. John Cook eventually moved to New York City, where he lived 12 years. From here he moved to Clarkson in Monroe County, New York. It was here that John Cook was residing when on October 25, 1832 he applied for a pension. He was placed on the pension rolls for the amount of $80 per annum.

John Cook relocated to Will County, Illinois in 1832. On July 4, 1835 the town held a July 4th parade that was led by John Cook’s son, Major Robert Cook. John Cook, as a veteran of the Revolution, was carried over the parade route on the shoulders of the men of the town.

It was near Joliet, Will County, Illinois that John Cook passed away on October 24, 1837 at the age of 75 years, 9 months and 29 days. John’s wife Catherine applied for a Widow’s Pension in Joliet, Will County, Illinois on September 10, 1839, which was granted.

John Cook was laid to rest in Oakwood Cemetery in Joliet. On June 26, 1994 his grave was marked by the Louis Joliet Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

John Cook’s Revolutionary War pension file
Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary War Soldiers


Photos from the Oakwood Cemetery in Joliet

John Cook passed away on October 24, 1837 at the age of 75 years, 9 months and 29 days. He is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Joliet, Will County, Illinois. The cemetery entrance is on East Cass Street at Walnut Street. Buried with Patriot John Cook are his wife, Catharine, his son Robert & his wife Sarah, and his grandson Robert & his wife Anna. John Cook's grave has a headstone, a footstone and a memorial stone from the Louis Joliet Chapter of the DAR.
Click for MapQuest map to cemetery. Click on thumbnail and enlarged photo will auto close in 15 seconds.

Oakwood Cemetery Enter the Oakwood Cemetery and drive to the south edge of the cemetery passing by the green shed. Bartleson Memorial Park your car near the well known Bartleson Memorial. The Harwood Memorial is on the right.
Cook Graves Looking North Cook graves are in foreground looking north toward the gate at Walnut Street. The green shed provides orientation. Cook Graves Looking South Looking south with John Cook's grave on the left, his wife Catharine's on the right and son Robert & wife in between.
Robert And Anna Cook Grandson Robert is a veteran of the Civil War. John Cook's grave has a headstone, a footstone and a DAR memorial stone. Robert And Sarah Cook Major Robert Cook, his son, is reported to be a veteran of the War of 1812.
John Cook Headstone Although eroded by time, John Cook's name and date of death (October 24, 1837) are readable. John Cook DAR Stone The Louis Joliet Chapter of the DAR marked John Cook's grave on June 26, 1994.

Frank Zeimetz President Frank Zeimetz of the Fox Valley Chapter SAR gave the benediction at the grave marking in 1994. Opening Procession On April 18, 2004, the wreath laying, organized and run by the Louis Joliet DAR Chapter, began with a processional.
Don Parrish Speaking President Don Parrish of the Fox Valley Chapter spoke on his observations of the Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Northern Illinois. Click here to read them. April 18th is the 229th anniversary of Paul Revere's ride and the 19th of the battles of Lexington and Concord. Don Parrish and Shirley Steidl Don Parrish and Regent Shirley Steidl of the Louis Joliet Chapter of the DAR, who organized the wreath laying, pose in front of John Cook's grave where both the wreath placed by Helen Mitchler and the marker placed by the CAR are visible.
Group of Presenters Back: Parrish, Helen Mitchler, Patricia Pillard, Shirley Steidl, Ed Crobie. Front: Jessica Dailey, Cyndi & Stephanie Valencia Refreshments At the reception following the wreath laying, attendees enjoy some refreshments.