Guide to Reverend Thomas R. Cook journals ARC Mss 82

Finding aid prepared by Beaudry Allen
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California, 93106-9010
Phone: (805) 893-3062
Email:; URL:
© 2016

Title: Reverend Thomas R. Cook journals
Identifier/Call Number: ARC Mss 82
Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.4 linear feet (1 document box)
Date (inclusive): 1870-1936
Date (bulk): 1870-1881
Abstract: Consists of fifteen journals written by Reverend Thomas Cook, a Methodist preacher, who wrote about his experience growing up during the Western Expansion, Civil War, and life as Reverend preaching across the mining towns of Colorado.
Physical Location: Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara
Creator: Cook, Thomas R., Reverend, 1848-1937

Acquisition Information

Purchased by Special Research Collections in 2016.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], Reverend Thomas R. Cook journals, ARC Mss 82. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

Biographical Note

Reverend Thomas R. Cook was born on May 18, 1848 in Middletown, Pennsylvania, to William Cook, a saddlemaker and later a farmer, and Mary Katherine Rice Cook. As a young child Cook’s family journeyed from Ohio to Iowa in 1853 to begin a life of farming. At the time, Iowa was largely unsettled and had only received statehood seven years prior. In 1858, Cook’s mother died of consumption and soon after his father remarried. During the Civil War, Cook’s father and two uncles joined the 35th Regiment of Company K, a Muscatine located Union volunteer infantry, leaving Cook to take on the responsibilities of the farm and family. In 1870, Cook graduated from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. The college was founded in 1853 by Methodist minister from North Carolina, one of the many colleges stemming from the Third Great Awakening. Cook initially took up teaching but by 1875 had become a Methodist preacher himself and moved to Colorado. Cook would preach among the small mining towns and, as his journals indicates, tutor a Chinese immigrant. His adult life was filled with descriptions of the Western Expansion experience with community conflicts during the Civil War, Native Americans (aftermath of the Meeker Massacre), and mining town life. By 1879, Cook had married a family friend by the name of Mary and settled in Fairplay, Colorado. They had a daughter, Leonara and a son, who died as infant. At the age of eighty-nine Cook died in Sierra Nevada, California.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of fifteen journals detailing Reverend Thomas Cook's life and work. A few of the journals detail his childhood, which include accounts his family's move to Iowa and the conflicts within the community between Union and Confederate neighbors. Moreover, one of the journals detail Cook's short career as a teacher. The bulk of the journals relate to Cook's life as a Methodist preacher throughout Colorado. Those journals include poems, funeral service descriptions, drafts of letters, spiritual text, church adminstrative notes, and stories chronicling his ministery.
Maintains original file titles of the creator.


Arranged roughly in chronological order.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Gold mines and mining--Colorado
Iowa--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
Missouri--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
Native Americans
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Anecdotes

Box-folder 1:1

Early days, undated

Scope and Content

Includes three journals detailing his childhood and a unsent letter in 1936.
Box-folder 1:2

At school-In Missouri, 1870

Box-folder 1:3

My first years work in the itinerancy, 1874-1875

Box-folder 1:4

Saguache and Del Norte, second year, 1875-1876

Scope and Content

Includes two journals
Box-folder 1:5

Silverton, third year, 1876-1877

Box-folder 1:6

1873-Crisis-Colo. Poem, circa 1873

Box-folder 1:7

Fairplay no.3-4, 1878-1881

Scope and Content

Includes two journals detailing ministering in Fairplay and Alma, Colorado. In addition, the journals include salaries and monetary disputes within the Church and Utah missions.
Box-folder 1:8

Burial services, 1870s-1881

Box-folder 1:9

From Mrs. Stenhouse's book, undated

Scope and Content

Includes quotes from Tell it All- A Woman's Life in Polygamy (1857) by Fanny Stenhouse.
Box-folder 1:10

Sermons and notes, undated

Box-folder 1:11