Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dr. John K. Cook Collection: Introduction

        Dr. John K. Cook was the founder of Sioux City, Iowa. He was a government surveyor who with his wife moved to Kanesville, Iowa, which became Council Bluffs later, and began travelling north to the area where Sgt. Charles Floyd is buried in 1853. He along with his partners he began to purchase, survey, plat and develop the land that became Sioux City, Iowa. Completing the original plat by 1855 the Sioux City Land and Ferry Company was created. Despite trouble with American Indians a levee was built, cabins, hotels and business started to develop bringing people to the region. Dr. John K. Cook served as mayor of Sioux City twice.

        In or about 2012 a curator at the Sioux City Public Museum Research Center was conducting a search about Dr. John K. Cook online. She discovered a collection of papers that personally belonged to Dr. John K. Cook at the University of Arizona in Tuscon. She contacted the university and began correspondence regarding the collection. The collection was donated to the University of Arizona in or about the mid 1960's by a descendant of Dr. John K. Cook. The officials at the university gave the collection to the Sioux City Public Museum Research Center.

        The collection has yet to be cataloged into the Sioux City Public Museum Research Center and assigned a category and number but it is available for the public to read at the research center facility. Prior to the collection coming back to Sioux City there was a lot that was unknown about Dr. Cook. The papers include but are not limited to; property deeds, receipts, correspondence, family history, survey plot, abstracts, even his will. Some of the articles will simply show the document. Other articles will elaborate on that part of Dr. John K. Cook's life. The documents will be shown as close to chronological order as possible by type of document and by the date known on the document. The documents can be difficult to read as the writing style was a lot different in the 1800's than it is today.

Additional info:
Sioux City History - Cook, Dr. John
History of Sioux City, IA (Part 1 General History)