Samuel Lewis Cooksey

Samuel Lewis Cooksey
b. 6 June 1859, Owen County, Indiana, to John Wyatt and Mahulda Mahoney (Ellis/Allis) Cooksey
d. 9 July 1928, Hume, Douglas County, Illinois

m. 6 June 1883, Vandalia, Owen County, Indiana
Mary Cynthia Criss
b. 7 December 1867, Vandalia, Owen County, Indiana, to Henry and Juliette Frances (Roberts) Criss
d. 10 September 1944, Danville, Vermilion County, Illinois

Children with Mary Cynthia Criss:

  • Homer Wyatt (1883-1954) married Pearl Thompson
  • Ann Rosella (1890-1982) married Elmer Shunk
  • William Roy (twin, 1896-1958) married Delorus Daugherty
  • Lewis Ray (twin, 1896-1958) married Gertrude Kewitt
  • Gertrude Elizabeth (1897-1977) married (1) Elbert Blaisdell, (2) Edward Lykins
  • Alva Dow (1899-1938) married Virgie Jewel Pate
  • Edith Ethel (1901-1985) married Vance Baxter

In 1832, Vincent Cooksey, his wife Sarah Simpkins, and their infant son John Wyatt came to Owen County, Indiana from Montgomery County, Virginia. John Wyatt’s son, Samuel Lewis, was born in Owen County, Indiana in 1859. About 1915, Samuel, wife Mary Cynthia Criss, and family moved to Newman, Douglas County, Illinois.

Samuel and two of his sisters were students at the Indiana School for the Blind, where Samuel learned the trade of making brooms. In Owen County, he was township supervisor, farmed, and made brooms. Alva Dow couldn’t understand why his father could give complete strangers money to buy children’s shoes, but couldn’t always buy shoes for his own children.

At Newman, Illinois, three of the grown sons did the farming, the daughters did the housework, and Mary Cynthia looked after Samuel. In the early 1920’s Samuel bought a new automobile for the family and suggested that he give it the gas while his son steered!

Submitted by:
Dow Junior Cooksey
Danville IL

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