Minnesota Historical Society M-Flame Logo
Townships and Villages banner
Pigeon River Falls, Cook County, 1910.

Pigeon River Falls, Cook County, 1910.
Cook Census Information
Estab:  March 9, 1874
Parent County:  Lake
Cook county with county seat

Southeast region of Minnesota Southwest region of Minnesota Northwest region of Minnesota Northeast region of Minnesota Central region of Minnesota

Go to Mn. Place Names Home page
Go to Cook County Towns page
Go to Cook Lakes & Streams page
Go to Cook People page
Go to Cook Other Items page
Go to Cook names from other languages or places page
Cook County

This county, established March 9, 1874, was named in honor of Maj. Michael Cook of Faribault, a prominent citizen and a brave soldier in the Civil War. He was born in Morris County, N.J., March 17, 1828; came to Minnesota, settling in Faribault, in 1855, and being a carpenter, aided in building some of the first frame houses there; and was a territorial and state senator, 1857 to 1862. In September 1862, he was mustered into the Tenth Minnesota Regiment, in which he was appointed major, and served until he fell mortally wounded in the battle of Nashville, December 16, 1864, his death occurring 11 days later.

Col. Charles H. Graves, the state senator from Duluth, introduced the bill to establish this county and to name it in honor of Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de la VĂ©rendrye, the pioneer of exploration on the northern boundary of Minnesota, but the name was changed before the bill was enacted as a law. It has been thought by some that the name adopted was in commemoration of John Cook, who was killed by the Ojibwe, as also his entire family, in 1872, his house at Audubon, Minn., being burned to conceal the deed. Col. Graves has stated in a letter that this name was selected to honor Maj. Cook.

It may well be hoped that some county, yet to be formed adjoining the north line of Minnesota, will receive the name VĂ©rendrye in historic commemoration of the explorations, hardships, and sacrifices of this patriotic and truly noble French explorer. He was the founder of the fur trade in northern Minnesota, Manitoba, and the Saskatchewan region, where it greatly flourished during the next hundred years, and two of his sons were the first white men to see the Rocky Mountains, or at least some eastern range or outpost group of the great Cordilleran mountain belt.