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COOKE, WILLIAM GASTON (1820–1890). William Gaston Cooke, early settler, the son of Henry Marchant and Frances (Buxton) Cooke, was born at New Bern, North Carolina, on December 20, 1820. He came to Texas in 1835 with ten brothers and sisters to claim land granted to their father, who died en route. Two of his older brothers, Thomas and Francis J., joined the troops at San Jacinto and left him in charge of the family. Cooke and his family were forced to flee from the Mexicans during the Runaway Scrape, and near Richmond on the Brazos River they participated in a minor skirmish with the Mexicans. Cooke resided in Montgomery County until 1840, when he moved to Houston to work as a carpenter. He subsequently moved to Navarro County and bought a farm. In 1853 he bought a farm of 125 acres in Ellis County, where he remained until his death. During the Civil War he was in the state militia but saw no action. He was a member of the Christian Church, a school trustee, a Mason, and a member of the Farmers' Alliance. He was married to Angeline Salmon in Harris County. After her death he married Catherine Kendall, in 1850; they had ten children. Cooke died in 1890.

Memorial and Biographical History of Ellis County (Chicago: Lewis, 1892; rpt., as Ellis County History, Fort Worth: Historical Publishers, 1972). Agnes R. G. Smith, Back When and Now: History of the Family of Agnes Rust Gordon Smith (San Angelo, 1976).
Steven A. Brownrigg

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Steven A. Brownrigg, "Cooke, William Gaston," accessed January 16, 2018,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.