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COOKE, EDWARD FENTON

Convention Leaders of Pathologists' Society with Edward Fenton Cooke (far left)
Convention Leaders of Pathologists' Society with Edward Fenton Cooke (far left). Courtesy of the Dallas Morning News April 16, 1926. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
St. Mary's Infirmary in Galveston
St. Mary's Infirmary in Galveston. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

COOKE, EDWARD FENTON (1875–1931). Edward Fenton Cooke, clinical pathologist, was born on August 24, 1875, in Oldham, Lancashire, England, the eldest of the five children of H. C. and Elizabeth Ann (Fenton) Cooke. The family moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1890 and to Galveston, Texas, the following year. H. C. Cooke and Company constructed office buildings, opera houses, and Queen Anne style homes in Galveston and Houston. After attending Ball High School, Cooke went to work as an office boy for a shipping firm. In 1894 he entered the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he obtained his M.D. in 1897. In 1898, after completing most of a year's internship at St. Mary's Infirmary (see ST. MARY'S HOSPITAL) in Galveston, Cooke left to begin contract practice at a Montgomery County sawmill. Cooke married Pearl Florence McClusky of Galveston on June 10, 1899. They had four children. In 1900 he moved to Ellis County and set up practice, first in Waxahachie and subsequently in Forreston. He moved to Houston in 1907 and limited his practice to clinical pathology two years later. He was chairman of pathology, histology, and bacteriology at the Texas Dental College and pathologist at Methodist and Jefferson Davis hospitals and at St. Joseph's Infirmary. He served as a captain in the medical corps during World War I; after the war he maintained his association with the military through the Medical Reserve Corps, in which he attained the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Death Certificate of Edward Fenton Cooke
Death Certificate of Edward Fenton Cooke. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Grave of Edward Fenton Cooke
Grave of Edward Fenton Cooke. Courtesy of Rebecca Ewing Peterson. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

While still in Ellis County, Cooke became a mason and was appointed chairman of the Committee on Public Health and Legislation for the county medical society and in that capacity worked to secure enforcement of laws regulating medical practice. After transferring his membership to the Harris County Medical Society in 1907, he served as secretary (1908–10), president (1910), delegate to the state association (1912–14), and member of the Council on Medical Defense (1914–16). During this same period he served as secretary (1907–13) and president (1913–14) of the Southern Texas District Medical Society. He was also president of the Texas Pathology Society and was a charter member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (1922). He died from a heart related illness in Houston on January 8, 1931, and was buried at Glenwood Cemetery. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Dallas Morning News, April 16, 1926. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 12, 1917. Houston Post, January 9, 1931. Texas State Journal of Medicine, May 1931.

Patricia L. Jakobi

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Handbook of Texas Online, Patricia L. Jakobi, "Cooke, Edward Fenton," accessed November 20, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fcoch.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on September 15, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.