*Local Histories

Local histories often contain information about specific individuals---including our ancestors---and also give us an idea about where and how they lived.   Below are excerpts that specifically include Towse cousins and other-surnamed cousins.


"Kiowa County" [Colorado] Compiled by Roleta D Teal and Betty Lee Jacobs, Johnson Publishing, Boulder, 1976:

"History of Cookville " by  G M Cook, MD

"Cookville"  by Robert E Estabrooks

"A Historical Sketch of Cookville, NB" An address delivered by R Ernest Estabrooks 1951

Excerpts from "Kiowa County" (Colorado) Compiled by Roleta D Teal and Betty Lee Jacobs, Johnson Publishing, Boulder, 1976:

1901-1906 County Assessor W W Towse

Kiowa County Public Library...organized in 1935...Mrs Alma Vrooman assisted in proparing the library...member of the first Library Board.

Photo of Inez Towse Dawson, p291

County Superintendants of Schools, 1890-1964...Alma Vrooman

Sheridan Lake Bible Church...served on committee to combine the Methodist and Presbyterian churches, both of whose congregations were too small to survive...

Arthur Towse...Charter member of Assembly of God Church


By G M Cook, MD

Cookville, then called Head of the North Lakes, was settled about 1830 by my grandfather, David Cook, who was the first settler. The others were: Gideon Estabrooks, John Wheaton, Wm O'Brien, Isaac Tingley, Angus McFee and George Lund.

My grandfather, whose wife was Charlotte Towse, had seven sons: John, George, Christopher, James, William, Isaac, Charles, and two daughters: Elizabeth and Mary.

Gideon Estabrooks, whose wife was Hannah Thompson, one of the descendants of Tolar Thompson, had seven sons: Thompson, Edward, John, Allen, Hazen, William, Jeffrey, and two daughters: Mary and Jane.

John Whearon, whose wife was Zilpha Cole, had four sons: Andrew, Edward, William, Howard, and three daughters: Margaret, Jane and Charity who I think married Robert Kay.

William O'Brien, whose wife was Lucy Sears, daughter of Frederick Sears of Upper Sackville, had four sons: Edward, Fred, Watts, Milton, and seven daughters: Mary, Eunice, Prudence, Amy, Judith, Zillah, Fanny ad Ada.

Isaac Tingley, whose wife was Caroline Anderson of Midgic, had four sons: Job, Ami, John, James and two daughters: Annie and Victoria.

Angus McFee, whose wife was a Miss Thornton, had three sons: Stuart, Israel, James and four daughters: Jane, Rebecca, Olive and ???

George Lund, whose wife was, I think, a Mrs Ibbitson, had one son: George, and two daughters: Fanny and Ann. George Lund had a stepson John, who had a large family. John's family were: Daniel, Wesley, James, George, Charles, Guildford, Blair, Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Isabel and Ellen. They are now all dead except Charles E of Sackville and Guildford of Manitoba.

This village always had a school. I will name all of my old teachers and those of my father's time as near as I can. In my father's time they had a man named Giles Smith and one named Theophilus Cowdell. The first teacher whose school I attended was John Mattin Cougram, an Englishman. Afterwards, in order as near as I can remember were: Mr Cowdell, Henry Miner, Harvey Anderson, Miss Mary Towse and Mr James Doyle.

I can remember the old log schoolhouse. It stood on the West side of the road on the line now between Gertie Cook's farm and that of Leroy Kinnear. This was torn down about the year 1858 and a frame building which served as a school house and church was erected. This was destroyed by fire about 1875 and the one now in use erected 1935.

Two churches were built about 1875, the Baptist church still standing, and a Methodist Church, since taken down, which stood on the West side of the Main Road, just nrth of C Fred Cook's lane. I always thought it was a foolish thing o build these two buildings as there were not enough people to fill more than one of them, but such is the climax of sectarian zeal.

When the first settlers came to Cookville, the nearest house was that of John Towse on the Aboushagan Road, three miles distance. The country was a heavily wooded forest. For some time after the settlement started there was no road. Then the first road built was that in from the Towse place. Before the road was made they would often go to Upper Sackville, then carry it over to Morice's Mill, get it ground and carry it back to the canoe and thence home. It would be about four miles to carry it on their backs.

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by Robert E Estabrooks

In the spring of 1830 a small boat propelled by a lusty young man might have been seen going up the North Lake at the head of the Tantramar marxhes, if there had been anyone near to observe it. The boat entered a large stream feeding this lake and puched onward past overhanging trees and finally came to rest at a point not very remote from where we are now enjoying ourselves. This boat would probably contain an axe, a flintlock musket, some powder and shot, and a small quantity of the most essential groceries.

The passenger was David Cook, and he was on his way to carve out a homestead for himself inthe wilderness. The surrounding country was all primeval forest and a young man must have had more than water in his veins to settle amidst such surroundings. But brawn and bone, David Cook had a vision of the future which buoyed him up amidst all discouragements. In a short time he had a trail blazed to Towse's Corner, which was the nearest house, about three miles distance, on the Aboushagan Road. As he married Charlotte Towse, a daughter of Robert Towse [sic] i presume this may have been his "sparking trail." Later he cleared this out to a bridle path, and his wife often took her child in her arms and rode to visit at her old home.

Still later this was made passable for oxcarts, and was thus the first road ito Cookville. Still later a road was carved out to Harper's Brook, and another, less used, the Terris Toad to Centrevillage. I do not know what kind of a horse this first settler had, but I think it must have been a good one, for the Cooks of Cookville have ever been known as lovers of good horse flesh. Much of the property taken up by David Cook still remains int he possession of his descendants.

David and Charlotte Cook had seven sons: John, George, Christopher, James, William, Isaac and Charles, and two daughters: Elizabeth and Mary.

The second settler in this section was Angus McFee, who is supposed to have come from Scotland. He settled above what is now known as the Polley Place. He married a Miss Thornton and had three sons: Steware, Israel and James, and four daughters: Jane, Rebedda, Olive and another whose name had escaped me. His son, Stewart, married Sarah Leake from England, and I believe settled where Aubrey McFee now lives. His son Cyrus learned the carpenter trade from my father, and was one of the first men of whom I have any recolleciton.

Other early settlers were Gideon Estabrooks, John Wheaton, William O'Brien, Isaac Tingley, and George Lund........This list of earliest settlers and their immediate descendants I gleaned from notes by the late Dr. G M Cook and as we took his prescriptions without question, so I think we shall have to take this list.

There are some names I remember back about sixty years ago that are not included here, and I should like to know when each family came here. I recall James Distant, William Kinnear and his son, Boyd, Joseph Hicks, Lennox Kinnear, Charles Robinson, Joseph Patterson, John Hargraves, ???Read, and Douglas Chapman.

SCHOOLS Cookville has always had a good school. The first was in a log building on the west side of the Main Road on a line dividing the property of Miss Gertie M Cook and that of Leroy Kinnear. This was torn down in 1858 and replaced by a frame building which served as a School House and a Church. This was burned down about 1875 and was replaced by the present structure. Although the students did not have all the aids to education now enjoyed by school children, it managed to send forth a very respectable number of students who measured up well with the best products of the city schools. Among them I may mention Charles E Lund, one of the best land surveyors, and Dr George M Cook, MD, and Rev John Lund. Of Rev Mr Lund, I would like to say that on the occasion fo the funeral of his lifelong friend, the late Norman Cook, who so tragically perished when fire destroyed his home, his committal service was the finest at the grave and most appropriate that I ever heard.

CHURCHES Two churches were built here about 1875; a Methodist Church since taken down, which stood on the west side of the road just north of C Fred Cook's land; and a Baptist Church which we are present gathered.

This Church was organized in 1866, but the worship was conducted in the Schoolhouse for a number of years. On dec 14th, 1874, a meeting was held in the Schoolhouse of which Edward O'Brien was chairman, and Charles Cook, Secretary. In opening the meeting the Chairman spoke forcefully of the need for a church building. Other speakers taking part were Lennox Kinnear, Mr Lund, James Distant, William Cook and James McFee. The meeting then adjourned for one week. At the adjourned meeting on Dec 21st, with same Chairman and Secretary, it was moved by William H Cook, seconded by Lennox Kinnear, and carried that they build a Baptist meetinghouse free for all denominations such as Methodists and Presbyterians. A committee to solicit subscriptions was appointed consisting of Allen Estabrooks, Lennox Kinnear, Edward O'Brien and William H Cook. A further adjourned meeting met on Jan 4th, 1875 and it was decided to erect a building 50' by 45' on the Lennox Kinnear Corner. Committee: Robert Towse, Edward O'Brien, lennox Kinnear, Wm H Cook, A Estabrooks, LeBaron Read. Treas: Lennox Kinnear, Sec: Charles Cook, Collectors: Ed. O'Brien, Lennox Kinnear, Wm Cook, Allen Estabrooks.

I have not found out when the church was completed, but the Deed of Lnad was made March 29th, 1883, and was signed by Lennox Kinnear, and Judith, his wife, and witnessed by Boyd Kinnear, and certified by Wililam Kinnear, J.P. The deed was made to Robert Towse, Wm H Cook, Allen Estabrooks as trustees for the people denominated Particular Close Communion Baptists residing and living in Cookville.

In the early days Cookville seems to have been the centre of much activity in educational and religious affairs. My Mother has often told me how she and her sisters walked from the Robert Main place on Aboushagan Road, to attend Sunday School or Church in Cookville. And often they carried their boots and stockings in their hands, only putting them on when near the place of worship, and removing them again for the long walk home.

Many mighty sermans were preached here. Rev G F Miles could make the fafters shake with his mighty tones, but I think it was to Rev D C Lawson that we are indebted to for the Particular close Communion of this Church.

I regret that my information about the Methodist Church here is almost entirely wnating. I know that Rev John Lund was a Methodist, but some of the others of his family name wee strict Baptists. A daughter of James Distant married a Methodist preacher (Mr Chowan) but that is about as far as my information goes.

We, of the days of Steam engines, Automobiles, Electric Lights, Flying Machines, Radios, etc, can have but a faint conception of the labor and privations the pioneers of this and similar communities endured. The trees had to be cut down and the stumps grubbed out before they could plant a crop. From here they had to go to Sackville for all supplies and many of the old men walked to Sackville, and back, carrying a sack of groceries on their backs. Wild animals, not always the most timid, were common. Mrs Leonard Estabrooks tells about her grandfather, Stewart McFee, shooting a bear that was loooking at him through the kitchen window.

After they got their farms producing grain, they had no roads by which to get to the mill and so would have to take a sack of grain by canoe to Upper Sackville, carry it from there to Morice's Mill, and after it was ground carry it back to the canoe and paddle it home. Some way to get bread to eat, dont you think?

The women must have had an easy time of it. There was no worry about the latest "hair-do" or the newest brand of lipstick or nail polish. They did not even have to decide whether Ivory Snow or Camay was best for the complexion. They leached the ashes, and with animal fats made barrels of soft soap that cleansed as effectively as "Duz" or "Spic n Span".

As Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do, the girls were allowed to help pick the wool, after the wild berries had been gathered in. They took music lessons on the spinning wheel, and learned to weae, by hand, the latest modern fads. All the clothes of the family were made in the home, and all the socks and mittens for cold weather were made in the home, and all the socks and mittens for cold weather were knitted there. Sometimes to get a little cash with which to stock their "Hope chests" the girls went out to help their neighbors spin. They got the excessive amount of 5 cents per skein and a truly swift and skillful girl might spin as much as five skeins a day.

From this community has gone forth a goodly number of men and women who have achieved worldly success and have proved themselves of value to their contry. And while it is neat that we should keep thier memories warm, we should never forget the sterling qualities of heart and brain and brawn of those who have remained, and by thier industry and integrity have helped to feed the hungry and to build up a greater and better country.

In closing may I say that to me one of the saddest sights I meet with through the country, is fencs tumbling down, ploughed fields growing up to bushes, houses sinking into the cellars. I know full well that social conditions are changing, but when I think of all the labor nad sacrifices that has been made to establish these homes, I wonder if some way cannot be found to offset the national loss thus involved.

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[NOTE: The following contains most of the same passages as the history above. The selected initials are different, but it appears to be another revision of the same paper or address. I have only included selections absent above. --DPC]


Delivered at the Cookville Baptist Church, November 4th 1951

by R Ernest Estabrooks

"...Since most of the early settlers of Cookville were from the Township of Sackville, it will be necessary to review the History of Sackville, briefly. And by the Township of Sackville I do not mean just what is now known as the Town of Sackville, but all that scope of 100,000 acres lying East of the Aulac River which was first organized into the Township of Sackville.

As you all well know, that locality was settled by the French in the 17th Century. After the fall of Beausejour in 1755, the French inhabitants were expelled and distributed along the New England coast. And upon their expulsion the Governor of Nova Scotia advertised for settlers to take up the land. The new settlers all wanted to be as near the pond as possible, for that was the only source of power available at that time. They also wanted the cleared lands and the marshlands. So in laying out the Township the cleared lands were divided into lots of from seven to 14 acres each, a block of marshland and the balance of their 500 acre lots was made up of forest land lying between the cleared land and what is now Dorchester. This was the first English settlement in New Brunswick, although for a time it continued to be a part of the Province of Nova Scotia.

At the time of this migration, Rhode Island was the centre of Baptist thought in New Englan and this probably explains, in part, why this section has always been so predominately Baptist in sentiment.

In 1763 a Baptist Church was organized in Swansea, Mass, and the members in a body, thirteen in number, moved to Sackville. This organization has persisted to the present time, the Main Street Baptist Church in Sackville and the Middle Sackville Baptist Church continue to exist as the original church.....

...Methodism was introduced ito Canada by the Yorkshire immigrants about 1774. At first they had no church buildings, but held thier services in private houses. Neither did they have any ordained ministers, and I understand that the Sacrament was administered for them by the Anglican Clergy. Their first place of worship was of stone, roofed with thatch, situated back from the road in the Cemetery in Pointe de Bute, in 1788. In that year thier first ordained minister, Rev James Wray, arrived from England, sent out from England, sent out by John Wesley himself...

...It was the custom in the early days for the clergy to wear heavy side whiskers, but no moustaches. It is told byat a Mr Robert Tweedy once applied to the Conference as a candidiate for ordination. A Board of Inquiry was appointed to examine into his qualifications, but what was the horror of this august body when the candidate appeared before them wearing a heavy moustache? He passed his aducational and theological tests alright and the Committee recommended him to the Conference subject to the eliminaiton of the moustache. A second Committee was appointed to wait upon him and convey the decision of the Conference. He refused to comply, gave his moustache a pull to show it was genuine, and declared that God had put it there and that no man should render it asunder. One member recommended that he should trim it rather short, which he agreed to do and the Committee reported that he would see his way clear to comply with the usages fo the Conference...

...More than sixty years ago Mrs John Cook told me that old relics and evidence of a military camp had been found on thier property. She mentioned Bridle Bits, and other accoutrements. Recently Mr Fletcher McFee told me that he, too, had heard of this, but he was inclined to think that it had been an Indian camping ground, and that tomahawks and other Indian pieces had been found there. He said that this was on a point of upland on the John Cook property tyat projected out into the interval; that the land had never been broken to the plow, although it had been cleared of trees on several occasions for this purpose. At the close of the American War of Independence Jonathan Eddy, "Rebel John" Allen and others proposed to assault Fort Beausejour with the intention of winning this country for the American Republic. This is locally known as the "Eddy Rebellion". Eddy raised a amall force in the Colonies and set out from Machia, Maine, for Chignecto. He landed at Petitcodiac, posted a small force at the mouth of that river for observation purposes, and pushed on with his troops. They crosseed the Memramcook near the head of that river and took a course through the woods for Point Midgic. Then going through the woods above the Jolicure Lakes they came to the home of Col Allen in Upper Pointe de Bute, the place where Mr Frank Truman now lives. He attacked the Fort on Nov 10th 1776 but was repulsed. He retreated towards Baie Verte, but finding that he was not being followed, turned again to Point Midgic. How he found his way back to Machias is not known, but it seems to me that he may have rested his troops at Cookville. As he had Indians in his command this would perhaps explain the presence of Indian weapons here. So, in my opinion, Cookville was a bivouac for the Eddy rebels, either on their way to, or on their return from the attack on Beausejour, and perhaps on both occasions.

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