Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Laura Cooke Barker

Laura Elizabeth Cooke was the daughter of Pitt Cooke and Mary Townsend Cooke. (Pitt Cooke was the brother of Jay Cooke, the Civil War financier.) Laura is pictured above in her wedding dress on December 8, 1886. Laura’s groom, Franklin S. Barker, was a photographer in business with Mr. W. A. Bishop at the time of his wedding. Later Frank worked as an accountant in Sandusky.

Laura Cooke Barker wrote several books . Her first book was entitled A Strange Experiment, published in 1897 by the Philosopher Press of Wisconsin.

Laura’s book of poems, Mezzotints, was also published by the Philosopher Press. The Sandusky Register reported in its April 29, 1900 issue that Laura’s poems were “especially interesting from a psychological standpoint, showing how the mind of the woman of strict orthodox training refines and interprets human desires.” Society Silhouettes, a collection of short stories, was published in Cleveland, Ohio in 1898.

Two of Laura’s later books were published by the Roycrofters, a small handicraft community with a publishing company in East Aurora, New York. Looking Upward was a collection of inspirational verse, published in 1928. The Immutable Law was published in 1921, shortly after the death of Laura’s husband. According to an article which appeared in the October 30, 1921 Sandusky Register, The Immutable Law was “a study of contrasted temperaments upon which play fires of avarice, sorrow, hatred, love, cynicism and lesser passions.” The dedication of this title read: “In undying remembrance of my well beloved husband, Franklin Sydnor Barker, born in spirit and his inheritance of ecstasy eternal on April 3, 1920.” Accompanying this dedication was the Biblical verse, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away, and he that overcometh shall inherit all things.” It appears that Laura devoted herself to her writing, following the death of her beloved husband Franklin.

Mrs. Laura Cooke Barker died on April 30, 1927, following a lengthy illness. She was survived by her sister, Mary Cooke. Laura was buried next to her husband in the North Ridge section of Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.


Barrie C Folsom said...

My name is Barrie Cooke Folsom and this evening I was reading the book..Looking Upward with poems by Laura Cooke Barker.....I always wondered how we were related...with the help of the internet I have found out....My great grandfather was Henry David Cooke brother of Jay Cooke.....Henry, Jay and Pitt were brothers...

babsinPA said...

This is my comment to BARRIE FOLSOM's of Jay Cooke's relatives is alive here in PA.....he is an older gent....but still very alive and full of life. If interested, please email me at Babs562 @ gmail . com