Search Engine for the Gazetteer

   Search this site      powered by FreeFind




Across the Fence

cook_r_l.jpg (34535 bytes)

Click Picture to see larger view.


By Arvord Abernethy


There is one family in Hamilton that is not so concerned about rain on their grass in the front yard, but they will certainly welcome it on their garden and orchard in their front yard. They are Rev. and Mrs. Ruel Cook at 609 E. Leslie.


I recently had a most enjoyable visit with them and found them to be a retired couple who are far from being retired.


The Cooks have had a very colorful and interesting life. Bro. Cook was born at Denison , Texas , but spent much of his boyhood at Hedley in the Panhandle. After his marriage to Leona, he taught school for seven years, and then became connected with the U. S. Corps of Engineers. They did much of the construction work ay Los Alamos , New Mexico , during W.W.II; here is where some of the work was being done on the atomic bomb, but he did not know it at the time.


While working at Los Alamos , he bought a home nearby at Espanola for his family. While living at Espanola, at the age of 40 he felt a call to the ministry, so soon began making plans to attend a seminary. He enrolled in the Golden Gate Baptist Seminary at Berkeley , California . His great urge to preach soon resulted in connections with churches in the western states, and here is where he did most of his work. It would take too long to tell you of all the places he served as much of the time he was with the Home Mission Board of Southern Baptists. They were at Fargo , N.D. for five years and did other mission work in Wyoming and Utah .


They were serving at Cedar City , Utah , when it came time for them to retire, so they had to choose a place for a permanent home. They had been through Hamilton several times on their way to Houston to see their daughter. Their son-in-law suggested Hamilton as a place for them to live, because of it’s neatness, it’s quite life and not being as expensive as a city.


While here looking for a house to buy, they learned that the Littleville Baptist Church was pastor less, so upon applying, he was called to serve them. After serving there for over two years, he became pastor of the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church and served there for three years until recently.


These six “retirement” years have been far from retirement, as you could see if you visited their home. Due to his experience in the construction business, he has been able to accomplish a lot. They first bought a mobile home and placed it well back on their large lot under a huge Live Oak. Bro. Cook built a house type roof over it and extended it on out to make a carport. He is now building a large room on the front of the house which will give lots of room.


We went out in the back yard and there he has converted a horse stable into a storage and utility room, and he has added more to one end, paneled it and made a nice guest room.


A rock-walled walkway leads one into a storm cellar that is completely underground in the side of the hill. Bro. Cook laid concrete blocks for the walls and then poured a concrete slab for the roof and then covered it back with soil. Shelves in the cellar are loaded with canned fruits and vegetables. As he opened the freezer door, he said he had thought of planting a fall garden, but then where would they put the surplus. The freezer was stocked to the limit.


It would take a book to contain all the experiences they have had in their happy life together. During these years, they have accumulated many interesting souvenirs. Let me tell you of just one.


They have a beautiful black bowl that was made by some Indians, Maria Martinez and her husband, Julian. Maria is famous out there for her work in making pottery, and for teaching it to her people, which has greatly added to their economy. I had wondered how they got the pottery so glossy black. Bro. Cook said that to fire it, they made a pile of wood, placed the pottery on it and they covered that with cow chips and then placed a piece of tin over that. The slow burning of the chips would turn it black.


We have been with the Cooks on several occasions and found them to be very enjoyable company. They are very young at heart and keep an optimistic outlook on life. If you are getting down in the dumps and think you want to find a rocking chair to spend the rest of your days in, go by and spend a little time with Bro. Ruel and Leona. You will go away a different person.




Shared by Roy Ables



Rev. Ruel R. Cook died May 26, 1995.  He was buried in the Gentrys Mill Cemetery.



Home ] Up ]

People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
Search this site powered by FreeFind

Copyright © March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

A Work In Progress