Hunt-Cooke Family History


**Thanks to Mr. Kelly Garnett for sharing this old article from the Centralia Guard Newspaper. **

“On May 21, 1838, Enoch Hunt VII, his wife (Harriet Newell Cooke) and their children had their covered wagon and oxen loaded on a flat boat at the river front at Hannibal, MO and crossed the Mississippi River going to their new home in Monroe County, Missouri. The children with them were Lewis Augustus Fidelia Loraine, Henry Keith, Zachariah Bates and Erastus.  
Enoch Hunt VII and his family left Weymouth, Massachusetts in the late summer of 1837 but spent the winter months with relatives living in New York State. They continued on to Monroe County, Missouri as soon as the spring weather permitted them to travel. They journeyed along until they reached the Strother area in Monroe county where they were in the process of buying farm land. The children born to this couple after they came to Monroe County were Hiram Cooke, Aurelia Torrey, Angeline Matilda, Enoch Jr. and Adresia. Enoch Hunt, Mrs. Harriet Hunt and Augustus Hunt became charter members of the Presbyterian Church in the Strother Community.  

Enoch Hunt VII was a descendant of Sir Anthony Hunt of Titenden, Lee Parish, Buckinghamshire, England. Sir Anthony never came to America but his son, Enoch Hunt (1st) was the first of his family to come to the New World. Rev. Joseph Hull, an Episcopal clergyman of Somersetshire, England sailed from Weymouth in Dorset, England, March 20, 1635. They landed at Dorchester, Massachusetts on June 7, 1635 and went directly to Weymouth, Massachusetts. Many ministers from Europe brought their followers to this country and settled along the New England coast. Enoch Hunt (1st) and his son, Ephriam, came in 1639 to Weymouth and joined Rev. Hull. The father soon returned to England. 

Ephriam was an assumed name as he really was Col. Sir William Hunt in England but since he was a refugee from the disastrous defeat in the Battle of Marston Moor, he was constantly being hunted by Cromwell. At the siege of York, Col. Hunt became the hero of the day and the dignity of Knighthood was conferred upon him by Prince Rupert. After the defeat, Colonel Hunt fled to America. Quite a contrast to the once artillery officer and dashing Tory. He became a quiet citizen of the new country. He cropped his long hair and laid aside his fine dress as well as his title. He took the assumed name of Ephriam which really belonged to his cousin. Ephriam's lineage descendants were Captain Ephriam Hunt, Captain Ebenezer Hunt (Rev. Soldier), Enoch Hunt V, Asa Hunt, and then Enoch Hunt VII in the descendants of Sir Anthony Hunt. This last Enoch was the one who crossed the Mississippi River on May 21, 1838 with his family in the covered wagon drawn by four oxen. Enoch Hunt VII's youngest son., Enoch Hunt Jr. was in the Battle of Centralia (Civil War), Fought September 29, 1864. He fought with the Federal Soldiers, There is a letter from him encased under glass in a descendant's home near Mexico, Missouri which reads: 

Dear Ones at home,

We had a fight at Centralia yesterday, with Anderson and we all got killed except 15. That we know of. We run to Sturgeon. We had 150 killed. They scalped all the officers. You may think that I want to get home but I do not care. I am doing well. I stopped at Mr. Conger's as we came up there and all the folks was well. The rebels was at there house the night before. I have seen more dead men than a few. I was not afraid even when I saw the men failing. I am in a hurry to help tend to things. I suppose that you had heard of it. I thought that you all fretting about me and so I thought I would write to let you know whether I was killed or not. You must excuse my bad writing. I must close so goodbye. 

This from

Enoch, Jr. 

Enoch Jr. returned home to Monroe County and later moved to Centralia. He became a part-time Holiness minister.  

During the Civil War the older men who sympathized with the Federal side had to leave home and hide out because Anderson's men were prowling about hunting for these old men to kill them and also burning many of their homes. Anderson's men took all food they could find. Harriet and the girls stayed home to protect it. They worried about Enoch as he was about 65 years old and he had to hide out. They would not see him nor hear from him for months. It was a trying time for the families. Harriet wrote her husband about the different neighbors who were hiding too.  

Harriet Newell Cooke Hunt has a distinguished background of ancestors. Her lineage went back to the Mayflower. Thirteen people, including the men, women and children who came on that boat were her ancestors. All of the seven men were signers of the Mayflower Compact. They were Francis Cooke, Stephen Hopkins, James Chilton, Richard Warren, Myles Standish, John Alden and William Mullins. Robert Crump Fields Jr., Attorney at Springfield, Missouri is a member of the Mayflower Society and has all this lineage certified.  

Enoch Hunt VII, died in 1876 at Strother Monroe County, Missouri and was buried in the New Hope Cemetery there. Harriet, his wife, went to live with her youngest son, Enoch Jr. in Centralia. She died in 1896 there and was buried in the Centralia City Cemetery. In those days embalming was not known and so they were buried wherever they died. Her stone is also the marker for their eldest son, Lewis Augustus Hunt, who owned a flour mill in Centralia when he lived there.  

To complete the lineage, Lewis Augustus Hunt and Susan Mary Crump Hunt's youngest daughter, Emma Amanda, married Thomas Wilson Fields and the lived in the Pleasant Hill area in Monroe county. They had three children, Robert Crump Fields, Mary Edna Fields Francis and Earl Dean Fields. Edna Francis, lives in Independence, Missouri. Earl Dean Fields died in 1942 leaving two daughters, Mrs. Raymond Smith (Emma Jane Fields) and Mrs. Charles Lee Garnett (Bula Dean Fields) living in Paris. Robert Crump Fields was a prominent attorney and businessman in Lebanon, Missouri when he passed away in 1953. He and Frances Reynolds Fields had one son, Robert Crump Fields, Jr. who is an attorney in Springfield, Missouri and was Missouri Department Secretary of State for almost three years. He has two children. Lee and Leslie Fields.  

There are many families living in Paris, Mexico and Centralia area who are members of this fine family that settled here early in the history of our country and they should be proud of this heritage.”