Uggool's Peter Paul Cooke 1882-1906
A Promising Athlete Dies Young
Antoinette Cooke Lydon
Peter Paul Cooke was born in Uggool on the 18th June 1882 to Martin Cooke (1831-1913) & Ellen King (1839-1914).
Peter Paul was the youngest of 13 children. Peter Paul, was known as Paul Cook in America.
- Mary 1860-1945 Monson, Massachusetts
- Bridget (Della) 1862-1946 Lowell Massachusetts
- Margaret 1863
- Richard 1865
- Patrick John 1867-1935 Washington DC
- Ellen (Nellie) 1869-1904
- Winifred 1870-1898
- Michael Joseph 1872-1956 Washington DC
- Martin Anthony (my great grandfather) 1873-1957
- Maria 1875-1878
- Sarah 1877-1903
- Anne 1880-1880
- Peter Paul 1882-1906
Peter Paul was baptised on 22nd June 1882, his godparents were Catherine Kerrigan & Michael Kyne.
immigration to USA
In 1898 Peter Paul immigrated to America on board the SS Aurania, travelled alone. The Cunard Line SS Aurania departed from Liverpool on 15th June arriving in Queenstown (Cobh) on June 17th. He arrived in New York on 25th June.
In the 1900 US Census Peter Paul is living with his brothers Patrick Joseph and Richard & sister Ellen (also known as Nellie & Helen) Patrick’s wife Mary Ellen and their children Helen, Annie & Martin at 3124 M Street N W. Georgetown, Washington DC. Patrick Joseph Cook was a Bar Keeper & his brother Richard was a Bar Tender and Peter Paul (Paul) was listed as a Day labourer.
cooke the athlete
“Paul Cook was the star performer of the day”according to The Evening Star of 26th May 1904. Paul added 18 individual points to Central High School winning score of 60. On the day Paul broke the running broad jump record by clearing a distance of twenty-one feet and two inches. This was done on his first trial. In the Relay race, the Central High School boys ‘quickly distanced all the competitors, and Cook taking up the running in the last lap, won the event by half the distance of the circular track’.
home for the race
An article in The Freeman’s Journal of 1 August 1904 shows that Paul returned to Ireland and competed in a meet at Jones Road, Dublin. “The annual athletic championships of the Gaelic Athletic Association take place tomorrow at Jones’s Road, and a glance of at the programme show that the very best athletics in the country have entered. Paul Cook of Washington has entered for the sprints, and judging from his records, he should be very near the tape in the 100 yards and 200 yards”.
Paul attended Western High School where he was a Track & Field athlete, during his 3rd year, he had a sudden illness, this may have been the onset of TB. Paul spent the summer of 1905 at Camp Tecumseh, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
In his 4th year he transferred to Central High School, in September 1905 Paul entered Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. In an article in The Evening Star of 25th Oct 1905, they describe Paul Cook as “one of the very best “Prep” school athletes of the south” and “has a fine reputation as a sprinter and high jump. Pennsylvania & Princeton Universities have been after him, but he decided to enter the Middletown college.”
On the night of 1st March 1906, the dormitory caught fire and burnt to the ground. 85 students were left wet & cold. It is believed this re-triggered the TB. Paul was hospitalised in Middletown for 8 weeks, he then went to convalesce for 2 months with his sister Della (Cooke) Dowd of Lowell, Massachusetts, in July he returned to Washington DC. A trip to North Carolina was the final attempt to cure Paul, but sadly to no avail.
death aged 24
Paul passed away peacefully at his home on 1st September 1906. Paul is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Washington D.C.
What a tragedy, to have lost such an amazing talent as such a young age.
I must thank my cousin Martin Grealish, Chestnut Hill, MA for some of the information.