Mary Ann Turley
1827-1904

Born: 13 July 1827 in York (now Toronto), Ontario, Canada1
Died: 24 December 1904 in Santa Paula, Ventura County, California2
Buried: Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery in Santa Paula, Ventura County, California3
FamilySearch ID: KWVM-XQR
FindaGrave Memorial ID:  111884163

Mary Ann was the daughter of Theodore Turley and Frances Kimberley.

Mary Ann was sealed as a plural wife to Brigham Young in the Nauvoo Temple on 3 February 1846.4 They divorced on 15 January 1851 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah.5 Mary Ann later married John Cook on 8 September 1851 in San Bernardino County, California.6 They had the following children:

  1. Henry Theodore Cook (1853-1941) m1. Sarah Ellen Wilkinson, m2. Mary Ollie Fuller, m3. Marion G. _____, m4. Jennie E. Johnson
  2. John Edward Cook (1855-1855)7
  3. Mary Effie Cook (1855-1942) m. Zachary Hector
  4. Isabel Priscilla Cook (1860-1862)8
  5. Sarah Ann Cook (1860-1933) m1. Charles John Harris, m2. John Davis Seward
  6. Caroline Owena Cook (1862-1945) m1. Bernado A. Smith, m2. George W. Silvey
  7. Marinda Maria “Minnie” Cook (1866-1946) m. Herbert Hall
  8. Charlotte Thankful Cook (1867-1867)9
  9. Jonathan Cook (1868-1868)10
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Life Sketch

Life sketch forthcoming.

John Cook was born 22 May 1825 in New York and died 8 June 1883 in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona.11

Mary Ann Cook, widow, native of Canada, renounced allegiance to Queen Victoria and swore in as a citizen of the Stars and Stripes, to be ready to vote when the coming woman gets her rights.

“San Bernardino Brevities,” Los Angeles Sunday Times, Sunday, 29 Sep. 1895, p. 10, col. 4, Newspapers.com.

Mrs. Mary Ann Cook, widow, a native of Canada, renounced allegiance to Queen Victoria this morning and took the oath as a citizen of the United States. This formality was necessary to enable her to hold property in this state.

“Notes of the Day,” Los Angeles Herald, Sunday, 29 Sep. 1895, p. 2, col. 4, Newspapers.com.

PIONEER WOMAN DIES.

Mrs. [M]ary Ann Cook, who was for many years a resident of Colton, and who was a member of the Society of Pioneers in San Bernardino, died at her home in Santa Paula on Christmas morning.

She was born July 13, 1827, at Toronto, Canada, came with her parents to the United States in 1838, and was a pioneer in this western country. She was married at Sycamore Grove in this county in 1851, and has been a resident of the State ever since. She leaves one son, four daughters, grand children, great grandchildren, one sister, Mrs. S. E. Franklin of Colton, a brother, Isaac Turley, and many friends to mourn her loss.

“Pioneer Woman Dies,” The San Bernardino County Sun, Wednesday, 28 Dec. 1904, p. 8, col. 2, Newspapers.com.

Biographical sketch from The Theodore Turley Family book (p. 59-60)

MARY ANN TURLEY was born in Toronto, Ontario on July 13, 1827 to Theodore and Francis Amelia Turley. She mar­ried JOHN J. COOK September 8, 1851.

MARY ANN’s parents emigrated to Canada in 1825 with two children. They settled near Lake Ontario, having been given a plot of land and a blooded herd of cattle by the King of England for services rendered him. He continued preaching Methodism. In 1837 her father and mother were baptized and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sold their farm and moved to Far West, Missouri, arriving in July, 1838. They later moved to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1839 and in 1846 traveled by ox team to Winter Quarters, Nebraska where they stayed until 1849. During that time six members of the family died, including her mother. In 1849 they traveled by ox team to Salt Lake City, Utah and in 1850 went with about five hundred others to build a settlement in San Bernardino County, California, where a large tract of land was purchased. It was here that MARY ANN met and married JOHN JAMES COOK.

The following is taken from History of Ventura County California, Volume 2. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1926.

Among the early settlers of Ventura County was the John J. Cook family. Their identification with this county dates back to 1869, which dates back ninety-nine years ago, which period practically embraces its development from a stretch of wild plain and barren wilderness to its present prosperous condition, and during these years the members of this family bore their full part in the upbuilding of the community.

John J. Cook, who was orphaned early in life, was of German descent, born in Mohawk County, New York, May 22, 1827, while Mary Ann (Turley) Cook was of English antecedents, her father coming to this country and serving in the Civil War with the rank of Captain. Mary Ann was born in Toronto, Canada, July 13, 1827 and died December 24, 1904, at the age of seventy-seven years.

In 1869 the family left San Bernardino County, locating near what is now Bardsdale, Ventura County, but which then was in Santa Barbara County. In 1872 the family moved to Santa Barbara and in 1873 to Ukiah, Mendocino County, where they lived until the spring of 1875, when they returned to Ventura County, for permanent resi­dence, Santa Paula, California.”

The following article was taken from the Santa Paula Daily Chronicle dated 12/26/1904, written by Etta L. Ricker upon the death of MARY ANN COOK:

On December 24, 1904, the gates of heaven rolled wide for this good woman and she passed away to eternal rest. Her passing calls for more than a casual notice. Mrs. Cook was one of the pioneers of this state, born in Toron­to, Canada, July 13, 1827, she journeyed from there with her parents to California, making the entire trip across the continent with ox teams. Arriving in California in 1851 she soon after married John Cook, an honored pioneer of this state. It can never be said of Mrs. Cook that she lived in vain. In those early days of California her whole life was given to help those in need of help. She was mother, sister, doctor and nurse to all. None were too poor, too dirty, or too wicked to be comforted, nursed and cared for by her. Many a sad heart was comforted by her loving care, and she would share all she had with those in need, trusting with the faith that never faltered for her own poor needs.

In the early days of San Bernardino as well as of Ven­tura County she came at last to be a veritable Peter among the poor and needy. “If only her shadow might fall on them they felt comforted.”

. . .Mrs. Cook has left a more beautiful monument than any chiseled from marble. It is her good works for others, her kindness to the poor and needy, and the help she gave to those that needed help. . .

JOHN JAMES COOK, while traveling by train through Arizona, was mur­dered and no one seems to know where he was bur­ied or any more of the details.

Newspaper articles about John Cook’s death

In The Theodore Turley Family book, John Cook’s death is described in this way: “JOHN JAMES COOK, while traveling by train through Arizona, was mur­dered and no one seems to know where he was bur­ied or any more of the details.”12 Historical records indicate that John Cook died by suicide in Tucson, Arizona, on 8 June 1883. Owing to the unusual facts of the suicide, the death was believed to be a homicide, and it was reported as such on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. This is likely the reason why the family believed John was murdered in Arizona.

The accounts of John Cook’s death offer tantalizing clues to his origin. The articles indicate that John was born 22 May 1825, not 22 May 1827 as family records traditionally state, which better matches his age on census records.13 Based on information from the articles, we’ve deduced that he was most likely connected to the Cook family of Mottville Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan.14 That Cook family was originally from the Mohawk Valley region in New York. Also, John Cook’s 1883 death was reportedly after he inherited a significant amount of money. One theory is that John’s father may have been William Cook who died in Mottville Township on 7 September 1879.15 In January 1882, William Cook’s younger brother, Conrad Cook, reportedly received a visit from a nephew “Mr. Cook, of California” who had left the region about 1850.16

Saturday, 9 June 1883

Mysterious Shooting in Tucson.
TUCSON, June 8.—This evening John Cook, stonemason, was found dead, shot through the body. It was at first supposed to be suicide, but upon investigation it was found impossible, from the nature of the wound and the distance of the gun from the body, for the deceased to have fired the shot. The whole affair is shrouded in mystery.

“mysterious shooting in tucson,” los angeles daily times, Saturday, 9 june 1883, p. 1, col. 8, newspapers.com.

Strange Crime in Tucson.

LOS ANGELES, June 8.—A dispatch from Tucson says: “John Cook, aged 58, suicided here this morning by shooting himself through the heart with a repeating rifle, while suffering from an overdose of morphine. He leaves a wife in San Luis Obispo county, from whom he separated last Fall.”

A later dispatch says: “An investigation in the case of John C. Cook warrants the belief that he did not commit suicide, but was shot while dying, to cover up his death caused by an overdose of morphine administered by an irresponsible party. Under the circumstances it was impossible, the Coroner’s jury believe, for Cook to have shot himself.”

“strange crime in tucson,” The Daily Bee (Sacramento, Calif.), saturday, 9 june 1883, p. 2, col. 3, newspapers.com.

WAS HE MURDERED?

John Cook Found Dead this Morning.

A Bullet Hole Through His Body—It Could Not Have Been Suicide—An Overdose of Morphine

Friday morning about ten o’clock a prospector named W. A. St. John brought word to Coroner E. J. Smith that a man named John Cook had committed suicide in a corral at the north end of Main street, the first gate above No. 308, on that street.

A CITIZEN reporter repaired immediately to the scene. A Mexican, standing at the corral gate, was asked:

“Is there a dead man here?” “No sabe,” was his dull, laconic reply. Mustering up all the mongrel Spanish he knew, the question was repeated, when back came the answer varied to “Quieu sabe?” Passing by the individual who exists in blissful ignorance of news-gathering, the reporter passed through the gate, and found Coroner Smith with an assistant lifting the corpse into the wagon. The body had been discovered in an adobe building in the center of the corral. It was lying across a bed. One foot was resting on the ground. A repeating magazine rifle laid beside him. The means of his death was not known until the coroner commenced to search when the mouth of the rifle was found pointing to Cook’s left breast. Closer inspections revealed a big powder-burned hole in the clothing, and the wound in the flesh made by the ball. St. John, who first discovered the dead body, thought Cook had poisoned himself. The body was removed to the morgue. There were no men in the corral at the time of the suicide. A Mexican family lived in an ell of the house. The woman did not hear the gun-shot, and did not know, so she says, of Cook’s death till the coroner came. The children were playing in the yard, and every one replied “no sabe nada” in answer to all questions.

A pocket-book belonging to Cook, and in possession of St. John, contained a letter signed by E. C. Abbott, of Mottville, N. Y. In this letter was Cook’s family record, which showed that he was born May 22, 1825, which makes him past 58 years of age.

W. A. St. John, who lives in the corral, said that he had known Cook for 24 years, most of the time in California. Cook was a Mason, though St. John could not remember the Lodge of which he was a member. Cook had lived in San Luis Obispo county, California, where he had a wife with whom he had had trouble. It had been over seven years since he had met Cook till about two weeks ago. Cook then told him that he had left his wife in San Luis Obispo county last fall, when he had gone to the state of New York, where he had fallen heir to a legacy of $10,000. which he had settled. He also said that he expected his brother-in-law to arrive in Tucson from New York State on next Wednesday. St. John proposed to him to go on a prospecting trip some seventy miles north of Tucson, and they had purchased their burros, and were intending to start to-day. Cook appeared depressed in mind for several days past. As St. John expressed it, “Something told him he was going to die.” On Wednesday he gave St. John his pocket book, containing his family record. His eyes were then blood-shot. Cook had been drinking a little during the past few days, and that he went yesterday to Dr. Rogers, who administered some morphine to him in Dr. C. P. V. Watson’s drug-store. Last night Cook and St. John slept together on the same cot in the open air. Cook was very thirsty, and St. John got up and gave him some water to drink out of a canteen. This morning St. John told Cook to go and lie down on the bed indoors, where he was afterwards found dead. St. John then went out to get some beer, and on his return discovered Cook to be dead. He immediately notified the coroner.

A jury was summoned at 2 o’clock this afternoon to investigate the cause of Cook’s death. The body was opened and the stomach was taken out, and examined by a commission of doctors to ascertain the effects and amount of morphine. At three o’clock, after viewing the body it was the general opinion of the jury that it was impossible for Cook himself to have fired the fatal shot. The ball went straight through the body, and came out at the back through the spinal column. To do this the gun would have to have been held directly from the body. In that position the length of the gun would have forbid Crook [sic] reaching the trigger with his hand. If the ball had ranged upward or downward, it is the opinion of individual members of the jury and the coroner that the suicide theory might be true. But this was not the range of the ball. It was straight through the body. It is evident, then, that Cook did not kill himself. The gun was a Henry rifle of 45 calibre, and the property of a man named Barney Hassen.

Coroner Smith told a CITIZEN reporter that in his opinion Cook was shot by some one at the time he was dying from the overdose of morphine. A search had been made for the bullet in the room where Cook died, but it had not been found.

“was he murdered?,” arizona weekly citizen (tucson, ariz.), saturday, 9 june 1883, p. 3, col. 3, Newspapers.com.

A MYSTERIOUS DEATH.

John Cook Found Dead on Main Street

With a Bullet Hole Through his Body.

Is it a Case of Murder or of Suicide?

Yesterday morning at half-past 8 o’clock one John Cook, an old man who had probably been here two weeks, was found in a little adobe room on Main street dead and cold as a corpse will be after the life’s blood has fled. Near the body, but at the bottom of the bed, was placed in such a position that it was impossible for suicide to have been committed, the weapon—a deadly Winchester—and its position gave prima facie evidence that if it had caused the death, the moving of the trigger had not been done by the man who was killed.

A jury was called by Coroner Smith as soon as practicable, to convene at 2 p. m., and the testimony was taken down by clerk Oakly, under the direction of the coroner.

Several witnesses, the principal one of whom is W. A. St. John, were examined. The body was viewed and after a careful examination thereof, it seemed to be apparent that it was impossible for the man to have committed suicide. First, his arms were too short, either when lying down or reclining, to have reached the trigger; and, secondly, there was no blood or anything else on the gun which would lead to the belief that the unfortunate man had committed the deed.

Mr. St. John’s testimony was to the effect that he had slept with the deceased whom he had formerly known in California; that Cook had been drinking and had taken some medicine, but did not seem to be seriously indisposed when witness left him to come up town; returning shortly after the body was found in the position as afterward examined and with life extinct.

It was further elicited on the evidence of John Stott, a reliable witness, that Cook had been troubled in his mind more or less for the last two days, laboring under the apprehension that some one was following him for a debt of $10, (which he probably did not owe), and this seemed to worry him greatly.

The inquest yesterday was very exhaustive, but failed to develop sufficient evidence to satisfy Coroner Smith, and the jury to a certain point also objected on account of the insufficiency of facts. Dr. Handy suggested that it was very necessary that the services of the district attorney be secured in the matter, and an adjournment was therefore taken until 9 o’clock today to secure the presence of that official.

It is expected that the facts will all be brought out in this case, as it is to say the least very peculiar. If suicide was not committed then murder was—a cowardly murder too—because the victim was in an almost helpless state. What motive, save that of robbery, could have prompted any one to take the life of a comparative stranger, is a matter very mysterious, to say the least. Some important developments are looked forward to, and the case is now attracting considerable interest.

The report in the Citizen did Dr. Watson an injustice in stating that a dose of morphine had been purchased for the deceased at his drug store. This assertion was simply made by a party much the worse for liquor, and was fully contradicted in the evidence adduced.

“A mysterious death,” arizona daily star (tucson, ariz.), saturday, 9 june 1883, p. 4, col. 2, newspapers.com.
Sunday, 10 June 1883

CORONER’S VERDICT.

Come to his Death by his Own Hand.

The Murder Theory proven Eroneous.

The finding of the body of John Cook in a corral on Main street dead, with a bullet hole through his body on Friday morning has created some excitement, owing to the fact that the situation of the wound and the distance from the body to the rifle with which the fatal deed was committed have given rise to dark suspicions in the minds of several, and murder had been more than hinted at.

Saturday, however, the coroner’s jury, after visiting the spot where the body was found, and carefully weighing the evidence in the case, returned a verdict of suicide during a fit of temporary aberation. It was found that it would have been feasible for the deceased to have rested the butt of the rifle on the foot of the bed in which he sat, and after placing the muzzle against his chest, while in a sitting position, have discharged it either by leaning forward and pulling the trigger with his hand or by the aid of his foot. This seems to be the most reasonable supposition in regard to his death, and in the absence of any motive for the crime of murder it approaches certainty.

On the body was found a memoranda which proved conclusively his name and native place, while it also contained a letter, which he had evidently received in answer to some request, containing the names of a list of persons supposed to be his brothers and sisters, together with the date of their births. The only other paper found on his person was a copy of the well-known song, “Empty is the Cradle, Baby’s Gone.”

The following is a copy of the sworn verdict of the coroner’s jury:

Territory of Arizona,} ss
County of Pima.}

In the matter of an inquest on the body of John Cook, deceased. We, the undersigned jurors, summoned to appear before E. J. Smith, the coroner of Pima county, Territory of Arizona, on the 8th day of June, A. D., 1883, to inquire into the death of John Cook, who died on the 8th day of June, 1883, in the city of Tucson, county of Pima, having been duly sworn according to law and having made such inquiry and inspected the body and heard the testimony adduced, upon our oaths, each and all do say that we find that the deceased was named John Cook, a native of New York, was about 60 years of age; and we also inspected the premises where the decease took place, and we find that he came to his death by a rifle wound inflicted by himself, from which he died, while laboring under temporary insanity.

[Signed] D. ELLIS, Foreman.
J. G. MCDONALD,
P. LOONEY,
A. H. ROSEUSTOCK,
W. P. FRYE,
R. A. LONGSTREAT.

“coroner’s verdict,” arizona daily star (tucson, ariz.), sunday, 10 june 1883, p. 4, col. 2, newspapers.com.
Saturday, 16 June 1883

IT WAS A SUICIDE.

John Cook Killed Himself With a Rifle Shot.

The Verdict of the Coroner’s That He Suicided While Laboring Under Mental Aberration.

The coroner’s jury on the death of John Cook reassembled at the morgue Saturday and resumed the taking of testimony. No new points were adduced other than those published in the CITIZEN yesterday.

The jury visited the room where Cook was found dead, and discovered the bullet hole in the adobe wall, it having passed through Cook’s body and the head-board of the bed. From the range of the bullet and the position of Cook the jury came to the conclusion that he died by his own hands, or rather feet in this instance. It appears that he sat partially on the edge of the bed, and sitting up placed the rifle to his breast, and putting his toe to the hammer, pressed it for the fatal shot. He was found with the gun on his left side and his right foot on the ground.

All suspicions of foul play in the minds of the jury were dismissed, and they rendered a verdict that “he committed suicide while laboring under temporary mental aberration.” The body will be interred this evening. There is no evidence to corroborate St. John’s statement that Cook was a Mason.

“it was a suicide,” arizona weekly citizen (tucson, ariz.), saturday, 16 june 1883, p. 4, col. 2, newspapers.com.

Related Links

Timeline

1827
July 13: Mary Ann Turley was born to Theodore Turley and Frances Kimberley in York (now Toronto), Ontario.17

1838
The Turley family traveled with a group of fellow Latter-day Saints to settle in Far West, Missouri, led by Elder Almon W. Babbitt. Theodore Turley later recalled that he, Frances, and their six children (Frances A., Mary Ann, Priscilla, Frederick, Sarah, and Isaac) made the journey with two wagons and four horses.18

Far West & Evacuation of Saints

1838
July 18: The Turley family arrived at Far West, Missouri.19

Life in Nauvoo, Illinois

1845
December 20: Mary Ann Turley received her endowments in the Nauvoo Temple with four other family members: Theodore Turley, Frances Kimberley, Frances Amelia Turley, and Priscilla R. Turley.20

1846
February 3: Mary Ann Turley was sealed as a plural wife to Brigham Young in the Nauvoo Temple. Theodore Turley served as a witness to that sealing.21

Exodus from Nauvoo and Life in Winter Quarters

1846
March 10: The Turley family arrived at Richardson’s Point Camp near Keosauqua, Van Buren County, Iowa.22
March 19: The Turley family was still at Richardson’s Point Camp. Hosea Stout recorded, “Today the camp moved again. Amasa Lyman & Theodore Turley staid not being ready for want of teams. & I left Capt. L. H. Calkins and his company to stay with them and come on when they did.”23
April 10: The Turley family was at Locust Creek Camp. Strong winds blew down tents and “turned over Bro. Turle[y]s Buggy.”24
May 13: Mary Ann’s little three-year-old brother, Johnathan Turley, was buried near Garden Grove Camp in Iowa. Eliza R. Snow wrote, “I saw the funeral train following to its wilderness grave a little child of Br. Turley. It was a lonely sight—my feelings truly sympathize with those who are call’d to leave their dear relatives by the way.”25
September 2: The Turley family had arrived in Winter Quarters by September 2, when Mary Ann’s little half-sister, Princetta Turley, died from a fever at Winter Quarters.26
December 1: Mary Ann’s older sister, twenty-one-year-old Frances Amelia Turley Daniels, died after giving birth to a baby girl. The baby also passed away. Both mother and daughter were buried in the same grave at the Winter Quarters cemetery.27

1847
August 30: Mary Ann’s forty-seven-year-old mother, Frances Kimberley, died of scurvy at Winter Quarters. She was buried in the same grave as Mary Ann’s sister, Frances Amelia Turley Daniels.28

1849
July 10: Twenty-two-year-old Mary Ann and the other members of the Turley family “rolled out of Winter Quarters” with the Silas Richards Company.29

Crossing the Plains and Life in the Salt Lake Valley


1849
Late October: Mary Ann entered the Salt Lake Valley with the rest of the Turley family.30 The family lived at the southwest corner of South Temple and 500 East.31

1851
January 15: Mary Ann Turley obtained an official divorce from Brigham Young. Although Mary Ann was sealed to Brigham Young five years earlier, there’s no evidence she ever lived in his household.32
March/April: Mary Ann was enumerated in Theodore Turley’s household in Utah County for the 1850 United States Federal Census.33

Settling San Bernardino, California

1851
September 8: Mary Ann Turley married John Cook at Sycamore Grove near San Bernardino.34

1853
February 9: Son Henry Theodore Cook was born in San Bernardino County, California.35

1855
Traditional birth and death year of son John Edward Cook.36
December 2: Daughter Mary Effie Cook was born in San Bernardino County, California.37

Various locations in California

1860
Traditional birth year of daughter Isabel Priscilla Cook.38
June 25: Mary Ann was enumerated in the household of her husband, John Cook, in the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, for the 1860 U.S. census. John was noted as a thirty-five-year-old miner born in New York. His personal estate was worth $600. Mary Ann was listed as a Canadian-born thirty-two-year-old. With John and Mary Ann were two of their children, seven-year-old Henry Theodore and four-year-old Mary Effie, and Mary Ann’s half-sister, ten-year-old Frances Kimberley Turley.39
September 26: Daughter Sarah Ann Cook was born in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County.40

1862
Traditional death year of daughter Isabel Priscilla Cook.41
December 19: Daughter Caroline Owena Cook was born in Independence, Inyo County. She was the first white child born in that county.42

1866
September 12: Birth of daughter Marinda Maria “Minnie” Cook in Colton, San Bernardino County.43

1867
Traditional birth and death year of daughter Charlotte Thankful Cook.44

1868
Traditional birth and death year of son Jonathan Cook.45

1870
August 24: Mary Ann was enumerated in John Cook’s household in Santa Barbara County for the 1870 U.S. census. John was a forty-five-year-old carpenter born in New York with a personal estate worth $150. Mary Ann was a forty-three-year-old homemaker. In the house were five children: seventeen-year-old Henry T., fourteen-year-old Mary F., ten-year-old Sarah A., nine-year-old Caroline, and four-year-old Miranda.46

1871
September 4: Daughter Mary Effie Cook married Zachary Hector in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County.47

1877
December 7: Son Henry Theodore Cook married Sarah Ellen Wilkinson in San Bernardino County.48

1880
June 23: Mary Ann was enumerated in John Cook’s household in Saticoy Township, Ventura County, for the 1880 U.S. census. John was a fifty-five-year-old farmer. Mary Ann was a fifty-two-year-old homemaker. Their youngest two daughters resided in the household: seventeen-year-old Caroline and thirteen-year-old Marinda. Also residing in the household was twenty-eight-year-old son Henry Cook with his eighteen-year-old wife, Sarah, and their six-month-old daughter, Emma.49

1895
February 19: Mary Ann submitted a homestead application for 160 acres in Ventura County, California.50
September 29: Two Los Angeles newspapers reported Mary Ann Cook becoming a citizen of the United States. The Los Angeles Times reported that Mary Ann obtained citizenship to “be ready to vote when the coming woman gets her rights.”51 The Los Angeles Herald reported that the “formality [of citizenship] was necessary to enable her to hold property in this state.”52

1900
December 17: Mary Ann was issued an official homestead certificate from the United States recognizing her ownership of 160 acres in Ventura County, California.53

1904
December 24: Mary Ann Turley Cook passed away at her home in Santa Paula, Ventura County, California.54
December 26: An obituary for Mary Ann Cook was published in the Santa Paula Daily Chronicle. Unfortunately, we only have the excerpt printed in The Theodore Turley Family book. “On December 24, 1904, the gates of heaven rolled wide for this good woman and she passed away to eternal rest. Her passing calls for more than a casual notice. Mrs. Cook was one of the pioneers of this state, born in Toron­to, Canada, July 13, 1827, she journeyed from there with her parents to California, making the entire trip across the continent with ox teams. Arriving in California in 1851 she soon after married John Cook, an honored pioneer of this state. It can never be said of Mrs. Cook that she lived in vain. In those early days of California her whole life was given to help those in need of help. She was mother, sister, doctor and nurse to all. None were too poor, too dirty, or too wicked to be comforted, nursed and cared for by her. Many a sad heart was comforted by her loving care, and she would share all she had with those in need, trusting with the faith that never faltered for her own poor needs. In the early days of San Bernardino as well as of Ven­tura County she came at last to be a veritable Peter among the poor and needy. ‘If only her shadow might fall on them they felt comforted.’ …Mrs. Cook has left a more beautiful monument than any chiseled from marble. It is her good works for others, her kindness to the poor and needy, and the help she gave to those that needed help…”55
December 28: An obituary for Mary Ann Cook (misspelled “Cary Ann Cook”) was published in The San Bernardino County Sun. “Mrs. [M]ary Ann Cook, who was for many years a resident of Colton, and who was a member of the Society of Pioneers in San Bernardino, died at her home in Santa Paula on Christmas morning. She was born July 13, 1827, at Toronto, Canada, came with her parents to the United States in 1838, and was a pioneer in this western country. She was married at Sycamore Grove in this county in 1851, and has been a resident of the State ever since. She leaves one son, four daughters, grand children, great grandchildren, one sister, Mrs. S. E. Franklin of Colton, a brother, Isaac Turley, and many friends to mourn her loss.”56

Important Places

Ontario: York & Churchville
Far West, Missouri
Nauvoo, Illinois
Winter Quarters, Iowa
Salt Lake City, Utah
San Bernardino, California
Santa Paula, California

  1. Family Memorial-Frances Kimberley, Theodore notes in that memorial that Mary Ann’s birth was registered with the Methodist Episcopal Church in York, Upper Canada (now Toronto), but we have not yet located that record; Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergara, The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846: A Documentary History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2005), p. 109; Nauvoo and sealing record “A”, 1846-1857, p. 577-578, entry for Mary Ann Turley, FHL 183374.
  2. The Theodore Turley Family book; FindaGrave.com, memorial page for Mary Ann Turley Cook (13 Jul 1827–24 Dec 1904), memorial no. 111884163, citing Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery, Santa Paula, Ventura County, California, United States.
  3. FindaGrave.com, memorial page for Mary Ann Turley Cook (13 Jul 1827–24 Dec 1904), memorial no. 111884163, citing Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery, Santa Paula, Ventura County, California, United States.
  4. Nauvoo and sealing record “A”, 1846-1857, p. 577-578, entry for Brigham Young and Mary Ann Turley, FHL 183374.
  5. Jeffrey Ogden Johnson, “Determining and Defining ‘Wife’: The Brigham Young Households.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 20, no. 3 (Fall 1987): p. 63 and p. 68 Footnote 38. A story related years later by Mary Ann’s sister, Sarah, to Joseph Soll Turley suggests Mary Ann was not happy in the relationship (1971 letter from Joseph Soll Turley).
  6. The Theodore Turley Family book. We still need to confirm the marriage day with other historical records, but the general timing of the marriage seems to be accurate. “Brother Rich was reminded that at Sycamore Grove, near the mouth of Cajon Pass, before the pioneers entered the valley of San Bernardino, three weddings occurred under a sycamore tree. General Rich officiated in marrying Sister Lydia Shepherd to James J. Davidson and about the same time Nathan Swarthout was married to Emma Tanner, and Mary Ann Turley to John Cook, these being the first pioneer weddings.” “Pioneers,” San Bernardino Daily Sun, Sunday 7 Mar. 1915, p. 4, col. 4, Newspapers.com.
  7. Traditional family data. Need to locate historical records to confirm.
  8. Traditional family data. Need to locate historical records to confirm.
  9. Traditional family data. Need to locate historical records to confirm.
  10. Traditional family data. Need to locate historical records to confirm.
  11. See newspaper articles about John Cook’s death below. “Was He Murdered?,” Arizona Weekly Citizen (Tucson, Ariz.), Saturday, 9 June 1883, p. 3, col. 3, Newspapers.com.
  12. The Theodore Turley Family, p. 60.
  13. In U.S. censuses, John was noted as thirty-five years old in 1860, forty-five years old in 1870, and fifty-five years old in 1880. “Was He Murdered?,” Arizona Weekly Citizen (Tucson, Ariz.), Saturday, 9 June 1883, p. 3, col. 3, Newspapers.com.
  14. A letter on John Cook at the time of his death was from “E. C. Abbott of Mottville, N. Y.” It appears likely that the Mottville referred to was in Michigan, not New York. Lawyer Eleazer Carey Abbott was married to Sarah Ann Cook in Mottville Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan, in 1843. E. C. Abbott resided in Iowa by 1880. The only reason for E. C. Abbott to have written from Mottville at that time would’ve been family business, like the death of his brother-in-law, William Cook, in 1879.
  15. Michigan, U.S., Death Records, 1867-1952, Registers, 1867-1897, 13: Calhoun-Wayne, 1879, p. 122, record 39, death of William Cook, 7 Sep. 1879, image at Ancestry.com. Two other elements supporting the theory that William Cook of Mottville was John Cook’s father is that William had a male in his household in both the 1830 and 1840 censuses that matches the expected age of John Cook. In 1830, William Cook’s household was in Avon, Livingston Co., New York, and he had a male child between the age of 5 and ten years old. In 1840, William Cook’s household was in Mottville, St. Joseph Co., Michigan, and he had a male aged 10-15 years old. 1830 U.S. census, New York, Livingston Co., Avon, household of William Cook, image on Ancestry.com; 1840 U.S. census, Michigan, St. Joseph Co., Mottville, household of William Cook, image on Ancestry.com
  16. “Mr. Cook, of California, a nephew of Conrad Cook, of this city, is visiting his uncle here. He left this section of country thirty years ago, and probably witnesses a good many changes that have been made in the meantime.” “Personal,” Elkhart Daily Review (Elkhart, Ind.), Wed., 4 Jan. 1882, p. 3, col. 2, GenealogyBank.com.
  17. Family Memorial-Frances Kimberley, Theodore notes in that memorial that Mary Ann’s birth was registered with the Methodist Episcopal Church in York, Upper Canada (now Toronto), but we have not yet located that record; Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergara, The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846: A Documentary History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2005), p. 109; Nauvoo and sealing record “A”, 1846-1857, p. 577-578, entry for Mary Ann Turley, FHL 183374.
  18. Richard E. Turley, Jr., “5: Gathering with the Saints, 1838,” Theodore Turley: A Biography newsletter series, citing Theodore’s missionary diary.
  19. Theodore recorded July 18th as the date of their arrival in his missionary diary. Joseph Smith’s journal records the arrival of Elder Almon W. Babbitt’s company on Saturday, July 28th. Richard E. Turley, Jr., “5: Gathering with the Saints, 1838,” Theodore Turley: A Biography newsletter series.
  20. Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergara, The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846: A Documentary History (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 2005), p. 109.
  21. Nauvoo and sealing record “A”, 1846-1857, p. 577-578, entry for Brigham Young and Mary Ann Turley, FHL 183374.
  22. Journal History of the Church, 10 March 1846.
  23. Juanita Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout 1844-1861 (Salt Lake City, Ut.: University of Utah Press, 1964), 139.
  24. William Huntington Diary, 10 April 1846.
  25. Eliza R. Snow trail diary, 13 May 1846. See Ann Lewis’ blog post “Jonathan Turley b. 13 September 1842, Nauvoo.”
  26. Family Memorial for Sarah Ellen Clift; Winter Quarters sexton’s records, 1846-1848; Record book; Church History Library, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=1647eb3e-6020-4669-91a2-603820678def&crate=0&index=39 (accessed: April 15, 2020)
  27. Family Memorial; Winter Quarters sexton’s records, 1846-1848, Record book, deaths of Frances A. Daniels and Frances [F?] Daniels, 1 Dec. 1846, image 14 of 51, LR 6359 24, Church History Library, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets/1647eb3e-6020-4669-91a2-603820678def/0/13, accessed July 2021.
  28. Family Memorial; Winter Quarters sexton’s records, 1846-1848; Record book; Church History Library, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/assets?id=1647eb3e-6020-4669-91a2-603820678def&crate=0&index=38 (accessed: April 15, 2020).
  29. See the blog post “Crossing the Plains with the Silas Richards Company.”
  30. According to the Pioneer Overland Travel Website, the Silas Richards Company departed Council Bluffs, Iowa, on 10 July 1849 and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley 25-29 October 1849. See https://history.lds.org/overlandtravel/companies/5/silas-richards-company-1849.
  31. Related blog post: “In the Valley of the Great Salt Lake.”
  32. Jeffrey Ogden Johnson, “Determining and Defining ‘Wife’: The Brigham Young Households.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 20, no. 3 (Fall 1987): p. 63 and p. 68 Footnote 38. A story related years later by Mary Ann’s sister, Sarah, to Joseph Soll Turley suggests Mary Ann was not happy in the relationship (1971 letter from Joseph Soll Turley). In contrast, Mary Ann’s younger sister, Priscilla, who also became a plural wife in Nauvoo, moved into her husband Amasa Mason Lyman’s household shortly after evacuating Nauvoo in March 1846.
  33. 1850 U.S. census, Utah Territory, Utah Co., family 65, Mary Ann Turley in household of Theodore Turley, image on Ancestry.com.
  34. The Theodore Turley Family book. We still need to confirm the marriage day with other historical records, but the general timing of the marriage seems to be accurate. “Brother Rich was reminded that at Sycamore Grove, near the mouth of Cajon Pass, before the pioneers entered the valley of San Bernardino, three weddings occurred under a sycamore tree. General Rich officiated in marrying Sister Lydia Shepherd to James J. Davidson and about the same time Nathan Swarthout was married to Emma Tanner, and Mary Ann Turley to John Cook, these being the first pioneer weddings.” “Pioneers,” San Bernardino Daily Sun, Sunday 7 Mar. 1915, p. 4, col. 4, Newspapers.com.
  35. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 61; FindaGrave.com, memorial page for Henry Theodore Cook (9 Feb 1853–2 Nov 1941), memorial ID 100495617, citing Fairhaven Memorial Park, Santa Ana, Orange County, California, United States.
  36. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 61.
  37. Birthdate specified as 2 December 1855 in the California death index. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 61; California, U.S., Death Index, 1940-1997, Ventura Co., 16 Sep. 1942, Mary E. Hector, index at Ancestry.com.
  38. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 61.
  39. 1860 U.S. census, California, Los Angeles Co., Los Angeles, p. 83, dwelling 815, family 855, Mary Ann Cook in household of John Cook, image at Ancestry.com.
  40. FindaGrave.com, memorial page for Sarah Ann Cook Harris (26 Sep 1860–25 Oct 1933), memorial ID 142252957, citing Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery, Santa Paula, Ventura County, California, United State.
  41. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 61.
  42. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 65; “Last Rites Tomorrow for Santa Paula Woman,” Ventura County Star-Free Press, Thursday, 16 Aug. 1945, p. 2, col. 3, Newspapers.com; FindaGrave.com, memorial page for Caroline Owena Cook Silvey (19 Dec 1862–15 Aug 1945), memorial ID 81091781, citing Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery, Santa Paula, Ventura County, California, United States.
  43. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 73; Solomon Neill Sheridan, History of Ventura County Vol. 2 (Chicago: J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1926), p. 334-335, images at FamilySearch.org.
  44. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 61.
  45. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 61.
  46. 1870 U.S. census, California, Santa Barbara Co., Township No. 2, p. 45, dwelling 451, family 451, Mary A. Cook in household of John Cook, image at Ancestry.com.
  47. California, Santa Barbara Co., Marriage licenses, v. A, p. 229, marriage certificate of Zachary Hector and Mary Cook, 4 Sep. 1871, image 119 of 597, digital film 4640180 at FamilySearch.org, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939N-8PSZ-1N?i=118.
  48. Traditional family data. Need to locate historical records to verify date and location. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 61.
  49. 1880 U.S. census, California, Ventura Co., Saticoy Township, e.d. 104, p. 26, dwelling 225, family 229, Mary Cook in household of John Cook, image at Ancestry.com.
  50. Land Records 1851-1936 (California), Los Angeles District Land Office, Register of Homestead Entries Vol. 3, p. 103, application 7694, Mary Ann Cook, image 635 of 783 of digital film 7054588 at FamilySearch.org, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997D-GNB7?i=634.
  51. “San Bernardino Brevities,” Los Angeles Sunday Times, Sunday, 29 Sep. 1895, p. 10, col. 4, Newspapers.com.
  52. “Notes of the Day,” Los Angeles Herald, Sunday, 29 Sep. 1895, p. 2, col. 4, Newspapers.com.
  53. The property description was “South East quarter of the North East quarter, the East half of the South East quarter and the South West quarter of the South East quarter of Section twenty in Township four North Range twenty West of San Bernardino Meridian in California, containing one hundred and sixty acres.” U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records, accession no. CA2090__.441, state volume patent, California, 17 Dec. 1900, homestead cert. 3587, Mary Ann Cook, https://glorecords.blm.gov/details/patent/default.aspx?accession=CA2090__.441&docClass=STA&sid=kbmua4p5.pgk
  54. Mary Ann’s San Bernardino County Sun obituary stated that she died on Christmas morning (25 Dec. 1904), but her FindaGrave.com entry appears to confirm the 24 Dec. 1904 deathdate from the Santa Paula Chronicle obituary quoted in The Theodore Turley Family book. The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 60; “Pioneer Woman Dies,” The San Bernardino County Sun, Wednesday, 28 Dec. 1904, p. 8, col. 2, Newspapers.com; FindaGrave.com, memorial page for Mary Ann Turley Cook (13 Jul 1827–24 Dec 1904), memorial no. 111884163, citing Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery, Santa Paula, Ventura County, California, United States.
  55. I’ve been unable to locate an extant copy of the 26 Dec. 1904 issue of the Santa Paula Daily Chronicle to compare with the obituary quoted in The Theodore Turley Family book, p. 60. Upon advice from the Santa Paula Historical Society, I contacted the Blanchard Community Library in Santa Paula to see if they had a copy of the 26 Dec. 1904 issue of the Santa Paula Chronicle. Unfortunately, their microfilms did not have any issues that early.
  56. “Pioneer Woman Dies,” The San Bernardino County Sun, Wednesday, 28 Dec. 1904, p. 8, col. 2, Newspapers.com.