JOSEPH W. COOK, miller at Croton, was born Jan. 7, 1833, in New Jersey. His parents, William and Elizabeth (Luts) Cook, were both natives of New Jersey. The father came of Scotch lineage, was born about 1796, and died in 1840. The mother was born of Dutch ancestors, about 1796, and died in 1881.
At the age of 14 years Mr. Cook was apprenticed to a man named A. R. Sutton, at Hackettstown N.Y., to learn the trade of miller, which he has made the calling of his life. His indentures expired at the end of three years, when he received the customary $100. He has since operated continuously at his trade. He came to Michigan in 1856, and made his first permanent settlement at Niles. He passed the succeesing four years in that city and at Dowagiac, when he went to Indianapolis, and after a year to Tipton Co., Ind., where he bought a mill. He conducted it one year and sold it, clearing $1,800 in the transaction. He went to Three Rivers, Mich., and two years later to Grand Rapids, where he operated two years. In 1868 he came to the village of Croton to take charge of the Croton Mills. He owns a house and lot where he resides. In political matters he is a Democrat.
Mr. Cook was married in Grand Rapids, to Mary Jane Backart, who was born in July, 1841, in Croton Township, and is a daughter of George and Mary Adeline (Backart) Backart. (See sketch) Three children - Lena B., Arthur and Frederick C. - have been born of this marriage.