DAHLGREN - Storekeeper Disappears

by Billie Jines

From: Goshen Trails, Vol. 18, No. 1, Jan. 1982; p. 4
Printed by permission.

          FAMILY LORE HANDED DOWN through the family of husband, Earle Jines, now of Pea Ridge, Ark., has kept alive an event that took place in Hamilton County in the late summer of 1879.

          In Dahlgren, William Cook and his wife, Mary C. Dixon (Cook), were rearing a young family and making their living by operating a store.  Their children were Louisa Rebecca Cook, abt age 17 who had married Daniel Jines; Mary Alice Cook, age abt 13 or 14; Henry Cook, abt age 10; Mattie Cook, abt age 7; and Frank Cook, an infant.

          It was the time of year for William Cook to go to market for his store.  He placed his money in a red bandana, rolled it into a long sash and tied the bandana around his waist beneath his clothing.  Apparently, it was his habit to bring each of the children something back from the trip.  He asked Mary Alice what she would like and she told hi she wanted some gold earrings.  Her father told her to have her ears pierced while he was gone and he would bring the earrings to her.

          But William never returned.

          He is said to have boarded a train for the trip to St. Louis, and his fate was never solved by the family.  The feeling exists that he was robbed and murdered, possibly by someone who knew he was leaving with the money and who may have followed him.

          It is recalled that he had purchased a large amount of watermelons for the store, and his wife, Mary C., and the children had a struggle trying to get the watermelons sold.

          Mary Alice, known as "Al", was married to Jasper E. "Jap" Jines in March 1881.  They reared a family who included my husband's father, Robert Emmett Jines.  However, they left Hamilton Co., in late 1899, moving to Missouri, then to Texas and, finally, rounding out their lives in Lawrence Co., Ark.

          Rebecca and her husband, Daniel Jines, stayed in the Dahlgren area and reared a large family.  Only two are still living: Dan Jines, JR. in Rockville, Ind. and Dewey Jines of Dahlgren.  Henry Cook stayed around Dahlgren, and Frank Cook, who died in 1961, went to Northern Illinois.  Mattie Cook married a Gregory.

          The wife, or widow, of William Cook who disappeared, remarried in 1894, to Jesse Rose.  The marriage was performed in Hamilton County by Daniel Lowery, a minister of the gospel.  There is no further record in the family about them.  Nor is anything known as to who the parents were of William Henry (?) Cook, who disappeared.  He was born about 1835, in Gallia County, Ohio according to Frank Cook's death certificate.

          Mary C. Dixon, his wife was born about 1839 or 1840 to Tilmon Dixon, SR., and Martha Maglason (McGlasson?).  It appears that Martha may have died in Jefferson County, Ill. or after the Dixons moved to Hamilton County.  At any rate, Tilmon Dixon, Sr. remarried in 1855 in Hamilton County to Milly Shipley.  Two years later, Tilmon SR. died.  His will at the Hamilton County courthouse, mentions children named Alexander, Betsey Ann (Bradford), Julina (Kanady), Lucinda Jane (Gibbs), Prudence Caroline (Lowry), Mary Catherine Dixon (who as mentioned, later married William Cook), Thomas Dixon, Azariah Dixon, Tilmon Dixon, JR. and apparently a granddaughter named Nancy Dixon "the daughter of Nancy Dixon".

          Alexander Dixon was deceased when his father died but the will mentions his "eldest son Alexander Dixon" and Alexander's "four heirs."  Tilmon Dixon, Sr. also provided for his wife, "Miley Dixon".

          A year and a half later, in August, 1859, Mary Catherine Dixon Cook and her husband, William Cook, accepting $100.00 from Azariah Dixon, in lieu of the $100 and interest she would have received had she waited for the estate to be finally settled.  It appeared that final settlement was not made until after the death of Milly Dixon, who was to be allowed to live on the property until her death.

          Perhaps that $100 was what the newlyweds, Mary C. Dixon and William Cook, used to establish their store in Dahlgren.  But this is simply guess-work.

          This writer would be very happy to hear from any of the descendants of the Cooks or Dixons mentioned in this article.  There must be several still in the Hamilton County area, and no doubt, at least some of them could enlighten this writer as to who the parents were of William Cook and, perhaps, who the parents were of Tilmon Dixon, Sr.          

          In order to cut down on confusion, it should be pointed out that in 1872 in Hamilton County, Tilmon Dix, JR married Sarah Sturman Jines, the mother of Jasper E. Jines, husband of Mary Alice Cook Jines.  It was a second marriage for both, and they had no children.  He died in 1895 and Sarah in 1901.

          Family lore has it that some years after the disappearance of William Cook, his then son-in-law, Jasper E. Jines, went to a fortune teller named "Aunt Die" at Newport, Ark. to try to learn what had happened to his wife's father.  She said she could "see him riding a mule", and that "he was at a mine and got killed."

          The fact is, of course, that to this day, none of our line of his descendants knows what happened to him.  No more is known today than when he disappeared 102 years ago.

Note: William Cook was the son of James Cook.  
Click here for James Cook's lineage.

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