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Go to for more info.

George Joseph Cooke was my grandfather, but I know little about the brewery. Third-hand hearsay says there was some sort of scandal (a bad batch of beer?).

I believe it became Cooke Cold Storage before financial demise.

I could find no info at, as someone suggested.

You can see a photograph of the Cooke brewery, circa 1902, at the web site "Photographs from the Chicago Daily News - Chicago Historical Society" at:

enter the search words: Cooke brewery

Since posting my previous reply, I have come upon the obituary of George J Cooke's father, J.S. Cooke. It explains a lot:

Source: Chicago Tribune Date: Monday, March 13, 1899


South Side Brewer Succumbs to Attack of Heart Failure

Stricken while attending services in St. James' Catholic Church on March 5 Native of Ireland and resident of Chicago since 1857 Manufacturer of beer and bottler of mineral water Once a democratic candidate for City Treasurer.

John S. Cooke, President of Cooke Brewing company, died at 6:50 o'clock last evening at his residence, 2976 Michigan avenue. He was attacked by heart failure on Sunday, March 5, while attending services in St. James' Catholic Church, and sank gradually until he expired. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, but the details have not yet been arranged.

John S. Cooke was born in 1838 at Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland and when 14 years old came to America. He lived in New York City until 1857, when he came to Chicago, where he reared a family and built up a fortune. His first employment in Chicago was in the service of Sidney Kent, who conducted one of the few packing houses here at that time, but shortly afterwards he went to work for Michael Keeley, who was at that time in the soda-water business.

He married Miss Charlotte Rowland of Rochester, N.Y., in 1864, and the following year he accepted a position with Smith, Schwab & McQuaid, wholesale liquor dealers. When the business was sold later to Monheimer Bros. He remained with the house, and in 1880 bought out one of the partners, and the name was changed to Monheimer & Cooke. Mr. Cooke remained in business with the Monheimers till 1885, when he purchased the plant of the Union Brewing company, twenty-seventh street and the lake, and formed Cooke Brewing company. For the last few months the Cooke Brewing company has enjoyed the distinction of being the only independent brewing concern in Chicago. Mr. Cooke having steadily resisted all efforts to draw him into any of the numerous brewing combines.

Several years ago Mr. Cooke built a handsome summer residence at Lake Geneva, Wis., where he had a steam launch, and in season entertained many friends. He named the place Ara Glen, after a beautiful spot near his birthplace in Ireland. Two years ago he formed a company to bottle and sell mineral spring waters from Wauwatosa, Wis., and Quincy, Ill., and named it the Ara Glen Mineral Water Bottling company. Mr. Cooke was a Democrat, and in 1895 allowed his name to be placed on the Democratic ticket as candidate for City Treasurer in the election which made George B. Swift Mayor.

He left a widow and four children - Charles F., George J., and John R. Cooke, and Charlotte Irene Welch, wife of Dr. P. H. Welch. All reside in Chicago.

Chicago HistoryIt appears the submitter John Blow is the grandson of my aunt Mary, my father Edward's oldest sister.

In February, 1959, my brother Ed tape recorded some family history from our parents. A portion of it is included below.

Mr. and Mrs. Kerwin were my father (Edward, Mary Kerwin Cooke�s younger brother) and mother (Marie). Ed was my brother Ed.

Mr. Kerwin: The oldest child was Mary Elizabeth, who was born on May the 20th, 1876 - ...

and Mary died in - the date is missing here � Lake Forest, Illinois. [July 25, 1953]

Ed: That was Mary Cooke wasn't it?

Mr. Kerwin: Yes, Mary had married George Cooke. Mary and George Cooke had five children � three girls and two boys. They were married by the way, on June 24th, 1896, in Chicago. George Cooke's family owned and operated the Cooke's Brewing Company, which was located not far from the Keeley Brewing Company previously referred to. The father of the family was John S. Cooke. The five children that Mary and George had were: Catherine, who married George Blow, and now lives in Virginia; - now wait till Mother comes. Mother! Come up a little closer here! Mother can tell us the Blow children.

Mrs. Kerwin: The Blow children were: George, and Tony � (Anthony)- there's one other in between there - and John is the youngest; Michael, there's a Michael. But I don't know whether Michael or Anthony comes second or third, but John. is the youngest. No girls. ...

So there are some of George Cooke's grandchildren.

Paul Kerwin

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โˆ™ 2015-07-17 17:30:53
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