Go to www.chicagolandbeerhistory.com 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
I could find no info at chicagolandbeerhistory.com, as someone
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
JOHN S. COOKE IS DEAD
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
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.
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.
It 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
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.