Cook, John R. (1844–1917)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

John R. Cook, soldier, hunter, and author, noted for his narrative of buffalo hunting in the Panhandle, was born at Mount Gilead, Ohio, on December 19, 1844. In 1857 he moved with his parents to Lawrence, Kansas, thence to Peru, Indiana, where the family remained until 1861. Cook joined Company E, Twelfth Kansas Infantry, at Lawrence, Kansas, on September 2, 1862, and, after defending the Kansas border against guerrillas and operating in the Arkansas region, he was mustered out ofthe service at Little Rock, Arkansas, on June 30, 1865. He located 160 acres in Labette County, Kansas, in 1867 and became the township constable. In 1873 he traveled to Denison, Texas; later the same year he returned to Kansas. In the spring and summer of 1874 he prospected around Santa Fe, New Mexico; in the fall he went to the Texas Panhandle, where he arrived for the first big year of buffalo hunting. He remained in Texas until 1879 and was one of the organizers of Wheeler County. He returned to Kansas, became a temperance orator, met and married Alice Victoria Maddux in 1883, and moved to the Dakota Territory. In 1892 he moved to Eugene, Oregon, in the Cascade Mountains; there he wrote The Border and the Buffalo (1907). In 1906 he returned to Kansas, where he died on March 25, 1917. He was buried in the Kansas Soldier's Home at Fort Dodge, Kansas.

John R. Cook, The Border And The Buffalo: An Untold Story Of The Southwest Plains (Topeka, Kansas: Crane, 1907; Rpt., New York: Citadel Press, 1967).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Cook, John R.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994