#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Voting

My mom’s dad is the first person I thought of when I saw this week’s prompt in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Hoyt Cook ran for county commissioner when my mom was growing up. I have searched and searched on newspapers.com for the election results, but no luck. Spoiler: Pap-pa lost. He was a gregarious person who loved talking to people and sharing stories, and he was a lifelong teacher and sports coach, but I guess there’s something different about giving a political speech. My mom says she was embarrassed when he was on the stump because he was just awful at it.

Hoyt Cook ran for Escambia County, Florida, commission in (I think) 1954. Campaign card was saved in one of his wife Willie’s scrapbooks.

Pap-pa’s younger brother Hiram Cook had more success. He was elected mayor of Milton, Florida, in neighboring Santa Rosa County, in 1972. The subject came up while I was growing up, and Uncle Hiram made it sound like he didn’t even run. He’d say something like, “I went out of town and when I came back, they’d elected me mayor.” I guess the out-of-town part was true, as it’s referenced in the newspaper article on his win.

Article on my Uncle Hiram after his election as mayor of Milton, Florida. Pensacola Journal, 26 September 1972.

My mom thinks that Pap-pa’s sister, Ruby Cook Campbell, may have held office in Graceville, Florida, at one time, but I haven’t been able to find anything online to corroborate that.

The other thing this week’s prompt prompted me to do was to make a list of my female ancestors who could have been among the first women voters in 1920. I have not located voter rolls listing any of their names. This will be a project for another day.

Caroline D. Manning Parker (1846-1921)
Ellen Elizabeth Parker Givens (1873-1940)
Doratha Duck Silcox (1848-1930)
Sarah Elizabeth Givens Cooper (1860-1924)
Mary Margaret “Maggie” Cooper Hahn (1886-1967)
Dorcas Elizabeth “Dollie” Allison Cook (1890-1973)
Dorcas Elizabeth Woodall Allison (1843-1922)
Mary Elizabeth “Mollie” Pittman Stevens (1882-1967)
Lucinda Ryals Cook Hale (1853-1935)
Mary Reid Stephens Muterspaugh (1855-After 1920)
Mosella Elizabeth Thompson Pittman (1865-1924)

My maternal grandmother Willie Stevens would have been 11 when women got the vote. My dad’s mother Malzie Silcox was just a baby in 1920, and her mother Annie Givens Silcox would also have been too young to vote in 1920.

Annie Olive Givens Silcox (1903-1960)
Malzie Elizabeth Silcox Hahn (1919-1993)
Willie Aline Stevens Cook (1909-1995)

About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have two cats and a husband.
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