Our Community in the Past

What Happened in the Past
In Memory of Loved Ones that haved Passed

(This history was written by Don Simonson)

If you prefer not having your information on the cookmn web site, please e-mail us at simonson@cookmn.com.


31 May


1969, 31 May, John Snyder resigned as the Administrator of the Hospital, he had served since 1 Jun 1963. Nick Riley followed him as the administrator.



George Francis 81,1965 on the left of this picture. At the teller's window; Anscar Refsdal 72,1978

 and Margaret Anderson Sundberg Nordstrom.

George was the President of the Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Cook which was organized in 1917.

It was located in what was the parking lot for the previous downtown location of the Cook license bureau.

1965, 31 May, George Francis 81


1976, 31 May, Walfred Pajari 72


1979, 31 May, Helen (Hough) Storm 56


1984, 31 May, Waino Koski 78



30 May


1988, 30 May, Roy Jarvela retired as the Principal of the Cook High School. He had served since replacing Joe Germ in 1975. Roy is the only Cook High School Principal to have graduated from the Cook School, with the class of 1949. Roy passed away on October 30,1998 at the age of 68.

1983, 30 May, Palmer Amundson 84


1996, 30 May, Brian Hanke 45


29 May


Web site about the Iron man Statue

1987, 29 May, construction of the Iron Man statue at Chisholm was completed. The whole structure is 85 feet high, claimed to be the third largest free-standing memorial in the United States.


1992, 29 May, Joel & Danna Lawson bought Comet Theater, they later sold the business to John & Carol Metsa.


1998, 29 May, Donna & Dennis Carlson relocated their Gift Shop to what was the Wurzel's Ice Cream Parlor. They later retired and Tracy Nelson Watt bought the building and had it remodeled for her Dreamweaver Beauty Shop.


1980, 29 May, Mary (Hoblak) Holter 70


1998, 28 May, Robert Larson 63



28 May


1966, 28 May, Vermilion Fairways Golf Course opened after many years of work and construction, it has been a great asset to the Cook area. The land was the farm home of August 66,1963 & Irene 58,1966 (Kesanen) Lappi, and their fourteen children.


1984, 28 May, Harrigan Bridge across the Little Fork River in Greaney was closed as it was considered unsafe. The new bridge opened on 7 Aug 1986.


1999, 28 May, the Ashawa Inn closed. The place was built by Matt Smith who opened it in 1981 as Smitty’s Café. He closed it in 1995 and Virginia Meyers reopened it on 1 Aug 1995, it again closed, in 1999. The building has been demolished.

1975, 28 May. Lawrence D. Gustafson 81


1980, 28 May. Delbert Anderson 64


1988, 28 May. Ann Fultz 55


27 May


The Corner Cafe was the building on the right, about 1956

1971, 27 May, the Corner Café building was torn down to make a parking lot for John Musech’s new grocery store. Later all of the one-story buildings up to the two-story Hokkonen Hardware were removed to make room for John's new steel frame, brick-front building. John later sold the business to Clark Brenna who operated the store as Clark’s IGA. Clark's building was destroyed by fire on 10 Feb 2003.


1995, 27 May, Walter Salo hired as the City of Cook Administrator, he left on 5 Oct 99 to work at Nett lake.


1974, 27 May, Anfin Refsdal 73



In Memory of

David Harold Svedberg

Class of 1936 of the Cook High School

1981, 27 May, David Svedberg 68



In Memory of

Julie Ann Amundson Stahlberg

1984 graduate of the Cook High School

2007, 27 May, Julie Amundson Stahlberg, 40,


26 May

1955, 26 May, Leding Funeral home moved to Ken & Kathy’s house. Ken previously had the funeral home in what is now the Olson Well Drilling office. Ken passed away on 31 Dec 1995.


1982, 26 May, ground breaking for the Pioneer apartments, it opened on 19 Feb 1983. The Homestead had opened on 29 Jan 1976. Both apartment buildings are usually full.

1980, 26 May, Cyril “Cy” Knapp 64

In Memory of

Erwin "Sam" Keister Sr.

2002, 26 May, "Sam" Keister Sr. 97


25 May


You do not see this around town anymore

1993, 25 May, the City of Orr closed down their Police Department. The City of Cook closed their Police Department on December 8, 2008. At this time the St. Louis Counties Deputies use the Cook Police Department office when they are in our area, but they do not patrol the City. They will come to the City for serious offenses.


1998, 25 May, Marge Peterson 74

In Memory of

Esther Makela Heglund

2004, 25 May, Esther Heglund 92



24 May


In Memory of

 Selina's 110th birthday party

 Three of her Silverdale neighbors, (Ellen & Vi have passed on, Carol is still with us)

Ellen (82, 2014) Rude Johnson, Violet (2016) Rude Hall, Carol Anderson Antus

2001, 24 May. Selina Silverdahl 110, born in Sweden on April 20, 1891



23 (May


1950, 23 May, latest the ice has gone out on Lake Vermilion. The earliest was on April 02, 2012, Ice Out Dates


1992, 23 May, the Helipad finished at the hospital. This cement pad was constructed for the air ambulances to land (Helicopters).


1998, 23 May, Virginia Silvi 81



22 May


1967, 22 May, school buses must have head lights on while driving, day and night.


1982, 22 May, Greg & Ellen Burckhardt opened Voyageur Campground across from Potlatch.

1971, 22 May, George Lenzen 20


1978, 22 May, Art Swanson 78


1982, 22 May, Mildred Peterka



In Memory of

 Baghdad, Iraq

2011, 22 May, Sergeant First Class (SFC) Clifford E. Beattie, 37,


    Karen Gorgas Beattie




21 May


Ole Olson, about 1950 ~ Rev Lawrence Seiffert and Ole, 1962

1938, 21 May, Olaf  "Ole" Olson lost his right arm in a farming accident. He was working in the field with his “Joker” which was a homemade tractor. He had a rope tied to his arm so he could raise the item he was pulling when he turned at the end of the field. The rope got caught in the drive shaft and ripped his arm off at the shoulder. He was later able to work with a leather strap around his neck and a hook for holding things like a shovel or rake or lifting a log. Ole was a very strong man. He never complained about the loss of his arm. He had a "Spinner" on the steering wheel of his car. I heard him say he could feel his arm at times as the nerves were still there.  Ole died in 1973 at the age of 85 and his wife Helga (Edblom) Olson died in 1987 at the age of 93. They were the parents of Clarence 86,2001 (Martha 82,1989 Trygg) Olson, John 83,2001 (Marie Forsline) Olson and Vera 2014(David 62,1981) Svedberg. Ole's sons John and Clarence buried the arm in a hole they dug with a post hole digger, at the base of a tree on the farm.

1967, 21 May, Clay Mollard 59



The Subway opens

May 21, 2002, Tom & Lisa (Jacobson) Ojanen opened their Subway Restaurant in Cook.

Tom & Lisa purchased the building that was originally constructed in 1956 as a furniture and appliance business by Marvin Chase and Walter Miller. After Walter's Miller's IGA store was damaged by fire in 1959 he moved his grocery business to this building. Later additions were added to enlarge the building. Walter sold his business to Clark Brenna in 1968 and he ran the IGA store in this location until 1975 when he moved the business back to the old Miller's store, now Gustafson Motors. The Federal Forestry had their office in what is now the Subway building until they moved into their new building at the intersection of Highway 53 and the Ralph Road.

Lisa and Tom at the the opening of their new business



20 May


Gordon 12, Marvin 10, Wallace 8 with their mother all died in Cook's worst house fire



1945, 20 May, Kjellberg family fire


   Herman Kjellberg 70,1965


   Leona (Gordon) Kjellberg 34, 1945


   Gordon Kjellberg 12, 1945,

   Marvin Kjellberg 10, 1945,

   Wallace Kjellberg 8, 1945,

   Kathleen survived the fire. 



The Larry & Marriett Seiffert Family, 29 September 1963

Larry, Brenda, Bonnie, Barbara and Marriett

1962, 20 May, Lawrence Seiffert’s first Sunday as the Pastor of First Baptist. He stayed until 29 Mar1970 when he transferred to the Stanchfield Baptist Church near Cambridge, Minnesota.

1972, 20 May, Dorothy (Aaron) Bialke Hall 51



2007, May 20, Willie Bakk 80

19 May


Constructed by the Carl Brown Company. The building rests on 40 foot deep pilings

The three overhead doors of the Fire Department are now the library windows

1949, 19 May, the Library opened in the new Cook City Hall which was in the southeast corner of this picture. The Fire Hall was in the west end. There was a two-cell jail on the south wall, between the Fire Hall and the Libary. Now the northeast end is the Police Department office used by the St. Louis County Sheriff Department. Now the west end is the Libary. Anyone remember what that small building was above the Fire Hall? After WWII we were watching for enemy aircraft.


1972, 19 May, Cook Community Hospital was closed for lack of a doctor, reopened on June 3rd. This was the second time this had happened. Now we have several doctors to care for our health needs.


State Representative David Dill 2015 and City Administrator Theresa Martinson

2000, 19 May, Theresa Martinson was appointed the City of Cook Administrator. Theresa had served as the Assistant Administrator since 1992

1996, 19 May, Wayne Nurmi 64


Virginia Martinson

2008, 19 May, Virginia (Balke) Martinson 85




Raymond John "Chip" Cravaack, born December 29, 1959

Chip Cravaack speaking at the South Switch Restaurant

In the background; Dennis Udovich, Don Simonson 2015), and Amy Shuster a reporter for the Cook News Herald

2010, May 19,2010, Chip Cravaack had his first meeting in the Cook area. He was running for the United States House seat against Representative James Oberstar. He was very a impressive speaker, but Don wondered if he could beat the long time incumbent Democrat. He did!


18 May

1906, 18 May, Vermilion Township was renamed Beatty as there was another Vermilion in St. Louis County.


Byron Leander and Don Simonson

In the 1950's and 1960's the three Baptist Churches, East Little Fork, Leander and First Baptist Church of Cook had an active softball team. They played teams from Nett Lake, Tower, Alango, Idington, Chisholm and a few more.  Their home field was in the Leander Community, it was named the "Cow Palace" maybe you have heard of it. It was a cattle pasture and the bases were "Cowpies" which needed replacing now and then. The photo above shows the sign that Byron Leander found in 2004.


1978, 18 May, David “Butch” Erickson and the Baker Brothers bought the Pehrson Lodge from Walter Kennedy.


The Simonson Chevrolet-Oldsmobile dealership, May 18,1978

1978, 17 May, Don Simonson bought out his partner Bill Vanne in the Voyageur Chevrolet dealership and renamed it Simonson Chevrolet-Olds, Inc. Don sold to Lee and Larry Phillips in 1989, they sold to Ken & Mary Waschke. 


1986, 18 May, construction started in making the rock cut on highway 53 north of the Gheen Hill



17 May



Pastor Phil Lutz

1992, 17 May, Phillip Lutz’s last Sunday as the Pastor of the First Baptist Church. He had served since 25 Aug 1985. They moved to the Willmar, Minnesota to serve the First Baptist Church. Phil & Kathy (Meritt) are the parents of Andrew, Emily and David.


1945, 17 May, George Aune 20 killed in WWII


1999, 17 May, Rowena "Rena" (Myers) Hawkinson 79



In Memory of

Charlotte Marie Nieters

2008, May 17, Char Nieters 93


16 May

1968, 16 May, new Midland Co-op station under construction. Sulo & Ruth Jacobson were the managers. It was located where the Lucky Seven Convenience store is now.


1985, 16 May, Ron & Kathy Neva opened Wak-em-up Sports Wear in the BIC building.

Now the Human Touch Gift Shop, now both buildings are Human Touch Gift shops

1992, 16 May, Human Touch Gift Shop opened in the old United Farm building.

1990, 16 May, Mildred (Baker) Evans 73


1994, 16 May, Waldo Reichel 93


2001, 16 May. Mae (Flank) Wilenius 84



In Memory of

John William Hill

2007, 16 May, John W. Hill Jr., 63


15 May


1970, 15 May, George Nakari retired from the Northern Farmers Co-op Store, he had been the manager since 1945. James Saranpaa 88,2012 replaced George as the Store Manager until he retired in 1985. The store closed on September 17, 1992 and was totally destroyed by fire on October 04, 1994.


1971, 15 May, a 13,000 acre forest fire on the Echo Trail, very dry conditions.




Harold McGregor house movers

1980, 15 May, the Orr train depot was moved 13 miles north of Orr to Ash Lake for Mike Vidmar, for a Café, it was moved back to Orr on 11 Dec 84 and is now the B. Patten Restaurant.


1982, 15 May, Mike Picek opened a rental business in the oldest building in Cook. They later moved this business to the Hometown Hardware on the main street. Picek’s sold their hardware and rental business to the Hadersbecks. Now the hardware building has a new occupant, the Cook Dental Clinic.


Don Simonson checking the damage

1985, 15 May, someone shot holes in two new Chevrolet pickup windshields at the Simonson Chevrolet dealership. The shots came from across the highway, in line with a motel room window. One of the costs of being in business. 


Jerel Johnson, owner of the Cook Optical

On May 15, 2010, Optician Jerel Johnson  celebrated 23 years in business in Cook. He has now (2017) been at his present location in the Gustafson Office Building for 24 years in downtown Cook. Jerel purchased the business from Vicki Leinoen when her Point O View Optical business was located in the Cook Medical Clinic at the Cook Hospital.


1965, 15 May, Laurvie Johnson 70


   Aili (Jacobson) Johnson 35,1940


   Ellen & Palmer Gunderson,

   Jack Johnson 29, 1959,

   Robert 78,2010 & Doris (Lenzen) Johnson,

   Walter Johnson 10, 1944,

   Arne & Linda 71, 2015) (Mann) Johnson.

Second wife:

   Beatrice “Beda” (Kjellberg, Ferguson) Johnson 66,1964


1979, 15 May, Martha (Helstrom) Anderson 82


   Oscar Anderson 78,1964


   William 75,1994 & Gladys 90,2009 Anderson,

   Lavern 86,2007 & Robert Curtis,

   Robert 67,1990 & Katheryn 87,2009 Anderson,

   Dorothy 82,2007 & Bud 89,2011 Holm,

   Donald & Jean Anderson 


2009, May 15, Tillian Myrtle (Martinson, Bystrom) Minke, 89

    Merle Bystrom 45,1962


   Pamela 39,1985 & Mike* Amundson, 

   Charles & LeeAnn Bystrom.

Second Husband

    Rueben W. Minke 72,1988


   Martin & Anna Martinson


   Millie & Clarence Dahlin,

   Tillian & Merle

   Raymond Martinson

   Evelyn & Warren Hoveland,

   Bernice & Wilho Gustuafson,

   Manley "Bud" Martinson,

   William & Lois Martinson.


The Delich Pure Oil in 1959 ~ Picek Union Oil, closed in 2004

May 15,2004, the oldest gasoline service station location in Cook closed this day. The service station by the Little Fork River and the railroad tracks is no more. It was at this site that the first gasoline service station in Cook was started.. Verner Bergren sold gas at this location in 1914. A number of the grocery stores had gasoline pumps out front but Verner had the first business dedicated to selling gas and servicing automobiles.  Since then it was owned by Herman Kjellberg, Eghner Edblom, Bert Helstrom, Don Delich, Irving Brodeen and Mike Picek and his brother-in-law  Russ Pascuzzi. After Russell took over their R & M (Russ & Mike) Hardware in 1977, Mike and his son Tim Picek operated the station and bulk oil business. Picek's sold to Edward's Oil Company who did not run the business for servicing automobiles, only for gasoline. Edward's also owns the Lucky Seven Convenience store on highway 53. 


I (Don Simonson) worked at this station from September 1959 until September 1963, first for Don Delich then for Irving Brodeen.


It was so convenient to have a full service gasoline station in downtown Cook.  This station was located in the middle of Cook and many people working at the hospital, the school and those coming in from the Lake could stop for full service. It was nice for many people to have someone else pump their gasoline so they did not have to get out in the weather. Also for the older people or those with a handicap.


It seems odd how some people can make a business run so successful and the next owner cannot. Mike and Tim Picek and Russell Pascuzzi served the people of Cook well. They didn't work just eight hours a day. Now all we have are "Convenience Stores" Convenient to who? Not the customer! It all boils down to people. People make a business. Of course when the business was successful, the owners were there. Now there are very few business places in Cook that are owner operated. How many of you know who the owners of Cook businesses are?


In Memory of

Glenn Waldo Reichel

1945 graduate of the Cook High School

2010, 15 May, Glenn Reichel  83


   Arvilla Reichel


   Gretchen & David Porter,

   Bryan & Lynn Reichel

   Greg & Brenda Reichel


   Waldo & Pearl Reichel


   Glen & Arvilla Reichel,

   John "Dick" 64,1994 & Shirley (Stenbeck)  Reichel. 


14 May


1964, 14 May, Carl W. Swanson passed through Cook walking a bull from International Falls Minnesota to Laredo, Texas. He was sucessful and later wrote a book, "Four Hoofs and a Heartbeat."

1968, 14 May, George Bergman 62


   Vienna (Teppo) Bergman 91,2011


   Georgine & George Wilson,

   Loren & Shelia Bergman,

   Elaine & Mike Kemp,

   Joyce & Larry Gunderson,

   Sherry Bergman,

   Viola & John Aune,

   Carol & Jack Vranicar,

   Jeff Bergman.


1977, 14 May, Michael “Mike” Wickholm 21


   Lloyd 65,1982 & Emily (Mellak) 67,1988 Wickholm


   Mary & Charles 35,1983 Anderson,

   Mike Wickholm 21,1977.


1997, 14 May, Clayton Oberg 68, killed at rail road crossing in Cook


   Donna (Jola) Oberg 71, 2001

In Memory of

Harvey Carl Carlson

1947 Cook High School Annual

1999, 14 May, Harvey  Carlson 70


   Joan (Nelson) Carlson


   Karen & Craig Thom,

   Donna & Leonard Raati.


   Carl V. 38,1930 & Amanda (Scott) 91,1987 Carlson


   Albert V. Carlson 64,1981,

   Ellen 83,2006 & Louis Chos 68,1992 & Gordon * Anderson,

   Esther & John 73, 1995 Jowaski,

   Harvey 70,1999 & Joan Carlson.


2000, 14 May. Ray Ferguson 80


   Albert 80, 1960 & Beatrice 66, 1964 (Kjellberg) Ferguson


   Alpha 1, 1921,

   Ray 80,2000,

   Amy & Bob Kesanen,

   Neil 68, 1998 & Marilyn 69,2007 (Milan) Ferguson. 


13 May


1926, 13 May, Cook was organized as a Village, the first President (Mayor) was George Frances. The Trustees were; Adolph Johnson, Ole "O. J." Leding and Verner Bergren. The Village Clerk was A. H. Erickson. Treasurer was Walter Freudenberg.


1976, 13 May, retirement party for Cook School Music Teacher John Bunish


1998, 13 May, 1st National Bank of Mt. Iron opened a branch in the new Zup’s grocery store. They were bought out by the American Bank Holding Company and on Dec 12, 2004 they moved into their new log building across the highway.


 Don Simonson, Frances & Allie Saari and Bill Vanne, March 15, 1975

Saari's were our first car customers at the new dealership building on Highway 53

 Bill and Don were the owners of the Voyageur Chevrolet, until 1978 when Bill sold to Don

2004, 13 May, William Frank "Bill" Vanne 78        


   Bona Hill Vanne Ac  cord






   Frank 78,1969 & Alma 86,1986 (Heino) Vanne


   Victor 55,1974 & Dorothy 39,1962 (Westby) Vanne,

   Willam 78,2004 & Bonna (Hill) Vanne.



12 May


1955, 12 May, Trinity Lutheran Church dedicated their new building at their present site. Their old Church building is now an apartment complex, it was built in 1927, and is located across from what is now the Mlaker Funeral Home.


1961, 12 May, gasoline prices in Cook were 28.2 cents per gallon for regular and 34.2 cents per gallon for Ethel per gallon. Unleaded was unheard of, in fact they bragged about the lead that was added to the gasoline.


 The Idington Town Hall 

1977, 12 May, Idington Hall was totally destroyed by fire, arson was suspected. This old community meeting building was located eight miles south of Cook at the intersection of highway 53 and the Hannuala Road.


1977, 12 May, Mel Bakk opened his LaCroix Outfitters canoe rental business in the old Rock Station on highway 53 in Cook, now the location of the new American log bank. Melvin sold his business to Ron Bushbaum who moved the business to Buyck.

1981, 12 May, Axel Finnila 71


   Ella (Shapansky) Finnila 35,1948

Second Wife:

   Esther (Ahlgren) Finnila 77,2000


   Kenton Finnila,

   Susan Finnila,

   step-son Gerald Jyrkinen 66,2009


1987, 12 May, James Fallos 40


   Jill Mihm






   Paul Fallos 41, 1957 & Olga 40,1961 (Ortendahl, Fallos, Knapp)


   Pat, 2012 (Gary) Lindsey,

   John 39,1980 (Jill) Fallos,

   Jerry Fallos,

   James Fallos 40,1987,

   Kurt Fallos.


In Memory of

1961 graduate of the Alango High School

2009, 12 May, Wayne Taittonen 65


   Waino 79,1988 & Signe 75,1995 (Taskinen) Taittonen


   Mary & Rodney Arola,

   Wayne Taittonen 64,2008,

   Lillian Maki 63,2008,

   Mike & Mary Taittonen.

11 May


1962, 11 May, the Cook Community Hospital paid their employees in $2 bills. This was to impress on the business community of the amount of money spent in the area by employees of the Hospital. Rick Waataja was the Hospital Business Manager at the time.


1978, 11 May, Butch Erickson bought the Pearson Lodge with the Baker Brothers from Walter & Ida May Kennedy who also owned the Kennedy Resort on Elbow Lake.


In Memory of Don

Don was the Chief Game Warden of the State of Minnesota

1989, 11 May, Donald Fultz Sr. 59


   Ann Widmark Fultz 55,1988


   Sheila & Barry Maijala,

   Don Fultz,

   Steve Fultz,

   Lynn & Russell “Rusty” MacDonald,

   Carrolle & David Wood,

   Kurtis Fultz,

   Terry & Corrie Fultz,

   Valerie Ferguson,

   David & Rachel (Ohotto) Fultz.


In Memory of

John Olav Refsdal

1960 graduate, Cook High School

1994, 11 May, John Refsdal 51


   Jodell Wood


   Darren Refsdal


   Arthur 60,1959 & Tillie 66, 1971 (Erickson) Refsdal


   Zoe 2013 (Bill) King,

   Lois (Alan 75,2006) Larson,

   Wally (Marilu Erickson) Refsdal,

   John Refsdal 51,1994.


In Memory Of

Marge and her family,

Jon, Marge, Maxine, Harlan and Leah

Walt 70,1981 & Marge owned the first Food Supper Market in Cook

2003, 11 May, Marge Miller 86


   Walter Miller 70,1981


   Harlan 63,2004 & Sandra Miller,

   Leah 52,1996 & John Miner,

   Maxine & Karl Oelker.


In Memory of

Gunner Edward Kronholm

With his son Craig

2007, 11 May, Gunnar Kronholm 94
   Elna Holm Kronholm 55,1967
   John & Jan Kronholm,
   Craig & Marsha Kronholm,
   Linda Kronholm,
   Sandra & Bill Stapp,
   Margaret & Chester 48,1997 & Jerome Jarka,
   Mark & Sarah Kronholm.
Second Wife
   Eunice Peterson Kronholm

In Memory of

Lillian Taittonen Maki

1962 graduate, Cook High School

2008, 11 May, Lillian Maki 63






   Waino 79,1988 & Signe 75,1995 (Taskinen) Taittonen


   Mary & Rodney Arola,

   Wayne Taittonen 64,2008,


   Mike & Mary Taittonen. 


10 May


This was an early morning fire so it had a very good start,

our first use of a drop tank for a water supply

1977 10 May, Johnson’s One Stop marine business was totally destroyed by fire. This business had opened on June 01 1956, it was owned and operated by Roy and his son Marshall Johnson. At the time of the fire the only water supply was a 3/4 inch copper line from near the Lutheran Church.  John & Verdella Musech bought the place later and constructed the Country Store at that location and remodeled the motel. Their son Tom is now the owner and operator.


1970, 10 May, Bob Carver 71


    Lucille (Reilly) 48,1959 Carver


    Bob Jr 66,1997 & Shirley Carver,

    Flora & William Wylie.


1990, 10 May, Sidney Benn 77


   Kay (Larsen) Benn 81, 2004


   Nancy (Roger) Lindbeck,

   Karen* Benn.


 Ken and Jake Wurzel

Wurzel's Ice Cream Parlor

2000, 10 May, Kenneth Wurzel 87


   Coral Wurzel 92, 2006


    Jacob 2012 & Florence 65, 2004 (Finch) Wurzel



09 May

1946, 09 May, Cook City Council approved the annexation of Abels Addition to Cook. This is the area south of the old school and including the hospital. Abels was named after Abel Pearson who homesteaded this land in the Spring of 1900 as one of the first four homesteaders in what was to become the Cook Community. The railroad track divided his property in 1903. Willard & Roy 2017 Pearson are the sons of Abel & Klara who were born in Sweden.



 The orignial front entrance of the Cook Community Hospital, when it opened in 1959 

1972, 09 May, Cook Hospital closed for lack of doctors, it reopened on the 3rd of June. Now the Hospital has more financial resources due to the taxing district.


1985, 09 May, the Gazebo stand was under construction, it is located between the City Hall & the Library.

1979, 09 May, Larry Riutzel 30


   Mary Ann (Hills) Riutzel







Urban Rent 88,2002, Ted Nylund 84,1994, Phil Vidor 73,1986

1994, 09 May, Ted Nylund 84


   Eva (Sokoloski) Nylund 80, 1996


   Bennett (Donna) Nylund,

    Curtis 77, 2015 (Marcia) Nylund, 

    Beatrice (Ronald 55,1992) Amundson,

    Janet (Frank) Tomsich, 

    Gary 70, 2017 & Kathy Nylund,

    Karen (Leland) Schaar. 


08 May


 The Reik's Hall, about 1950 and going down in 1971

1971, 08 May, the Old Reiks Hall was demolished. It was constructed  in the 1920s by H. W. "Haywire" Reik for his Ford dealership. Later it was known as the Vets Hall. It was located on the north side of the Little Fork River. Now close to the office of the Lakes Gas Company.



1978, 08 May, the BIC building was damaged by fire. Alan Larson 75,2006 and Bob Watt 72,1997 reconstructed the building. The second story was not replaced. This building was constructed in 1940 and opened as the Mecca Inn.


1971, 08 May, Victor Brodeen 84


   Myrtle (Hall) Brodeen 87,1987


   Irving 88,2011 & Faith (Sundeen) Brodeen,

   Oliver Brodeen 49,1974


1987, 08 May, George Skur 82


   Alice (Johnson) Skur 87,1997


   Allen 61, 2002 & Ardell (Walsh) Skur,

   Janet & Harvey Wilder,

   Norman & Faith (Svedberg) Skur.


1999, 08 May, Nels Rude 71, 1999


   Joyce (Laine) Rude


   Jo Nell,



   Chris 79,1964 & Gunild (Larson) Rude 72,1965


   Marion 77,1997 & Art 79,1996 Swanson,

   Violet 206 & Peter Novak 58, 1956 & Leonard 81, 1993 Hall,

   Nels 71,1999 & Joyce Rude,

   Ellen 2014 & Donald 82, 2002 Johnson.


2007, May 08, Rose Maki 92


   William Maki 73,1983


   Nancy & Jerry 74,2008 Mihm.





07 May


1978, 07 May, Robert Gustafson 39


   Roberta “Birdie”  Gustafson







   Ivar 79, 1971 & Edith 67, 1969 (Magnuson) Gustafson


   Carl Gustafson 19, 1944,

   Elmer 55, 1982 & Joanne (Anderson) Gustafson,

   Lorraine 80,2009 & Don Soderberg,

   John Gustafson 3, 1933,

   Gladys & Ted 2015 Parsons,

   Eddie Gustafson 18,1956,

   Robert 39, 1978 & Birdie (Bergman) Gustafson,

   Irvin & Sue (Dickson) Gustafson. 


Roger 77,2008 & Joan (Anderson) Steward

1986, 07 May, Roger & Joan Stewart opened R & J Café. They sold to Bill Pasch on 20 Apr 1993. The business was damaged by fire on October 31,1995. Jack Luecken remodeled the building and opened it as the Café 53. John Jr & Heather (Lindsey) Chaulkin bought the restaurant on Sep 1, 2001. They closed the café on Feb 1, 2003 to convert the building to the second office of the Great Northern Lending Company. The building is now a Title office.


Diane Renne (Price) Pascuzzi

1997, 07 May, Diane Pascuzzi opened her “Watering Can” greenhouse. She is also a trained carpenter so she directed the construction of her greenhouses. Diane is married to Mark Pascuzzi. They have a son Tony (Amanda) Pascuzzi and their four children, and a daughter Gina (Justin) Nukala. Diane is a 1977 graduate of the Cook High School. She is the daughter of Don & Marcia Price. She has a brother David and a sister Debbie.



06 May


1950, 06 May, the Great Flood of 1950 as the Little Fork River overflowed it's banks. There have been three great recorded floods in Cook. The first in 1927, 1950 and 1970.  The flood of 1970 started on June 10, water was about a foot deeper than in 1950. Water was over four feet deep at the intersection of West Vermilion Drive and First Street Southest. Many spring floods have covered streets with the melting snow. But, the great floods were from heavy rains. In 1970 about eight inches of rain fell. The problem, Cook is located in a swamp. The elevation of Lake Vermilion is 1356 feet. The lowest elevation in Cook is 1301 feet and the river only drops a few feet as it flows northwest to Canada.


 Jeff Nelmark, Sam 68, 2017 Heglund, John Pliml and James McFarland

1960, 06 May, the Cook School Patrol boys in front of the Delich Pure Oil Station. These boys used to come in the station to get out of the weather. I worked at this service station from 1959 until 1963. The patrol boys were fine young men. In those days candy bars were ten cents, I offered them a deal; two for a dime each!


1999, 06 May, Frank Hyppa retired from the Fire Department after 30 years of service. Frank’s father Edren served on the department as did Frank's son Sam. Frank then lived across the street from the Cook Hospital and was usually the first one to arrive at the Fire Hall in the middle of the night. He must have slept with his boots on.


1958, 06 May, Archie Mihm 54


   Marigold “Goldie” (Lindsey) Mihm 93, 2003


   Gerald “Jerry" 74,2008 & Nancy (Maki) Mihm,




1975, 06 May, Nels Folkedahl 75


   Margaret (Johnson) Folkedahl 79,2000





   Donna & Frank Parzyck,




 The day Ken retired as the Cook Postmaster, in 1980.

1992, 06 May, Kenneth Storm 72


   Helen (Hough) Storm 56,1979


   Jerry & Liz Storm,

   Larry & Doreen Storm,

   Myrna & John Malm

Second Wife:

   Marjorie (Bolster, Snell) Storm 84,2007


   Axel 70,1952 & Selma 79, 1973 (Larson) Storm


   Stanley Storm 6,1926,

   Jane Mozetti,

   Ken 72,1992 & Helen 56,1979,

   John Storm 88,2010,

   Lois & Arne 65, 1988 Hill,

   Donald Storm 61, 1995.



05 May

1978, 05 May, The City of Cook patrol car was totaled. Cook Police Officer Larry Pocrnich was chasing someone and hit a power line pole off highway #1 west of Linden Grove.


1982, 05 May, Suzie Q’s Game Arcade opened in the Brown Building opposite the Post Office. Suzie Novak was the owner. The Dollar Store was located in this area of the Brown Building. The Brown Building burned down on June 17, 2013.


Don Simonson's 1995 Olds 98 with 207,000 miles

2005, 05 May, Oldsmobile Division of General Motors stopped production of automobiles after 108 years. Oldsmobile was the oldest automobile name plate in the United States. The first Olds was sold in 1897. The founder was Ransom Eli Olds, also the founder of REO which produced automobiles and trucks. He created the first automobile assemble line. Olds became part of General Motors in 1908 when GM was founded. Oldsmobile was the first to offer an automatic transmission, the Hydra-matic in 1939. This was Don's favorite car, as he felt it was a nicer ride than the new vehicles.

In Memory of

Peter & Hulda Anderson

1961, 05 May, Peter Anderson 64


   Hulda Edblom Anderson 72,1969


   Hartley 77,2006 & Nancy 58,1989 (Olson) & Dorothy (Sundstrom) Anderson,

   Muriel & Don Simonson 78, 2015. 


2000, 05 May, Lillian (Anderson) Pederson 86


   Alvin Pederson 102,2009


   Vivian & John 56, 1984 Manick,

   Roy Pederson


2008, 05 May, Daryl Perala 68


   Nancy (Gustafson) Perala 39,1985


   Bradley & Gena Perala


   John Perala 49,1962 & Eleanor 90,2006 (Karvela) Perala.



04 May


1973, 04 May, the grand opening of the Voyageur Chevrolet-Olds, Inc.  This business was created when Don Simonson and Bill Vanne bought the assets of the Lobe Chevrolet Company on March 15, 1973.  They operated their dealership in the old Lobe building in downtown Cook for two years.  On March 15, 1975 they moved their dealership to a new building on highway 53.  In 1978 Don bought out his partner and renamed the business the Simonson Chevrolet-Olds, Inc. In 1989 Don sold to Lee & Larry Phillips who were long time employees, they renamed the business the Phillips Chevrolet-Olds, Inc.  Lee & Larry sold the business to Ken & Mary Waschke, they named the business Waschke Family Chevrolet.


1978, 04 May, Ansgar Refsdal 72


    Mae (Fritz) Refsdal





   Dean 42, 2001,




1993, 04 May, Florence (Johnson, Knutson) Annala 87


   Clarence Knutson 63,1962


   Vertin & Rosemary (Skraba) Knutson,

   Richard 68,2003 & Judith (Lanzwick) Knutson,

   Donna & Art Berry

Second Husband;

   John Annala 82,1983

In Memory of

Lois Ruby McClellan

2009, May 04, Lois McClellan 90


   Allan McClellan 62,1972


   Ronald & Nancy McClellan,

   Margaret & Rodney Edblom,

   Brenda & Warren 65,2010 Lakso,

   Kathleen & Robert 77,2006 Chapman, 

   Ilona & Doyle Svedberg,

   Candace & Robert Berens,

   Roxanne & Danny Brinker. 


03 May


1959, 03 May. City of Cook first went on Daylight Saving time, at that time each city had a choice.



In Memory of

Roger Martinson Sr.

1986, 03 May, Roger Martinson 64


   Virginia Martinson 85,2008


   Kathy & Ray 60, 1998 Sarazine,

   Gloria & Grant Stand Jr,

   Barry & Bonnie Martinson

   Roger Jr & Jeralyn (Karvela),

   Coralee & Greg Mihm,

   Valerie & Jerry Ohotto.


   Hugo 70,1965 & Esther 83,1980 (Berg) Martinson


   Hyacinthe 68, 1984 & Herman 74,1990 Balke,

   Stanley 69,1979 & Flora 60,1997 Martinson,

   Marion 89,2009 & Matt 73,1993 Vertnick,

   Roger 64,1986 & Virginia 85,2008 Martinson,

   Donald 48 1972 & Nettie 79,2007 (Balke) Martinson.


In Memory of Walter


Walter Barnes was the first operator of new Phillips Station in 1955

This building was later the R & J and the Highway 53 Restaurant, now a title office

1988, 03 May, Walter Barnes 77


   Esther Barnes 85,1995


   Donald 84, 2014 & Donna Barnes,

   Robert 54,1987 & Ethel (Baumgartner) Barnes


1992, 03 May, Helmer “Ham” Holm 75


   Eva (Knapp) Holm 82,1996


   Charles 61,2008 & Jane Holm,


02 May


1977, 02 May. Mike Hanson started with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He has since been promoted and is serving in the Orr headquarters.

1991, 02 May, Don Price opened his "Up-North" marine business, across from the Country Store. This location was originally the home of Rev. Ocscar & Alma Svedberg, then the home of John Terio, later it was the home and the real estate office of Bob & Marcie Wiinanen. Then Yale & Muriel Corcoran lived there. Don Price remodeled the house and added a shop to the back. He also moved the office of Phil Parzck's Cook Motor Sales building from the now new location of McDonald's. Culbert Realty used this buiding for their office. After the house and shop were removed a new building was constructed for the Vermilion Trading Company. On April 27, 2012, Bill Nieters opened a new Auto Parts Store at this location.


1975, 02 May. Gottfried Carlson 83


   Sophie (Olson) Carlson 82, 1971


   Frances 85,2007 & Clarence Kleppe,

   Helen 2017  & Albert 69, 1983 Carlson & Arvid 2014 Edblom,

   Robert 78,2009 & Norma 71,2011 (Jokinen) Carlson.




01 May


1936, 01 May. The Cook Athletic Club bought the land for the old ballpark property, for $700. Now the new water tower is located there.


1969, 01 May, studded tires were outlawed. These were snow tires that had metal spikes installed for better traction on ice and snow. They were wearing grooves in the highways. Also at higher speeds the studs would fly out of the tires.


1970, 01 May, Bob & Hope Simpson bought Mecca Inn. Arnold & Alice Gustafson constructed this fine hotel with a dining room in 1940. This building is now the BIC Realty office.



1976, 01 May, Mike & Diane Suomela bought Dick Hanson’s share of the Hanson Furniture Store. It is now called Furniture Plus & Video. Dick was Diane’s father. Dick and his brother Roy started the business in 1946 as a meat packing plant, as many in those days did not have home freezers.  


1979, 01 May, Cook Area Health took over the operation of the Cook Clinic, now the Scenic Rivers Clinic.


1986, 01 May, Shirley Martinson started employment at the Cook Area Credit Union


Photo by Lou Pliml, from the old water tower

1998, 01 May, Zup’s grocery store opened. Eric & Anna Pederson were the first managers.


1962, 01 May, Charles Marvin Street 65


   Laura Street Williams 97,2011


   Charles Marvin Jr. & Marge Street,

   Richard Street Jr. 62, 2001,

   Shirley Roethler 56, 1998


In Memory of John

John Pierce Geiselman and Margie

2011, 01 May, John Geiselman 88


   Ruby Knutson Pohl Geiselman 78,1996


  Charlene & Bill* Chamernick,

  Ardyce & Frank Larsen,

  Connie Neylan,

  Bill & Teresa Pohl.