Hence (Hancey) Marvin Cook (June 27, 1805 -- Feb. 10, 1885)
Hence Marvin Cook was born in Buncombe Co. North Carolina according to his petition to be excluded from amnesty following the Civil War. Hence was a farmer and Postmaster at Calvin Hill (1862-1865) and at Scotts Creek (1875) near Sylvia, NC. He would have been one of the first postmasters in Western NC since Sylvia got its first post office in 1880. (According to Jackson county visitors guide.) He married Eleanor "Nella" McCall, had 11 children and died when 80 in 1885. Hence is buried in the Norman--Blanton cemetary near Ochre Hill Baptist church east of Sylvia, NC.
Hence amassed several tracts of land during the 1850s on the west side of the Balsam Mountain in Jackson County but lost most of it (1280 acres) in 1877 to back taxes of $7.88. On March 27, 1888, three years after Hence's death, Nellie made an application to sue as a pauper which was accepted.
Most of Hence's children remained in the mountains of Western North Carolina, but a rumor has it that one or 2 may have headed out west to strike it rich in the California Gold Rush. We've lost touch with several of those families.
The following is an old family tale that doesn't ring completely true since Hence claimed in the petition that he was born in Buncombe Co. NC not Ireland. It may be that his father was the one in the tale but we may never know since records are scarce and the courthouse burned down.
There is an old family tale that in 1820 a young 15 year old Hence stowed away on a potato boat leaving Ireland headed for America where he felt he had a better chance to make it good. He likely landed in Maryland or Virginia and eventually made his way to the mountains of North Carolina to an area that would later be formed into Jackson County. The tale continues that Hence did not come alone but probably came with two brothers. The brothers may have been on the potato boat with him or came later. As they traveled down the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia they talked to some travelers who told them of the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina that had been vacated by the Cherokee Indian tribes and to others who told of the fertile farm land near Laurens, SC. The brothers decided to split up and try out both locations. If one of them found a better life, the other agreed to join his brother(s). They each liked what they found and stayed where they were. Years later decendants of two of the brothers would purchase farm land next to each other in Norris, SC.
Note: The Cherokee tribes were removed from their historial lands by the federal goverment by breaking their treaties in retaliation for siding with the British during the War of Independance.
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John M. Cook, Jr.
This page last updated May 11, 2000.