Birth, Boyhood, and College Years

He was born into a family whose pockets were empty and circumstances tragically overwhelming. Hard times can prove to break anyone’s faith, but Bob Cook’s humble beginnings ultimately helped form him into the man everyone would come to know as faithful, kind, and God-fearing. These photographs chronical the challenges, victories, and memories of the young Dr. Cook.

Mr. and Mrs. John Gray (Dr. Cook’s grandparents) and their two children, Daisy (Dr. Cook’s mother), and Bertram (Dr. Cook’s Uncle Bert).
Grampa Gray in his later years.
Dr. Cook’s mother, Daisy (right), and uncle Bertram (left), ca. 1890
Carl Hague (nephew of Daisy Grey) in a Thomas Automobile, ca. early 1900’s
Lulu Gray and Veda Hague in a Thomas Automobile. Dr. Cook and his sister Mildred stayed with these families for a short time after the death of their mother.
Carl Becker and Lulu (niece of Dr. Cook’s mom) on an early 1900’s Indian motorcycle. Could this be the seedling of Dr. Cook’s love of motorcycles?
Charley Cook’s (Dr. Cook’s father) four sisters: Esther, Mattie, Sadie, and Ida. Dr. Cook’s Aunt Sadie Cook went on to be a missionary in India and spent many more years overseas.
Ida Hague and Aunt Sadie Cook
Sadie Cook’s cancelled Indian passport
Aunt Sadie and Dr. Cook’s father, Charley, relaxing in rocking chairs.
Charles Andrew Cook as a young private in the Spanish American War, ca. 1898, Knoxville, TN. He went on to fight in Cuba.
A young Charles Cook in uniform.
Charles and Daisy Cook (Dr. Cook’s parents) They were married in Freemont, CA, on an unknown date.
House in California where Mildred Cook (Dr. Cook’s older sister) was born on May 3, 1902
Daisy, Mildred, and Charley Cook Mildred is approximately a year old in this photo.
Mildred as a young girl. Photo taken in Toledo, Ohio, while visiting relatives.
Mildred (Dr. Cook’s sister) and Daisy (Dr. Cook’s mother)
Daisy, Mildred, and Charley Cook on a summer vacation. Freemont, California, ca. 1908
Charley, Daisy, and Mildred
The Cook’s visiting the Armstrong’s and the Hague’s in Ohio. Dr. Cook would go on to live with Vernon and Mollie Armstrong shortly after his mother died.
House where Robert Andrew Cook born. Santa Clara, CA, ca. June 7, 1912
Cradle Roll Certificate from Santa Clara Methodist Church Sunday School
Mildred and Robert An admiring relative took the one-year-old Dr. Cook to a Baby Beauty Contest at a local Annual Cherry Festival where he went on to win first place!
Robert Cook taking a bath (one year old), ca. June 1913
Postcard image of Methodist Episcopal Church, Perrysburg, Ohio (location of Daisy Cook’s funeral). Daisy died of complications of childbirth on October 25, 1913. Her approximate birthday was March 19, 1880.
Charley Cook singing with his wife, Daisy
Charley Cook singing with his wife, Daisy
Charley Cook getting ready for heaven, looking forward to a new pair of eyes
Robert learning to walk while visiting family in Los Gatos, CA.
Dr. Cook learning to walk with his big sister, Mildred.
The first Christmas after Daisy died, ca. December 1913 Mildred (Dr. Cook’s sister), Lulu Hague, Ida Hague with Dr. Cook on lap, and Charles Cook (Dr. Cook’s father)
Dr. Cook and Carlie Hague Robert and Mildred stayed at the Hagues’ house in Los Angeles, CA, while en route to Ohio in April of 1914.
Charley (Dr. Cook’s Father), Mildred (Dr. Cook’s sister), and Bob on the Hague’s porch in 1914. Mildred made Bob’s outfit -- she would have been about 13 at the time.
Bob and Mildred Cook, ca. 1914
Mildred and Bob, ca. 1914
Dr. Cook with “The True Mother Goose” book as a boy.
Charley, Mildred, and young Robert riding bicycles in Toledo, Ohio.
Aunt Molly with a child (unknown)
Charley, Mildred, and Bob, some months after Daisy passed away.
Dr. Cook (approximately age 4), his “Aunt” Molly Armstrong, and his sister Mildred, in Toledo, Ohio.
“Aunt” Molly
Mildred and young Robert in their Sunday best.
Aunt Molly of Toledo, Ohio
Molly Armstrong, Mildred, and Bob (age 5)
The Setzler’s wedding photo, ca. 1899 The Cook children went to live for a time on the Setzler’s farm in Fremont, Ohio
Practiced his violin 2 hours/day
hid his music in a drawer
Young Bob feeding a sheep
Ohio Barn with little Bob standing in front
Vangie and Bob, ca. 1916
Family photo titled, “Our baby grownup”
Story of being afraid on the farm
Setzler farm
Young Robert starting school
Dr. Cook as a school boy standing in front of Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. Robert attended the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church (Rev. H. E. Nelson) on Cedar Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio (near Euclid Avenue). Dr. Cook accepted the Lord as his savior here when he was six years old (1918), and was shortly thereafter baptized in Lake Erie at Beulah Park, Ohio.

Church and Missionary Conferences

Below are photos of Dr. Cook’s church and its missionary conferences that no doubt shaped his life and attitudes towards missions.

A baptism Mr. Shuman, Mr. Nelson, and Margaret.
Learned Bible verses as a little boy
The chorus they sang in the Christian and Missionary Alliance church in Cleveland, OH
His conversion
A baptism Mr. Patterson and Mr. Stokes.
Christian and Missionary Alliance meeting
Another Christian and Missionary Alliance meeting
Inside of Bob Cook’s home church, Christian and Missionary Alliance Church
Missionary conference: China
Missionary “League of Nations”
Dish crew #2
Dish crew #3
“Service not serv-us”
“Some Scullions”
South American Missions Conference
Missions Conference group visiting from Boston
“You’ve got mail!” Ohio mailman, ca. 1920
Robert’s (front row) Sunday School in Old Fort, Ohio (near Fremont, Ohio)
Dr. Cook (age 8) on the farm Summer of 1920 in Fremont, Ohio.
Young Dr. Cook in a sombrero
Young Dr. Cook pulling a wagon
The Farm
Story of the sulphur water they drank as a tonic
Bob had to rise at 4 or 5 AM to help milk the cows on the farm
Uncle Frank planting on the farm
Young Dr. Cook with the chickens
Young Dr. Cook feeding the chickens
Charley in his Cuban sombrero
The Cook’s lived with the Setzler (left), and Hague (right) families on-and-off for a few years.
Fremont, Ohio, ca. 1920 Left to right: Frank and Esther Setzler, Aunt Sadie, Young Robert (age 8), Mrs. Totheroh, Rev. Andrew Totheroh, and Mildred Rev. Totheroh married Charles and Daisy Cook, and Dr. Cook was named for him (Robert Andrew Cook).
The Cook’s standing by a car in Fremont, Ohio Left to right: Aunt Sadie Cook, Robert, Charley Cook, and Mildred
Left to right: Mildred, Robert, and two aunts: Pearl and Sadie Cook
Robert and his father, Charley Cook
Charley Cook
Robert (Age 8) and Charley Cook
Winter on the Setzler’s Farm Freemont, Ohio, ca. 1924
Dr. Cook and his father on the Setzler farm
Young Dr. Cook
Robert and his father, Charley, in Cleveland, Ohio
Postcard picture of Spencerian Commercial School, on Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. Robert and his father lived in a basement apartment provided as part of his father’s compensation for working there as a janitor.
Bob cooked for his father
School picture from the Spencerian Commercial School in Cleveland, Ohio
Down the street from the Spencerian Commercial School
Dr. Cook’s Junior High graduation. Cleveland, Ohio
High-school-aged Dr. Cook and his father
Charley Cook going up the stairs to his and Bob’s Nevada Street apartment Toledo, Ohio
The Cook’s Nevada Street Apartment Toledo, Ohio
Nevada Street apartment where Dr. Cook and his father lived while Mildred was at Moody Bible Institute
A photo of Mildred as shown in the room photo above (look closely!)
Dr. Cook’s High School graduation Toledo, Ohio.
Mildred visiting from Moody
Mildred while studying at Moody
Dr. Cook’s father, Charley Cook, working at the Toledo Machine and Tool Company
The car involved in an accident in which all of Dr. Cook’s tools were stolen, temporarily putting him out of the car business.
Cold days in Chicago, Illinois
Charley Cook working at the Toledo Machine and Tool Company
Dr. Cook as a young student in Chicago
Dr. Cook laughing with friends while studying at Moody
Robert and his sister Mildred. She was around to “keep on eye” on Bob while he was at Moody. He enrolled in Moody Bible Institute in August of 1928. At that time, he the youngest student ever accepted into the school.
Dr. Cook as a young student at Moody
Mildred and Robert. The two met for prayer in Lincoln Park across from Moody Church on Sundays before the morning service.
Robert and his sister Mildred in snowy Chicago
Robert and Charley Cook, ca. 1928
Dr. Cook at Moody. During those days, he played violin on WMBI radio and led church choirs.
Bob, Mildred, and Velma in Chicago
1930’s on Moody radio in the early morning, singing
Bob’s sister, Mildred
Bob’s Moody Graduation photo, ca. 1930
Dr. Cook’s Moody Bible Institute Graduation, ca. 1930
Robert worked on cars while at Moody to save money for Wheaton College.
Dr. Cook while studying at Wheaton College, ca. 1934
Bob worked in a garage fixing cars
Wheaton college days and little money for food
Dr. Cook’s wife-to-be, Coreen Nilsen. Coreen was the sister-in-law of Torrey Johnson, who was the pastor of Messiah Baptist Church. He recruited Bob to direct the choir while he was a student at Moody Bible Institute… the choir in which Coreen sang.
The young couple in Chicago, IL
Coreen Nilsen nearby her home in Chicago, IL
Summer fun (Left to right) Coreen Nilsen, Evelyn Johnson (her sister), and Torrey Johnson (Evelyn’s husband).
Glen Ellyn Tabernacle Sunday School picnic, ca. 1933 While studying at Wheaton College, Dr. Cook pastored a congregation at Glen Ellyn Tabernacle in Glen Ellyn, Illinois (1933 - 1934). The new suburban area of Glen Ellyn, Illinois was considered West Chicago in those days.
Glen Ellyn Tabernacle Church Board Photo Left to right: Mr. Partridge; an unknown gentleman; Mr. Benson; and Pastor Robert Cook. Bob lived with the Partridge family during these days. For a short while, he also lived in one of the church’s Sunday School rooms.
Glen Ellyn Tabernacle church dinner This photo was taken while Coreen and Bob were dating. Coreen is seated at the end of the table on the left, Bob is sitting across from her on the right.
Pastor at Glen Ellyn Tabernacle in Illinois, parishioner telling story about $1 bill
Glen Ellyn Tabernacle group shot Dr. Cook is in the back row to the left.
Glen Ellyn Tabernacle photo Dr. Cook is seated in the center.
Robert and Coreen Cook’s wedding day, September 24, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from Wheaton College, Dr. Cook Married Coreen Nilsen. The honeymoon consisted of driving Bob's father, Charley Cook, back to Ohio while staying with relatives en route. They then continued on from Ohio to Dr. Cook’s first pastorate in Philadelphia, PA.