Figure of the Week

Gen. George Mason Cooke

Born 1792 - Died 1866

George Mason Cooke (1792-1866) was the son of Col. John Travers Cooke (1755-1819) and Mary Thomson Mason (1762-1806) of West Farm in Wide Water.  George shared business dealings with his father in farming, timbering, fishing, and freestone quarrying on Aquia Creek.  In 1818/19 he built Chelsea, a fine frame home in Wide Water.  Part of this is now occupied by Chelsea Manor subdivision on Wide Water Road (Route 611).  His name first appeared in the records of the 45th regiment of Virginia militia (Stafford County) in 1812 when he was listed as an ensign.  By 1815 he was a major and by 1819 was colonel of the 45th.  In 1829 he was listed as brigadier general.  George suffered from financial difficulties, tried his hand at managing a gold mine in Goochland County, and finally returned to Stafford where he lived at Woodford on Garrisonville Road.  George’s first wife was Agatha Eliza Eustace (1796-1833), by whom he acquired an interest in the Woodford property.  He married secondly Ann Jane Carter (1806-1864).  George represented Stafford in the Virginia House of Delegates and in the 1830s was a magistrate in Stafford.  He died at his daughter’s home in Orange County, Virginia.  His burial place is unknown.