We received an interesting request from Jacksonport State Park this month for a new exhibit they will be showcasing beginning in October.
Of the items requested, we supplied Jacksonport’s exhibit with these two lunchboxes.
Virgil Young Cook was a veteran of the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. He joined the Confederate army at the tender age of 14. His father also leaned toward Confederate feelings and allowed his son to continue his military career.
Upon his retirement, Mr. Cook moved to Arkansas. He was a successful business entrepreneur with M. F. Thomason (Cook & Thomason) until selling his share of the business to Mr. Thomason to work as a railroad agent. His job was to convince the authorities of a need for a mainline railway from Jacksonport to Bradford.
Mr. Cook founded the town of Olyphant, and made his home on 2300 acres, calling his land Midland Holm. He raised crops, cattle, and horses.
He moved to Batesville and built the Cook-Morrow house at 875 Main Street, where he lived until his death in 1922. At the time of his death, Mr. Cook was the richest resident of Independence County.
The second is a metal child’s lunchbox, green with a blue thermos. The thermos is firmly held in place with a curved metal bar. Dated from the 1950s, this lunchbox features a collapsible chrome handle and toggle fasteners. Unfortunately the owner of this lunchbox has been lost to time.