In a family reeling from devastating news, the tone must have been somber indeed in 1903. August Cook, widower of the late Catherine Flannigan, had just lost his firstborn son.
Yet his was a household with a now-adult daughter as well as two younger sons—this added to the duties of a busy attorney and former state legislator may have coupled to help pass those difficult times. The outlook in a vibrant household of young people adheres tenaciously to life more than to any tendency to cling to past tragedy.
As the years unfold, it soon becomes time for August Cook to assume the role of father of the bride. The younger Catherine has accepted the proposal of a man who grew up not far from the Cook household in Iron Mountain.
The groom is William H. Crago, born in England, but settling here in childhood. Along with his immigrant parents John and Victoria Stead Crago, his older brother Thomas and younger sister Lillie, William had arrived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in 1883. Perhaps the ubiquitous mining operations of the region guided him toward his life’s calling: a career in engineering.
Though the Crago family can be found in the city of Iron Mountain in the 1900 census, and though the Cook household also remains in that town, for some reason, the wedding of William H. Crago and Catherine J. Cook takes place in Mount Clemens, part of Macomb County, just north of Detroit. The date for the event is set as June 29, 1908.
Perhaps the location, removed from the hometown of both bride and groom, provides a foretaste of life for the couple whose future will involve travel far from the setting of that original mining inspiration.
Above right: Edmund Blair Leighton's Signing the Register; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.