Harry Dewitt Cook
of Company "G"
4th Illinois Cavalry
Was originally from Oneida, New York, he came into the Hudson neighborhood in 1851. When the Illinois Central Railroad opened lands for sale, he tried to promote the town site three miles north of Hudson to be called Oneida, but failed to get the railroad crossing he hoped for. He purchased the SW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 32 in El Paso Twp. from Sylvester Pearl August 30, 1854, and accumulated much land thereafter in both Woodford and McLean Counties. He moved to Kappa when it was founded and served as station agent from 1853 to August 1861, and dealt in grain.
That month he organized Company G. of the 4th Illinois Cavalry with all local men in it, resigning as a Republican member of the State Legislature to do so. He had been elected November 6, 1860 in the Lincoln election from a local area heavily Democratic. After advancing to major, he returned home after three years service and was again elected to his old seat in the Legislature. Governor Oglesby then appointed him Colonel of Illinois Militia and sent him to New York City to look after the needs of Illinois soldiers in hospitals. Later he went to Washington, D. C. and served with distinction in this rehabilitation work at a time when there were no veteran's organizations to assist him.
This work kept him from ever returning to Kappa, where his wife and daughter remained until 1869, when they too moved to Washington, D. C. A son, John Williston Cook, was president of Illinois State Normal University from 1890 to 1899, and of Northern Illinois State Teachers College at DeKalb from 1899 to 1919. (See: Robert D. Ochs: Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society for December, 1938.)