George Hammell Cook

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George Hammell Cook
Born(1818-01-05)January 5, 1818
DiedSeptember 22, 1889(1889-09-22) (aged 71)
Spouse(s)Mary Halsey Thomas (1821-?)
ChildrenPaul Cook (1847-?), Sarah Cook (1849-?). John Willard Cook (1852-?), Emma Willard Cook (1854-?), Anne Bigelow Cook (1857-?), Robert Anderson Cook (1861-?)
New York Times obituary

George Hammell Cook (January 5, 1818 – September 22, 1889) was the state geologist of New Jersey and vice president of Rutgers College.[1][2] His geological survey of New Jersey became the predecessor for the U.S. Geological Survey.


He was born in Hanover Township, New Jersey on January 5, 1818 to John Cook (1786-?) and Sarah Munn (1786-?).[1] He married Mary Halsey Thomas (1821-?) on March 23, 1846. He served as the principal of The Albany Academy in Albany, New York from 1850 to 1852.[1]

He came to Rutgers in 1853 and was appointed professor of chemistry. His teaching duties also included mathematics and theology. Among his first research projects was the chemical analysis of marl. This research led him to determine better places to mine marl, which led to his appointment as the assistant state geologist. He published a geological survey of New Jersey to replace the one made in 1840.[3]

In 1864 he was appointed as the state geologist of New Jersey.[1]

He had become a vice president of Rutgers College and was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He died on September 22, 1889 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.[1]


Cook College at Rutgers University was named after him,[3] as is the George Hammell Cook Distinguished Alumni Award.[4]



  • Cook, George Hammell (1868). Geology of New Jersey. Daily Advertiser Off.

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  1. ^ a b c d e "Dr. George H. Cook's Death.; New-Jersey's State Geologist And What He Did For Science" (PDF). New York Times. September 23, 1889. Retrieved 2008-07-03. Dr George H. Cook, the State Geologist and Vice President of Rutgers College, died here suddenly this afternoon of heart failure. Dr. Cock was taken ill yesterday noon, but his illness was not considered at all serious, and his death was totally unexpected. He was one of the most eminent of New-Jersey citizens.
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Cook, George Hammell". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. 1900.
  3. ^ a b "History of Cook College: George H. Cook and the Land Grant College". Rutgers University. Archived from the original on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
  4. ^ "The George Hammell Cook Distinguished Alumni Award". Rutgers. Retrieved 2008-07-03. The award, established in 1976, commemorates the life of George Hammell Cook (1818 - 1889) whose efforts helped to bring Land Grant College status to Rutgers and to create the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Dr. Cook's inquisitive and results-oriented spirit remains active in the ideals embodied by the Cook community which includes the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the George H. Cook campus. This award is presented annually to an alumnus or to alumni whose outstanding accomplishments in professional or volunteer work reflects dignity and distinction on their alma mater. The Cook Award is the highest honor presented by the Cook Alumni Association to undergraduate alumni.

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