Robert Cooke Chapter















Robert Cooke was one of three brothers who fought in the American Revolution serving with General George Washington at Valley Forge.  The Cooke family moved from Maryland to Virginia.  After the war, Robert Cooke went to South Carolina and later came to Sparta, Tennessee.  He was presiding judge for the first White County Court.  He is buried on a hilltop near Walling, Tennessee.  The inscription on his marble slab reads:  "Robert Cooke, born May 28, 1752, departed this life on Nov. 12, 1841, Age 89 years, 7 months."

Pictures from Excursion to Robert Cooke's Gravesite

Three members of Robert Cooke Chapter made a pilgrimage to Cooke's grave in honor of the 160th anniversary of his death. They drove to White County to find a small family cemetery near the Walling community out from Sparta. After walking up a hill covered with waist high broom sedge, the old cemetery came into view. The ladies with two HODARs (husbands of DAR) set to work. There were tree limbs to be removed, poison ivy vines to be cut, and leaves to be raked from the graves. After a couple of hours of work, the cemetery looked much better. The original marker of Robert Cooke's resting place was broken in two but had been set flat in concrete to preserve it. Some other markers had also been taken care of in this way. Still more were leaning or cracked and scattered on the ground. What a shame! More should be done to preserve this part of our heritage. The DAR members were most surprised to find a ten foot marker commemorating Robert Cooke's service in the Revolutionary War at Valley Forge with General George Washington. This monument had been placed by Senator Estes Kefauver and his family who were descendants of Robert Cooke.

After the work was completed, the Robert Cooke Chapter placed two American flags at the foot of the large marker. One was a flag with the original thirteen stars; the other held the fifty stars of the present flag. Those taking part were Carolyn Christian Martin, regent; Pauline Coppage, past regent; Dorothy Steen, past regent; and
Dorothy Lipham Steen, past regent; along with Quinton Coppage and the Reverend John Steen.

The DAR chapter chose the name Robert Cooke in 1936 because our organizing regent, Ada Cooke Settle, was also one of his descendants. The DAR emphasis for this year is our heritage and its preservation.


Carolyn Christian Martin, Dorothy Lipham Steen, and Pauline Martin Coppage stand by commemorative marker on Robert Cooke's grave.
Original marker on patriot Robert Cooke's grave. He fought with General George Washington at Valley Forge.
Pauline and Quinton Coppage descend hill on which cemetery sits.
Carolyn Christian Martin, Dorothy Lipham Steen, and Pauline Martin Coppage pull limbs from the Cooke family cemetery.
Pauline Martin Coppage, Dorothy Lipham Steen, and Carolyn Christian Martin pause a minute before completing their task.
Robert Cooke, Esqr., born March the 28th the year 1752 & departed this life November 12th 1841, age 89 years, 7 months, a Revolutionary soldier with Washington at Valley Forge in A.D. 1777, a faithful public officer, a social companion, an affectionate husband, a kind neighbor, a tender parent, an honest man, in life by all respected, in death by all lamented, near ninety years upon this earth. This good man has trod in peace. He drew his latest breath, and yields his soul to God. Susannah Cooke departed this life in May 12th A. D. 1823, age 63 years & 24 days. A loving wife, a tender mother, a pattern of piety, a friend to the poor. Her ways were ways of pleasantness, and all her paths were peace.
(Above inscriptions taken from original head and footstones) Erected 1952 by descendants Estes Kefauver. Nancy Kefauver Fooshee, Bailey Bockman, Myrtle Bockman Eastland