Cook Conkling, of Rutherford N. J., is the son of Calvin B. Conkling, a native of Sag Harbor, Long Island, and a descendant of one of two brothers who came from England in Cromwell’s time and settled originally in Salem, Mass. This ancestor married Mary Gardiner, daughter of Lyon Gardiner, proprietor of Gardiner’s Island, and moved from Salem to Long Island. Calvin B. Conkling’s wife was Harriet A. W. King, who was also descended from an old New England family.
Cook Conkling was born in Ledgewood, N. J., on the 4th of November, 1858. He received his preparatory education at Schooley’s Mountain Seminary in Morris County, in his native State, and afterward entered Mount Union College in Ohio, where he took an elective course, but did not graduate. After leaving college he taught country school for a time, but soon abandoned that occupation to go “upon the road” as general traveling agent for a machinery house. He filled this position for seven years, in the course of which he visited forty-three States in the Union.
In his younger days Mr. Conkling wrote for the newspapers, and during his travels in America and Canada he constantly wrote for the press. His letters descriptive of the people and their ways and the countries at large encountered in his travels have been reprinted and favorably commented upon. He has probably seen as much of the United States as almost any other citizen of the country, and is well known throughout Northern New Jersey, over which his business connections extend.
Mr. Conkling finally studied law, was admitted to the bar of his native State, and in 1888 began the active practice of his profession with a partner in Rutherford, N. J., where he still resides. This association continued until February, 1893. Afterward he was engaged alone in a general banking and law business in Rutherford until June 1, 1898, when he formed a co-partnership with ex-Mayor Luther Shafer, of Rutherford.
Mr. Conkling is a Democrat by inheritance, his ancestral lines on his mother’s side–the Phoenixes and Kings of New Jersey – having been prominently identified with that party. He is a public spirited citizen and deeply interested in the affairs of his native State. For many years he has been influential in the growth of Rutherford, and in every capacity has displayed characteristic enterprise.
Source: Harvey, Cornelius Burnham, Editor; Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, New York: The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900.