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Saybrook’s last Civil War widow Emma Cook, May 1938

In May 1938, the Village of Saybrook prepared to celebrate its first Decoration Day (now known as Memorial Day) without a Civil War veteran. The last two Saybrook veterans, L.H. Cherrington and Joseph Rennabarger, passed away in November 1937.

Seen here is 85-year-old Emma Cook, on the porch of her Saybrook home, looking at a portrait of her late husband Riley Cook, a veteran who died in July 1918. Mrs. Cook was the village’s last Civil War widow. She passed away on August 5, 1941.

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the Librarian at the McLean County Museum of History

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