History of Cook Park

History of Judge Joseph E. Cook Park

Virginia L. Wielgot, who lived in CookPark, with her family, from 1963 to 2000, document the history of the area in The Story of Joseph E. Cook Park. She served on the board
of the CPNA (both as president and Vice President from 1991 to 1996). The following is the first excerpt from her short book. We thank Mrs. Wielgot both for her years of service to our community,and for allowing us to re-publish her work.

Who was Judge Joseph E. Cook?

Joseph E. Cook 1892-1963

Joseph E. Cook was born May 1, 1892, in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. After graduating from Brown University in 1914, he moved to Denver and became a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News. When the United States entered World Ware I, he enlisted as a private, as in the battle as a machine gunner, was elevated to Sergeant, and was a Lieutenant at the time of his discharge at the end of the war. When Joseph Cook returned to Colorado, he became a court and sports writer for both the Rocky Mountain news and The Denver Post. At the same time, he studied law at evening classes at Westminster Law School (later University of Denver College of Law).

Cook served as Deputy District Attorney for 12 years, Denver District Court Judge for 20 years, and was a respected member of the legal profession and the judiciary.

Outside of court, he devoted his time and leadership skills to dozens of organizations that promoted the well-being of youth, including Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers, the YMCA and YWCA.  For his years of public service, Cook received a myriad of accolades, including the Denver Broncos Award for Service to Young Americans, the American Legion for Service to Children and Youth, the Red Cross Award for Service to Humanity, and a feature on the television show This is Your Life. In 1962, he received the Juvenile Court Award for service to youth and was named Kiwanian of the Year. Just as important, he was devoted to his family as well as the youth of Colorado.

He and his wife, Alice, had two daughters, Grace and Mary Alice, and a son, Joseph Cook Jr., who also became a lawyer. Naming a park in honor of the Judge was a fitting tribute.

Excerpts from James L. Treeces article in The Colorado Lawyer, July 1990