HOME     THE MAN     THE HOUSE     THE NEIGHBORHOOD     TIMELINE     DIRECTIONS     CONTACT  

A Historical Tribute

  • 1870 - C. Lee Cook born
    C. Lee Cook is born in New Albany, Indiana. Family later moves to Louisville’s Portland neighborhood. A son of Haward Tacket and Mary Jane (Withers) Cook. His father helped construct the Louisville Canal, later renamed the McAlpine Locks and Dam, for the United States government and did important work in converting river steamboats into gunboats for the federal government during the Civil War.
  • C. Lee Cook childhood
    Profoundly handicapped by polio-myletis and curvature of the spine, C. Lee Cook’s family moved to Louisville’s Portland neighborhood when he was seven. He was taken out of school, and spent all of his time in a backyard stable workshop and developped his analytical mind 'tinkering' with mechanical devices.
  • C. Lee Cook inventions
    From his workshop next to the K&I railroad tracks, Cook watched steam engines in operation and noticed a significant loss of steam from around the pistons. Being told that no one could devise a system to harness this wasted power, Lee invented a system of metallic packing which revolutionized industry.
  • C. Lee Cook Manufacturing Co.
    C. Lee Cook Manufacturing Co. began in 1888, with Cook serving as president, treasurer, and general manager. Cook’s great opportunity came during World War I, when Allied shipping concerns began utilizing his new piston ring design. This one invention was the basis of his company and his personal fortune.
  • C. Lee Cook patents
    During his life Lee Cook came up with countless mechanical inventions, in addition to a better piston packing. Many of his inventions were patented by the U.S. Patent Office. Download and view PDFs of Cook’s patents on the patents page.
  • 1915 - Cook marries
    Married his housekeeper, Gulielma (Emma) Stiles, in Cincinnati, OH. A daughter of William Henry and Elizabeth Chadwick Stiles of Cartersville, GA. Mrs. Cook was a prominent figure at the International Horse Shows in New York, and was considered one of the most expert horsewomen in America. Mrs. Cook continued the Cook business empire for some time after her husband’s death.
  • 1926 - Cook house
    C. Lee Cook designs and builds his handicap-accessible house, where he only lives for two years before his death. The house is built on a lot left vacant after a fire destroyed the previous house. The unique house features a swimming pool in the basement and wheelchair ramps.
  • 1928 - Cook dies
    Charles Lee Cook died at his home at the age of 57, from broncial pneumonia. In an editorial the Louisville Courier-Journal referred to him as ...a genius probably without parallel in history.
  • The next Cook homeowners
    After Mr. Cook’s death his wife, Emma, lived in the house for 10 years, then sold it to Cook relatives Mary J., and her husband, D. D. Stewart. Mary’s sister Peggy (from the Whipps Mill neighborhood) and Paul Kirpatrick bought the house from them in January, 1959. Mary lived with them, and came down with dementia, later Peggy also had dementia.
  • 1988 - 2003
    LtCol Mary & Major Allen Broussard bought the property in October 1988 for $110K and raise two grown daughters there. Previous alterations to the property, adding an upstairs apartment and third bedroom on the first floor, are reversed. Carriage house is updated. Stairwell to basement is added and kitchen is modernized.
  • 2003 - current
    Dr. Mark Henderson buys property in 2003 for $270K, becoming the fifth owner. Mark and wife Sarah raise 2 daughters. Renovated backyard in 2009, after ice storm takes out 2 large trees. Major restoration of slate roof and copper box gutters in 2010.

1244 Sixth Street

A Historical Timeline of the C. Lee Cook House

C. Lee Cook Born - November 7, 1870

Passenger train on the K&I Bridge
Born in New Albany, Indiana. A son of Haward Tacket and Mary Jane (Withers) Cook. Lee’s father helped construct the Louisville Canal (later renamed the McAlpine Locks and Dam) for the United States government, and did important work in converting river steamboats into gunboats for the federal government during the Civil War.

C. Lee Cook Childhood - 1877
Profoundly handicapped by polio-myletis and curvature of the spine, C. Lee Cook’s family moved to Louisville’s Portland neighborhood when he was seven. He was taken out of school and he spent all of his time in a backyard stable workshop and taught himself practical lessons with his analytical mind by 'tinkering' with mechanical devices.

C. Lee Cook Inventions - 1880s - 1928
From his workshop next to the K&I railroad tracks, Cook watched steam engines in operation and noticed a significant loss of steam from around the pistons. Being told that no one could devise a system to harness this wasted power, Lee invented a system of metallic packing, which revolutionized industry.


Original Cook Manufacturing plant on 8th St.

C. Lee Cook Manufacturing Co. - 1888 - Present
C. Lee Cook started his manufacturing company at 916 Eighth Street in 1888, with Cook serving as President, Treasurer, and General Manager. (All of the buildings on the property were demolished in 2013.) Cook’s greatest opportunity came during World War I, when Allied shipping concerns began utilizing his new piston ring design. This one invention was the basis of his company, and his personal fortune. The company still exists today and is known as Cook Compression. after being aquired by Dover Corporation in 1955.

C. Lee Cook Marries - June 22, 1915
Married in Cincinnati, OH, to Gulielma (Elma) Stiles, a daughter of William Henry and Elizabeth Chadwick Stiles of Cartersville, GA. Mrs. Cook “was a prominent figure at the International Horse Shows in New York”, and was considered “one the most expert horsewomen in America”.

C. Lee Cook Patents - 1920-1931
During his life Lee Cook came up with countless mechanical inventions, in addition to a better piston packing. Many of his inventions were patented by the U.S. Patent Office. View Cook’s patents on the patents page.


Cook plot in Cave Hill Cemetery

C. Lee Cook House - 1926
C. Lee Cook designs and builds his handicap-accessible house, where he only lives for two years before his death. The house is built on a lot left vacant after a fire destroyed the previous house. The unique house features a swimming pool in the basement and wheelchair ramps.

C. Lee Cook Dies - April 25, 1928
Charles Lee Cook died April 25, 1928 in his home at the age of 57, after battling bronchial pneumonia for six weeks. In an editorial the Louisville Courier-Journal referred to him as ...a genius probably without parallel in history. He was interred at the Cook family plot in Cave Hill Cemetery. Visit the Cook family gravesite in Cave Hill, download a PDF map to Cave Hill Cemetery section A, Lot 652, grave 5-A.

The Next Cook Homeowners - 1938 - 1988
After Mr. Cook’s death his wife Emma lives in the house for 10 years, then sells it to Cook relatives, Mary J., and her husband, D. D. Stewart. Mary’s sister Peggy (from the Whipps Mill neighborhood) and Paul Kirpatrick bought the house in January, 1959. Mary lived with them, and became inflicted with dementia, later Peggy also had dementia.


1244 S. Sixth Street - circa 2008

The Broussards - 1988 - 2003
Mary & Allen Broussard bought the property in Oct. 1988 for $110K, and raised two daughters. Previous alterations to the property, a second floor apartment, and the third bedroom on the first floor, were reversed. The carriage house was updated. A stairwell to the basement was added, and the kitchen was modernized.

The Hendersons - 2003 - Current
Dr. Mark Henderson purchased the property in 2003 for $270K, becoming its fifth owner. He and wife Sarah raise two daughters there. Modernization of the backyard in 2009 after ice storm takes out two large trees. Major restoration of the slate roof and copper box gutters completed in 2010. The kitchen was remodeled in 2011, and the basement updated in 2013. The carriage house appartment was undated in 2015.

  HOME     THE MAN     THE HOUSE     THE NEIGHBORHOOD     TIMELINE     DIRECTIONS     CONTACT  



All content © 2017 1244Sixth.com