John Esten Cooke, 42nd president, was born in Cleveland, Tenn., April 7, 1873. He came to Texas at age 4 and spent much of his boyhood in Bonham. He attended Fannin College and Carlton College at Bonham.
He began newspaper work in 1892 on the Denton News and was with the San Angelo Standard two years.
He purchased the Clarendon Banner-Stockman in 1899. In March 1909 he established the Brady Standard. He purchased the Rockdale Reporter and Messenger in June 1911.
Cooke joined Texas Press Association in 1914 and wrote the association’s Code of Ethics, which was adopted at the convention in 1921.
Today the newspaper in into the fourth generation of Cookes.