Rev. John James McCook

1843 - 1927

Rev McCook crop

Rev. John James McCook was an Episcopal minister, college professor, and social reformer.

The Fighting McCooks

John James McCook was born in New Lisbon, Ohio, the youngest in a family of five sons. In 1858, he began studying at Jefferson College only to have his studies interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil War.

McCook served in the Union army for three months in 1861. Others in his family, the famous “Fighting McCooks,” had longer and more distinguished service. The McCooks were a family of three brothers, with 14 sons, all of whom fought for the Union during the Civil War.

Episcopal Minister & College Professor

After his war service, McCook continued his studies at Hartford’s Trinity College.  He then attended Berkeley Divinity School in Middletown. He served as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in East Hartford without pay for 61 years.

In 1882, McCook joined the faculty of Trinity College. He served as a professor of modern languages for 30 years. He also fundraised for Trinity’s endowment. In 1909 he raised $500,000, an unprecedented sum which landed him on the front page of the paper.

Social Reform

In 1890, McCook began an extensive study of “tramps” as a social group. His sociological investigations included interviews, correspondence, and statistical studies. His early research noted a connection between alcoholism and homelessness.


Section 4, Lot 99


Connecticut Landmarks. Butler-McCook House & Garden Research

Photo Credit:

Rev. John James McCook,Connecticut Landmarks, Butler-McCook House & Garden