McCook, Henry Christopher (1837-1911)
The third son, was born July 3, 1837, at New Lisbon, Ohio, and married an Ohio lady, Miss Ermma C. Horter, of New Lisbon. He graduated at Jefferson College.
He was a student in the Western Theological Seminary (Presbyterian), Allegheny City, on the outbreak of the rebellion, and having made an engagement to go West to spend his summer vacation, stopped at Clinton, Dewitt county, Ill.
He was actively engaged in raising troops for the service until the first Bull Run battle, when he enlisted as a private soldier, stumped the county to raise troops, and was mustered into the Forty-first Illinois regiment as first lieutenant. He was appointed chaplain of the regiment, and returned home for ordination by the Presbytery of Steubenville, Ohio.
He served for less than a year, and resigned, with the intention of taking another position in the army; but, convinced that he could serve his country better in a public position at home, be returned to his church at Clinton. He was subsequently a home missionary and pastor in St. Louis, Mo., whence he was called to Philadelphia in 1869, where he continues to be pastor of one of the most prominent churches of the east. He is author of a number of popular theological and ecclesiastical books, but is particularly known as a naturalist.
His studies of the ants and spiders, on whose habits be has written several important books and numerous papers, have made his name well known among the naturalists of Europe, and America.
Henry Christopher McCook (July 3, 1837 – 1911) was an American Presbyterian clergyman, naturalist, and prolific author on religion, history, and nature. He was a member of the celebrated Fighting McCooks, a family of Ohio military officers and volunteers during the American Civil War. McCook was born in New Lisbon, Ohio, to Dr. John McCook. He learned the printing trade as a youth, then taught school for several years. attended Jefferson College. After graduation in 1859, he studied theology privately and in the Western Theological Seminary in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted as a chaplain in the 41st Illinois Infantry as a lieutenant, and helped tend the wounded. As a minister in Clinton, Illinois, St. Louis, and Steubenville, Ohio, McCook became known for his compassion and intellect, and for his leadership in the movement to create Sunday Schools. In 1869, he became pastor of the Seventh Presbyterian church of Philadelphia, where he lived for the rest of his life. He spent his summers studying the behavior of ants and spiders. He published his observations and discoveries in a number of journals and books, as well as in a series of well-received illustrated children's books that explained the insects characteristics and traits in language and drawings for young minds. Many of McCook's books used illustrations drawn by Daniel Carter Beard, the founder of the Boy Scouts of America.
In the summer of 1877, he travelled to Texas to study agricultural ants. Two years later, McCook wrote The Natural History of the Agricultural Ant of Texas. In 1889–93, he published his most ambitious work, American Spiders and Their Spinning Work, in three illustrated volumes. He also wrote a book on his ancestors in the Whiskey Rebellion, and delivered a number of papers on Civil War history at meetings of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States veterans organization.
McCook was Vice President of both the American Entomological Society and the Academy of Natural Sciences. In 1880, Lafayette College conferred the degree of Doctor of Divinity to McCook. In 1895, he designed the official flag of the city of Philadelphia. He again served as an Army Chaplain during the Spanish-American War in 1898.
- McCook, H. C. 1877. Mound-Making Ants of the Alleghenies, Their Architecture and Habits.
- McCook, H. C. 1879. The Natural History of the Agricultural Ant of Texas.
- McCook, H. C. 1880 . Formicariae. Pp. 182-189 in: Comstock, J. H. Report upon cotton insects. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 511 pp.
- McCook, H. C. 1881a . Note on a new northern cutting ant, Atta septentrionalis. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. 32: 359-363 PDF
- McCook, H. C. 1881d. The honey ants of the Garden of the Gods. [concl.]. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. 33: 57-77 PDF
- McCook, H. C. 1882. Honey and Occident Ants.
- McCook, H. C. 1907. Nature's Craftsmen: Popular Studies of Ants and Other Insects.
- McCook, H. C. 1909. Ant Communities and How They Are Governed: A Study in Natural Civics.