Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918
J. EDWARD COOK. Judicious and legitimate has been the advertising policy that has been utilized in the exploitation of the King Ni-Ko system for the cure of the tobacco habit, and the basis of this advertising has been proved efficacy and definite results. The system of treatment accomplishes all that is claimed for it and this fact constitutes the best of the commercial assets on which has been developed the extensive and beneficent business enterprise of which the popular and progressive proprietor is the well known citizen of Wichita whose name initiates this paragraph.
Mr. Cook was born in Keokuk County, Iowa, on the 13th of November, 1864, and after having profited by the advantages of the public schools he continued his higher studies in turn in Pleasant Plain Academy, at Pleasant Plain, Iowa, and Grillett Academy, at Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kansas. After due preparation he was ordained a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and his first pastoral charge was in Jewell County, Kansas. He later filled various pastorates in two circuits of the Northwest Kansas Conference, and finally he went to Carlsbad, New Mexico, where for a few months he had charge of the Methodist English mission. Thereafter he was engaged for some time in characteristically vigorous and effective evangelistic service, and he next assumed the position of superintendent of a magnetic healing institute at Centerdale, Iowa, from which place he was later transferred to a similar office in connection with the magnetic institute at East Dubuque, Illinois. After severing this alliance Mr. Cook gave further evidence of his executive ability and versatile resourcefulness by serving as a traveling salesman until 1901.
In the meanwhile, with an earnest desire to aid tobacco-users in freeing themselves from the dominion of the narcotic, he devoted much time to scientific research and experimentation for the purpose of evolving a tobacco cure worthy of the name. The result was that unequivocal success attended his benignant efforts, and in 1901 he established his residence at Wichita and began the manufacture and sale of the King Ni-Ko System, which embraces a definite system and provides for essentially individualized treatment. Within its history of about fifteen years this company, of which Mr. Cook is the executive head, has given treatment in cases numbering between 40,000 and 50,000, and where the system was conscientiously followed the percentage of cures has been the full maximumthat is 100 per cent. The well equipped establishment of the company is situated in rooms in the building at the corner of Seneca Street and Douglas Avenue, Wichita, and concerning the Ni-Ko System the following pertinent statements are worthy of reproduction in this connection:
"Probably of all tobacco cures, Ni-Ko is one of the best known. The cure has been sold in every civilized part of the world. The company is deluged by testimonials from grateful patients. During the time that Ni-Ko has been manufactured in Wichita hundreds of other so-called cures have been heralded, but they have come and gone. They lack the legitimate fundamentals that have been included in the manufacture of Ni-Ko. Many of them claim to be a cure in every case with the same treatment. Ni-Ko is a system. Every individual case is treated differently. This is but one phase in which Ni-Ko is different from others. Investigation will prove that it is not a mere cure-all, gotten up for the money, but a legitimate product that has undergone the test of time and will do all and more than its makers claim for it."
On the 15th of April, 1913, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Cook to Miss Lillian Lane, of Cleveland, Ohio. Mrs. Cook is a niece of the distinguished American artist, the venerable A. M. Willard, who acquired fame through the production of the now well known and often reproduced historical and patriotic painting known as "The Spirit of '76."
The late Rev. Edward C. Cook, the venerable father of the subject of this review, was one of the revered citizens of Wichita. He devoted the years of a significanttly[sic] long and active career to service as a minister of the Society of Friends; he died at the age of seventy-four years, in 1916, and his wife, whose maiden name was Amy Sharpless, likewise was a minister of the Friends' Church, of which she was a birthright member. This gentle and gracious woman was about sixty years of age when she was summoned to the life eternal, and her memory is revered by all who came within the sphere of her influence. She was a daughter of Dr. Septimus Sharpless, of Philadelphia, and a sister of Evi Sharpless, who was the founder of the Jamaica mission established under the auspices of the Society of Friends at Jamaica, West Indies, where he conducted the mission many years.
Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1804-1805 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.
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