Allen Cook: A Tribute
A Pioneer of Socialism in Ohio Passed Away — The Spirit of a Spartan [event of July 20, 1925]
by Eugene V. Debs
Published in The New Leader [New York], vol. 2, no. 39 (Sept. 26, 1925), pg. 6.
Another brave comrade has fallen at his post; another loyal heart has ceased to beat; another intrepid soul has taken its flight.
Allen Cook, for a score of years and more the leader, the valiant leader of the Socialist movement in Canton, Ohio, has finished his task and gone to his well-earned rest.1 He was known and loved and honored by many thousands of friends and comrades throughout the country and they will learn with regret and sorrow mingled with their tears of his passing from the stage of life upon which he enacted a role of such faithful and consecrated service as will enshrine his name and glorify him memory through the years to come.
Only a few brief days ago it was our beloved Marguerite Prevey who was stricken in the flower of her splendid womanhood and left an aching emptiness in our ranks,2 and today it is our loyal and devoted Allen Cook, another warrior in the grand army of liberation who passes face-forward to the shadowy hosts of silence.
These two heroic comrades knew each other well and es- teemed each other with a confidence tried by the years and preserved sacredly inviolate, for they fought many a battle together in Ohio, especially in the days when danger lurked and threatened everywhere and when hearts and souls were tried by the pitiless gods of war and only the brave and unconquerable few refused to yield, and kept their colors flying.
Allen Cook was one of the pioneers in the Ohio movement and one of the inspired evangelicals in the crusade of earth’s toiling millions for freedom and a better world. For years he stood al- most alone, but his character was such that he commanded the respect of even those who most bitterly opposed his cause. He was a logical, forceful, convincing speaker and he wielded an incisive and trenchant pen, and many are they who read his articles in the debates he had with the opponents of Socialism in the columns of the Ohio papers and were convinced by his logic and brought into our movement.
He was a commanding figure on the platform and the chief promoter of the meeting at Canton which resulted in the writer being sentenced to prison.
Allen Cook never wavered; never compromised; never doubted the principles and ideals of socialism, or the ultimate triumph of the Socialist movement.
Every day of his honest, useful, unselfish life he was a man who stood erect and unafraid before the world. In every hour of trial he ha the Spartan spirit, the soul of the crusader to sustain him. He did his work faithfully and well all the days of his life and now he sleeps well and will never be forgotten.
1 Canton Socialist leader Allen Cook died of a stroke on July 20, 1925, at the age of 41.
2 The Canadian-born optometrist and co-organizer of Local Akron, Socialist Party, Marguerite Prevey, died on April 14, 1925, at the age of 52.
Edited with footnotes by Tim Davenport 1000 Flowers Publishing, Corvallis, OR · March 2014 · Non-commercial reproduction permitted.