Skip to main content

The Lynching Project: Cook County

An Overview of the County: Cook County was created on July 30, 1918, from parts of Berrien County. The County is named after General Philip Cook who fought in both the Seminole War and the Civil War, then served in Congress. Cook was the Georgia secretary of state for 24 years and a member of the commission that oversaw con­struction of the State Capitol Building. Adel is the County seat for Cook County. There was only one known lynching that occurred in Cook County.

Will Ferguson Lynching: As reported by the Atlanta Constitution, on December 17, 1893, Will Furgerson was gagged and carried off to a swamp and later murdered.

He was caught in the streets by a group of negroes, who tied a leather string around his throat and dragged him to a place just outside the town limits. Furgerson intended on informing against Tom Gaskins, Grant Hicks, Henry Law, Della Jones, and West McMillan for gambling. Some of them were under bond and were set to be before Judge Peeples in the county court the day of the crime. It is supposed that Furgerson was killed in order to keep from testifying against them.

Furgerson was employed by Mr. Lively. Threats had been made against Furgerson which lead to Lively keeping a watch on the movements of the others. Around 9:30 p.m. Lively saw some people seize Furgerson and try to drag him off. Lively ran for help and was followed by a negro with a club. When aid was secured and a party of whites hurried to where Furgerson was last seen, nothing could be seen of him or his kidnappers. The next morning, the trail was followed and Furgerson was found dead in the swamp.   


Bailey, Amy. "CSDE Lynching Database." CSDE Lynching Database. Accessed February 18, 2019.

"Clipping from The Atlanta Constitution." Accessed February 18, 2019.

"Cook County." April 18, 2012. Accessed February 20, 2019.

Ramey, Rj, Jared, and McWilliams. "Monroe Work Today Dataset Compilation." Tuskegee University Archives. October 23, 2017. Accessed February 18, 2019.

"Where Is Cook County, Georgia?" World Atlas - Maps, Geography, Travel. June 30, 2016. Accessed February 20, 2019.