One of the oldest and most successful industries in the Town of Malta in Morgan County is the Malta Manufacturing Company, a plant that for many years has been manufacturing interior building materials, and in later years has specialized in the manufacture of K. D. window frames. Many years ago is was started as a small planing mill to prepare material for the local building trades. The founder of the business was Amos G. Humphrey. In 1900 the Malta Manufacturing Company was incorporated, and Dr. Lee Humphrey has been president ever since. The secretary and treasurer and general manager is Harry Cook, who has practically gown up with the business. Since leaving school all his working experience has been with this one industry.
In former years, the plant made balustrades and columns, and now its product is sold and distributed over a territory between St. Louis and Boston. The raw materials come from distant sections, cypress from Louisiana, yellow pine, from North and South Carolina and Mississippi, and white pine from Oregon and Washington. It is the only factory in the United States specializing in cypress window frames. The great flood of 1903 destroyed the plant, but it was rebuilt as soon as material and labor could be assembled.
Harry Cook has filled every position in the industry up to secretary and treasurer and general manager. He was born August 21, 1878, son of U. M. and Martha (Hixnor) Cook, and was only a child when his mother died. He and his three brothers have all been very successful in business, and all of them had to work their way through school. His brother Herbert is now head of the Logan Pottery Company, Guy is New York branch manager of the American Clay Products Company, and Guy and Harry are joint owners of the Crooksville Pottery Company at Crooksville, Ohio.
Harry Cook managed to complete his high school course at Malta. In addition to his business responsibilities he has been a member of the Malta Town Council for eight years. He is secretary of the Methodist Episcopal Church, member of the finance committee and board of stewards, and recently resigned after twenty years of service as secretary and treasurer of the Sunday school. He has been three times master of the local Masonic Lodge, and is a republican in politics.
He married in 1903, a daughter of S. N. Manly, superintendent of the Brown-Manly Company. Their three children are: Martha, Harriet and Jean.
History of Ohio, The American Historical Society, Inc., 1925, Volume IV