Ramon F. Adams’s Western Words lists “cookie” as one of the names for a range cook. Cook in Spanish is cocinero, so he was sometimes called that or “coosie.” Another name included “Old Woman.”
The cook was the uncrowned king in a cattle drive camp; even the boss paid him homage. Cowboys depended on him for three square meals a day, come rain, snow or shine. His duties included stakeholder on bets, arbiter on arguments, doctor and veterinarian, banker, barber and father-confessor. Most important, he had to make coffee so strong that it would float a horseshoe.
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His latest book is Wyatt Earp: Showdown at Tombstone. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org