George Hamill Cook, C. E., Ph. D., LL. D., was born in Hanover, New Jersey, January 5, 1818. Cook’s early education consisted of public schooling and some private teachers. Early on Cook was a civil engineer on the Morris & Essex railroad in New Jersey and from 1836 to 1838 he worked on the Catskill & Canajoharie railroad.
In 1838 Cook entered the Rensselaer Institute and graduated in 1839. In 1840 he became an adjunct professor, and from 1842 until 1946 he was a senior professor. In 1848 Cook taught mathematics at the Albany Academy and then became principal of the Academy in 1851. He was then appointed Chair of Chemistry and Natural Sciences at Rutgers in 1853. From 1864 to 1889 he Vice President of the University as well as the State Geologist of New Jersey. In 1872, he published his Geology of New Jersey and in 1879, and was appointed Director of the State Agricultural Experiment Station. Cook died on September 22, 1889.