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Remembering An Icon

Attorney B.T. Cooksey assembled a collection of local memorabilia that offers a one-of-a-kind trip through our city’s early days.

A July 4th parade in downtown Vero, circa 1926.

A July 4th parade in downtown Vero, circa 1926.

In 1961, a 34-year-old attorney named Byron T. Cooksey joined forces with two other young lawyers, John Gould, who had started the first law firm on Vero’s barrier island, and Darrell Fennell. At about the same time, he began a collection of local memorabilia that started small but developed into the hobby of a lifetime. In 2002, as he celebrated his 40th anniversary with the firm, Cooksey figured he had at least 1,000 postcards, photos and other artifacts that added up to a visual history of Vero Beach over the past 100 years.

“I just began collecting and couldn’t stop,” said the attorney, whose collection also included old advertisements (“Pork Roast, 10 cents a lb.!”), newspapers (he owned one of only two existing first editions of the Press Journal) and yellowing legal documents dating back to the 1880s, many of them handwritten.
 

Read the entire article in the March 2014 issue