Family stories are very helpful. In this case, the story of the wagon train could help explain how Samuel arrived in Bois Brule, Perry, Missouri as recorded in the 1850 census. Looking at the birthplaces and ages of each does not support a wagon train from the Carolinas. Samuel, Illinois (20) was living with Bernard Horrell, Kentucky (50), Lucy Stone, Kentucky (25), Margaret Horrell, Illinois (18), William Horrell, Missouri (13), Mary Ann Stone, Missouri (5), Charity Stone, Missouri (3), William Stone, Missouri (1), and Columbus Luttrell, Missouri (20). So Samuel at the age of 20 arrived in Bois Brule on his own.
However, the 1850 census records Samuel's birthplace as Illinois. There are two 1860 census for Bois Brule that include Samuel Hook, his wife Minerva, and children Nancy and John. In both of the 1860 censuses, Samuel gives his birthplace as Indiana. In one of the 1860 censuses, there is a young man from New York living with them.
The Iowa connection comes from his daughter Nancy Ellen. In the 1900 census she is married to Dennis Pearson in Bois Brule, and she gives her father's birthplace as Iowa. In the 1910 census she is married to Oliver Ford and gives her father's birthplace as Iowa. For the record, Samuel's son, John Gilbert, gives his dad's birthplace as Missouri.
Apparently, Nancy, who was the oldest child, heard some family history that was different than what was passed along to John Gilbert, as John believed his father was born in Missouri.
About the time Minerva died, Samuel married Sarah in Randolph County, Illinois, according to the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index. In 1863, Samuel entered the Civil War by mustering in at Springfield, Illinois. He also mustered out at Springfield, Illinois in October 1865. He married his third wife, Mary, on 13 Nov 1865 in Randolph County, Illinois. After that, we no longer see Samuel or Mary. There are no graves for either of them in this area.
Now there is a grave in Toolesboro, Iowa for a Samuel F. Hook that has the exact birth and death years as Samuel L. Hook. Also, there is a Hook family buried in the same cemetery that was from Virginia. This Iowa Hook family has a patriarch by the name of Elisha Hook who was married to Jane Forsythe. Samuel was 18 during 1850 and was missing from the 1850 Iowa family census. Also, Elisha's wife, Jane, died of lung fever in May 1850. It would seem that Samuel left to go south before his mother's death. His father would die two years later. The basic elements of a disenfranchised son in our family story is reflected in the facts from the Iowa Hook family. What's more, the bodies of Samuel Hook and Mary (Cuterell or Crow) are in the same cemetery, and with the same relative ages as the Hook family that traveled across the country from Virginia (likely in a covered wagon.)
I say that the family story supports the idea that the two Samuel Hooks are, in fact, the same person.