Joseph H. Cooper

JOSEPH H. COOPER, who is the capable manager of the grocery department of the large general store of John M. Cooper, at Baxter Springs, is well known throughout Cherokee County. He was born in Pike County, Illinois, September 5, 1843, and is a son of Isaiah and Elizabeth (Sigsworth) Cooper.

Captain Isaiah Cooper, father of our subject, was born in Virginia, June 18, 1817, removed to Pike County, Illinois, in youth, and there married Elizabeth Sigsworth, daughter of Joseph and Anna (Jorden) Sigsworth. Captain Cooper gained his title through valiant service in the Civil War. He was captain of Company K, 99th Reg., Illinois Vol. Inf., and lost an arm at Black River Bridge, and was subsequently honorably discharged on account of disability. Prior to the opening of the war, he operated a large flouring mill and was a merchant at New Salem, Illinois. After the war he engaged in farming until 1867, when he removed to Cherokee County, Kansas, engaged for a short time in merchandising near Baxter Springs and then engaged in farming. His death took place on February 8, 1895, and that of his wife, on January 16, 1884.

Our subject was educated in the public schools of Pike County, Illinois. He worked on his father's farm from the age of 18 years until February 18, 1865, when he enlisted in the Union Army, as a recruit for one year in Company D, 7th Reg., Illinois Vol. Inf., and was mustered out of the service on July 9, 1865. He was the third member, of his family to give loyal service to his country, his father and brother, John Milton, having also proved their loyalty.

On October 10, 1867, Mr. Cooper came to Baxter Springs and for two years engaged in farming and freighting, and then accepted his present responsible position as manager of the large grocery department in the general store of his brother, John Milton Cooper.

On December 3, 1877, Mr. Cooper was united in marriage with Anna West, who is a daughter of John West, of Indiana. They have four children: Lillie May, who married Caleb Shinn, of Peoria, Indian Territory, and has three children,—Charles, John and Joseph; Edna Bell, who married Charles Stroup, of Baxter Springs and has two children,—Emma and Clarence Herbert; John M., Jr., a farmer living six miles west of Baxter Springs; and Joseph H., Jr., who resides at Baxter Springs.

While Mr. Cooper has been a loyal member of the Republican party for years, he has led too busy a life to consent to accept political promotion. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He belongs to that class of honest, upright citizens whose ability and character form the foundations upon which the commercial prosperity of a city stands. He bears a name which is held in honor and esteem in Cherokee County.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 3/11/97.


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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