Thomas Jefferson Cooper
Jefferson Cooper was born in Muscogee County, Ga in 1837. He was the son
of Primitive Baptist minister William M. Cooper and Millie McGinty
Cooper, formerly of Wilkinson County. Mr. Cooper's family moved to Baldwin
County about 1845. In 1858 Mr. Cooper married Sarah Etheridge, daughter
of Joseph S. and Frances "Fannie" Branan Etheridge. "On attaining
to manhood he began farming, but in 1862 enlisted in a company commanded
by Capt. Conn, went to Virginia, and was discharged. He re-enlisted under
Col. (afterward Gen.) Doles, serving six months; next under Capt. Lofton,
and later, for awhile under both Capts. Beman and Rutherford, and
was finally discharged in Augusta in 1865. "
After discharge from the civil war
Mr. Cooper came home and became a prosperous farmer and merchant, in addition
to being a justice of the peace. The Cooper's had twelve children:
(1)Nancy Catherine married Robert Branan
of Wilkinson County, 4 children. Then married George S. Carpenter and had
(2) James Oliver, left Coopers, became conductor
for Central of Georgia Railroad in Covington, then to Prattville, Al where
he was a merchant.
(3) William T. died as an infant and is
buried at Camp Creek Cemetery
(4)Charles Harris, merchant, farmer, ginner.
Married Amarintha Etheridge. Two sons, 1 daughter.
(5) Robert J. died as infant. Buried at
Camp Creek Cemetery
(6)Sarah Ann married Charles I. Robinson,
moved to Eatonton, had two sons.
(7) John Orrie, merchant & ticket agent
for Central of Georgia Railroad in Hardwick. Married to Alice Branan, had
three sons, one daughter. Second wife Annie Alford of Washington County
(8)Frances Winifred married Dr. George Edward
Bigham, lived in Coopers
(9) Effie Inez never married, cared for
father, was ticket agent for Central of Georgia railroad
(10)Mary Elizabeth "Mamie" married Pratt
Wood. They had five sons - all who settled in Coopers.
(11) Roy Emmett married Sadie Bigham. He
worked for the Central of Georgia Railroad for a few years and then the
Savannah and the Atlantic Railroad as a conductor. Retiring in 1948 they
moved back to Coopers and lived in the Bingham home where one of his sons
Ralph still lives. Ralph has a brother Marvin who lives out of town.
(12)Joseph Cleveland served as Clerk of
the Superior Court for 66 years. He married Alma Echols who died in 1907
leaving a 2 day old infant Joe. He then married Mildred Johnson of Rome.
They had a daughter and three sons.
Mrs. Sarah Cooper
died in 1892 and is buried in the Coopers Cemetery which was established
at the time of her burial. Years later Thomas Cooper gave land where Cooperville
Baptist Church is next to the cemetery. December 18, 1892 he married
Mary Eliza Gibson Finney who died in 1899. There were no children of this
marriage. Mr. Cooper died Feb 2, 1921 and is buried in Cooperville
Baptist Church cemetery where many members of this family lie. His parents,
William M. and Millie Cooper, are buried at Camp Creek Church cemetery
a few miles away. Descendants of this family still live in Coopers.
Merchant, Ginner, Farmer,
Real Estate Dealer, Justice of the Peace
Sources: Coopers Memoirs, A Treasure of
Memories, Family Histories & Stories of Coopers, Georgia; Memoirs of
Eileen Babb McAdams copyright 2004-2005