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Thomas Jefferson Cooper
Merchant, Ginner, Farmer, Real Estate Dealer, Justice of the Peace

       Thomas 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 one son.
(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.

Sources: Coopers Memoirs, A Treasure of Memories, Family Histories & Stories of Coopers, Georgia; Memoirs of Georgia

Eileen Babb McAdams copyright 2004-2005