The landed property of our subject embraces 200 acres, in a good farm, on section 22, township 16, range 11, and eighty acres in another part of this township. Most of this, when he became proprietor, lay as the Indians left it, and he paid for it with money earned by the sweat of his brow. Like most of the men around him, he has arisen from an humble position in life, and accumulated his possessions solely by the exercise of industry and perseverance. For a few years after his arrival in this county he lived in what was then the very unimportant little town of Jacksonville, then removed to a farm, which he occupied five years before making his first purchase of land.
We find, upon glancing at the family record of our subject, that he is son of Absalom Cooper, a native of Virginia, and the grandson of John Cooper, who with an elder brother, Martin, emigrated to America from England prior to the Revolutionary War. They settled in Old Virginia, but John long afterward enlisted in defense of American Liberty. Martin, the elder, who was the heir of his father's possessions was a Tory, and fought with the British. It is known that he had one of his hands cut off by a sword, and he may possibly have been killed, as he was lost sight of and was never heard from afterward.
Grandfather John Cooper married a Virginia lady of Southern parentage, and after a time they settled in Roane County, Tenn., where they spent the remainder of their lives, dying when ripe in years. It is believed that grandfather Cooper was eighty years old, while his wife lived to the great age of one hundred and one. They were worthy and upright people, and conscientious members of the old-school Baptist Church.
Absalom Cooper, the father of our subject, was the only son of his parents, who had but a small family, and after reaching his majority he was married to Miss Kate Armstrong, whom it is supposed was born in Virginia. They began their wedded life together on a farm in Tennessee, and after the birth of all their children made preparations to move to another county, but before becoming located, the father was drafted into the army, during the War of 1812. Shortly afterward he was taken ill, and died at Ft. Armstrong in the prime of life. The mother lived to rear her family - indeed far beyond that, attaining to the advanced age of eighty years, and died in Roane County, Tenn.
The subject of this sketch was the youngest but one of the parental family, and at an early age began to earn his own living. He left Tennessee a single man, and in 1837 was married in Jacksonville, this county, to Miss Mary Silcox. This lady was born in Fentress County, Tenn., March 18, 1818, and is the daughter of Solomon and Jane (Keaton) Silcox, who were likewise natives of that state. They lived there and in Kentucky until 1830, then, coming to this county, settled first in Jacksonville, but finally removed to Beardstown, where the father died when quite aged. The mother subsequently made her home with Mrs. Henry Black, her daughter, in Whitehall, Greene County, where she departed this life on the day she was eighty-two years old. Both steadfastly adhered to the faith of the Christian Church.
To Mr. and Mrs. Cooper there was born a family of ten children, and the faithful and devoted wife and mother passed from earth on the 21st of April, 1880, at the age of sixty-two years. She was not only deeply mourned by her family and immediate friends, but regretted by all who knew her. One child, E. C., died when ten years of age; John A. died when two and one half years old; Robert and Albert (twins) died at the age of six months; and Edward S. died when two and one-half years old; Mary became the wife of Dr. O. T. Pratt, and died at the age of twenty-nine. Of the survivors the record is as follows: Eliza J. became the wife of Frank Roberts, of Virginia, and in the year 1879 was left a widow with three children - Hattie, Anna, and Katie. Hattie married James Webster, a farmer of Scott County; William H. Cooper married Miss Carrie Burbank, and they occupy the old homestead of our subject; James B. married Miss Rosa O'Keffe, and they also live on the Cooper farm. Amanda is the wife of Bailey Rexroat, and they live on the farm near Literberry. The family is an interesting and popular one, and general favorites in the social circles of their community. Mr. Cooper, politically, is a sound Democrat.