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Capt. George H. Cosper. For many years a retired resident of Hamilton, Capt. George H. Cosper spent his active years chiefly in DeKalb County and went from that locality when a youth to serve in the Union army during the Civil war. The Cosper family established itself in the wilds of DeKalb County three quarters of a century ago, and of the names longest identified with that locality that of Capt. George H. Cosper is held the highest honor.

He was born in Chemung County, New York, July 2, 1842, a son of Charles and Lucinda (Weeks) Cosper. His father was born in Pennsylvania in 1808 and his mother in Vermont in 1812. They married in New York State and in 1844 came West by such means of conveyance as were then available and secured Government land in Wilmington Township of DeKalb County. A log house was their first home in the wilderness, and successive years brought them increased material circumstances and comfort. About the beginning of the Civil war Charles Cosper left Indiana and went to Minnesota. He died at Glenville in that state in 1872. His widow then returned to Steuben County and lived at Hamilton until her death in October, 1893. Mr. Cosper was a whig and republican in politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He and his wife had the following children : Ransom, Elizabeth, Emeline, Mary, Wesley, Catharine, George H., Amy, James, Lucretia, Martha and Henry. Those still living are Emeline, Catharine, George, Amy, James, Lucretia, Martha and Henry.

George H. Cosper spent his boyhood in the woods of Wilmington Township and acquired his education largely through study at home and as opportunity offered. There were few good public schools in his early youth. In the first summer of the Civil war he enlisted in Company F of the Forty-Fourth Indiana as a private. He was in camp two months before he was sworn in and mustered on September 21, 1861. He saw nearly four years of service, receiving his honorable discharge September 14, 1865. He was in all the battles of the Forty-Fourth Regiment, and was promoted to the rank of captain. He received a shot in the face at Shiloh, and was again wounded at Stone River.

The war over, Captain Cosper returned to DeKalb County and was engaged in farming until 1885, when he sold his place and bought property in the Village of Hamilton, where he has enjoyed the comforts that are his due for his record as a soldier and his industry as a citizen. Captain Cosper has always been a stanch republican, but has never sought office. However, while in DeKalb County he served as constable. He is present commander of Leman Griffith Post No. 387 of the Grand Army of the Republic, and is a member of the United Brethren Church.

February 18, 1864, he married Miss Evaline Dirrim. She was born in DeKalb County, April 17, 1845, where her parents, Isaac and Eleanor (Wycoff) Dirrim, had settled in the preceding February. Her parents developed a farm in that county, but spent their last years in Hamilton, where her father died in 1892 and her mother in 1900. There were ten children in the Dirrim family: Sarah, Eliza, Hannah, Evaline, Cyrus, Lavina, Peter, Martha, Mary and Ida. Those still living are Eliza, Evaline, Lavina, Peter and Mary.

Captain and Mrs. Cosper have had a happy married life for fifty-five years, having celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1914. With five children of their own they have seen numerous grandchildren grow up around them. Their oldest child, Marshall, was educated in the public schools and is now a farmer in Otsego Township of Steuben County. He married Ida Sanxter, and their children are Harley, Lena, George, Pearl and Addie. The second child of Mr. and Mrs. Cosper was named Addie, and died at the age of six years. Florence is the wife of Monroe Garber, of Quincy, Michigan, and they have three children, Lola, Floyd and John. Mary was first married to Ernest Wright, by which union she had two daughters, named Anna and Alta, and is now the wife of Elmer Wideman, of Detroit, Michigan. By her second marriage she has two sons, Albert and George. Leona is the wife of Fred Spurling, station agent at Hamilton. She has reared one of her sister Mary's children, Alta, who is now attending high school.

("History of Northeast Indiana: LaGrange, Steuben, Noble and DeKalb Counties," Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, 1920)

This website created October 17, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
Indiana American History and Genealogy Project