Biography of W. J. Cooper
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W. J. COOPER. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch is well known throughout the section in which he resides as a man of unblemished reputation, whose energy, perseverance and integrity have placed him in an independent financial position and has won for him the respect of his fellow-citizens. The fine farm on which he resides comprises 178 acres of land, but he is also the owner of real estate in other parts of the county which amounts to some 500 acres. He has ever been an enterprising, thorough and practical farmer, and his valuable property is looked after in a manner that would at once indicate his thorough knowledge of his calling. In connection with his farming operations he is the owner of a fine steam grist mill and cotton gin, both of which have proven very successful, and as he is located about eleven miles from Marshall, his mills are largely patronized. He is a product of the county in which he is now living, his birth occurring May 18, 1854, therefore it is not to be greatly wondered at that he has every interest of the county warmly at heart and at all times manifests much public spirit. His parents, Newton and Sadie (Thornton) Cooper, were born on Tennessee soil and were there reared and married, their removal to Arkansas taking place in October, 1853. They purchased a good farm on Bear Creek and up to his death, in 1889, the father followed farming as a livelihood and became independent. He was a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War, was courageous, faithful and loyal, and served for eighteen months during the latter part of the struggle. He was a member of the A. F. & A. M., was a Republican in politics and was an industrious, enterprising and honorable man. His widow survives him and makes her home with her son, W. J. Cooper, on the old place on which she first settled on coming to this country. She bore her husband seven children as follows: W. J.; Riley B., who is in Idaho; Nancy J., deceased; N. D., who is a resident of Florida; T. B., who is residing in Van Buren County, Arkansas; C. G., deceased, and C. I., who is living in this country.
The subject of this sketch was reared on the old home farm and it has continued to be his home all his life. He was married in 1870 to Miss Esther Van Dime, who was reared in Yell County, Arkansas, a daughter of Reuben Van Dime, who was taken from life in Searcy County, but was called upon to mourn the death of his wife in 1879, she leaving him with three children to care for: James S., Mary M. and Mitchell. His second wife was Malinda Britt, also a native of Yell County, and after her death he married Miss Savannah Stringer, a daughter of John Stringer, and three children have been born of this union: John N., Robert P. and Myrtle. Upon the death of the mother of these children he married his fourth and present wife, who was Mrs. Mary Henchey, a daughter of Aleck Bohanan, and to Mr. and Mrs. Cooper one child has been given: Claude N. Like his father before him, Mr. Cooper is a stanch Republican in politics, and although he has always been interested in the success of his party, he has never been an aspirant for office, his business interest fully occupying his time and attention.