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Biography - FREDERICK G. COOPER

Frederick G. Cooper, engineer of the city water-works at LaSalle, Illinois, was born at Lockport, this state, July 12, 1862, a son of Thomas and Christine (Bloom) Cooper and a grandson of Thomas Benton Cooper, who sprung from Quaker stock and whose place of nativity was in Pennsylvania, about twenty miles from Philadelphia. His occupation was that of husbandry, and although a Quaker and a believer in peace yet he took up arms and fought in the war of 1812. After his marriage he moved to the state of New York, where he died in early manhood, leaving a widow, who lived to be a very old lady, dying in the summer of 1892, and an only son.

This son was Thomas Cooper, who was born in New York, and moved to the state of Illinois some forty years ago, settling at LaSalle and making that his headquarters while he plied his vocation of boating on the Illinois river and the canal. He was united in marriage to Miss Christine Bloom, with whom he has lived in conjugal happiness many years and who is still the presiding genius of his home in Newton, Illinois. They have three children awaiting them in the better land and three who are spared to them here, viz.: Martha, wife of Charles Heagy, of LaSalle; Frederick G. and Lydia. Mrs. Cooper was a daughter of Peter Bloom, a shoemaker in Sweden, who was a soldier in the wars that were waged in that country and finally left there for America with his family. On the voyage over they suffered shipwreck and one of his daughters was lost. With the remaining children, two sons and one daughter (now Mrs. Cooper), he made his way to the inland country and settled in Henry county, Illinois, where he lived to be more than eighty-three years of age.

Frederick G. Cooper received a public-school education, but early in life developed a fondness for machinery which culminated in a mastery of the trade to which he is devoted. When seventeen or eighteen years of age, he began his apprenticeship as an engineer, and it was not long before he could take charge of an engine. For nine or more years he has been employed in the water-works and electric-light plants of the city and takes a pardonable pride in his work. He was married August 23, 1888, to Miss Nellie Williams, a daughter of Captain E. L. and Lydia A. (Hyers) Williams. Three children, Thomas, Edwin and Lydia, have blessed their home. Mr. Cooper is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. In politics he does not incline to either party, being entirely independent of party influence and in all local elections voting for the candidate whom he thinks will best serve the interests of the people.

Captain Edwin Lewis Williams, the father of Mrs. F. G. Cooper, was born in Darien, Connecticut, at which place his parents died after attaining an advanced age. The father, William Williams, was a native of Limerick, Ireland, while the mother, Phoebe, came from Holland. When a lad of about sixteen years, Edwin L. Williams came west and learned the trade of painter, at Toulon, Stark county, Illinois. He enlisted in Company F, Eighth Illinois Volunteers, at Pekin, and served four years, doing duty at Fort Donelson, Fort Henry and the siege of Vicksburg, and taking part in many skirmishes. He returned to his home in Pekin, on account of poor health, but his patriotic ardor was in no way dampened, and as soon as he recovered somewhat he raised another company. Company K, One Hundred and Forty-sixth Illinois, of which he was chosen captain. They were sent to Springfield, Illinois, where they did state service, and he was one of the body guards of the body of our martyr president, Lincoln, as it lay in state. After receiving his discharge he went to Iowa, having previously served as postmaster of Pekin, Illinois, and located at Mt. Ayr, where he filled the offices of deputy sheriff and city marshal from the year 1872 to 1883. He was united in wedlock to Miss Lydia Hyers, a native of West Point, Lee county, Iowa, and a daughter of William B. and Eleanor (Waggoner) Hyers, a carpenter and cabinet-maker of that place. She was of Scotch descent, and one of seven children. After leaving Mt. Ayr, Mr. Williams took his family to Tazewell county, Illinois, locating in Spring Lake township, where he was scale master and assessor for several years, and where he died, in his fifty-ninth year, in 1893, loved and respected by all.

Extracted 26 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 2, page 404.

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