Biography - JOHN COOPER
Like many other prominent and influential citizens of LaSalle county, Illinois, John Cooper, of Otter Creek township, is a native of Ireland. His parents were Edward and Jane (Coughlin) Cooper, and he was born April 9, 1841, near Belfast. When he was a lad of eight years the family came to America and settled first at Salmon Falls, New Hampshire, where they lived for some time. The father died at the age of forty-five years, leaving the mother with a family of eight children. She still survives him and is now eighty-five years of age. Of their children, John, the subject of this sketch, is the eldest; Mrs. Maria Roberts is a resident of Alden, Indiana; Mrs. Sarah Berry is a resident of Rock Rapids, Iowa; William resides in Otter Creek township, LaSalle county, Illinois; Richard was a soldier in the Fiftythird Illinois Regiment during the civil war and died at Vicksburg. Mississippi; Edward is a veteran of the civil war and lives in Streator, Illinois; Mrs. Jane Litts lives in Stuart, Iowa; and Mrs. Lizzie Jones is a resident of Otter Creek township.
John Cooper was reared to farm life, attending the public schools in winter, his parents having moved to Illinois during his boyhood, and at the time the civil war broke out he was engaged in farm work in this state. In 1862 he enlisted under Captain James J. McKernan, in Company F, One Hundred and Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and with his command was on active duty in the south. He participated in the engagements of Hartsville, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, ever acting the part of a brave and patriotic soldier. During his army life he had the smallpox. In 1865 he was honorably discharged at Camp Douglas, and from Chicago returned to his home in LaSalle county. He remained on the home farm until 1870, when he married. For years he has been ranked with the prosperous farmers of Otter Creek township, his location being near Kernan.
November 10, 1870, Mr. Cooper married Miss Sarah Kirkpatrick, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of James and Margaret Kirkpatrick. Mr. Kirkpatrick died in Philadelphia, at the age of thirty-five years, leaving a widow and one child, the former having died in 1893, at the age of seventy-two years, and the latter is Mrs. Cooper. Mr. and Mrs. Cooper have had six children, viz.: John Edward, at home; Ida Florence, wife of Arthur Harber, of Otter Creek township; R. Frank, of Ottawa, Illinois; Elmer, at home; and Myrtle and Clara, deceased, the former having died at the age of seven years, and the latter at three.
Mr. Cooper is a Republican and a member of Post 68, G. A. R., at Streator.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 319-320.