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History of Madison
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Robert H. Cooper.

Robert H. Cooper is aid-de-camp of the National organization of the Grand Army of the Republic, having been appointed to that position in November, 1914.  He is widely known in military circles and in Madison county has figured prominently in connection with the grain trade and the banking business at Winterset.  Throughout his business career carefully formulated plans have always been carried forward to successful completion through the exercise of indefatigable industry and determination.

Mr. Cooper is a native of Beaver county, Pennsylvania, his birth having occurred near Sheffield on the 11th of January, 1844.  His father, Robert Cooper, also a native of that county, was a son of Daniel and Prudence (Hamilton) Cooper, both of whom were born in the north of Ireland, whence they emigrated to the United States, establishing their home in Pennsylvania.  Daniel Cooper was a farmer, devoting is entire life to that occupation.  He and his wife were members of the United Presbyterian church and in Pennsylvania they resided until called to their final rest.  Robert Cooper, Sr., was reared and educated in the Keystone state, where he spent his entire life as a farmer and also worked in a shipyard on the Ohio river when a young man.  The major portion of his time and attention, however, was given to agricultural pursuits.  He too, held membership in the United Presbyterian church and guided his life by its teachings.  He died in 1893, at the age of seventy-seven years, having long survived his wife, who bore the maiden name of Eliza Orr.  She, too, was a native of Beaver county, Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Hugh and Jane (McConnell) Orr.  Her father was born in the north of Ireland and was of Scotch extraction, while her mother was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania.  Hugh Orr was a tailor by trade.  He lived to the age of seventy-two years, while his wife reached the advanced age of eighty-seven years.  Their daughter, Mrs. Cooper, died at the birth of her son, Robert H., leaving two children, of whom the elder, William J., died in Pennsylvania in 1906.

Robert H. Cooper spent his boyhood days upon the home farm and attended the public schools until he reached the age of fifteen years, when he began clerking in a general store.  He was thus employed until June, 1862, when he put aside all business and personal considerations and at the age of eighteen years enlisted for service as a member of Company F, One Hundred and Fortieth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.  His brother enlisted in the same company at the same time.  They served in the Army of the Potomac, being on duty in Virginia and Maryland, taking part in the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Mine Run and numerous other engagements and skirmishes.  Mr. Cooper was two full days in line on Cemetery Ridge in the hotly contested battle of Gettysburg.  Both he and his brother, however, escaped without being wounded or taken prisoner.  After serving for three years Robert H. Cooper was honorably discharged on the 8th of June, 1865, following the close of the war.  His record ever a creditable one, for he was always loyal to his duty and never faltered, whether stationed on the firing line or the lonely picket line.

When the war was over Mr. Cooper returned to his home in Pennsylvania and engaged in merchandising with an uncle at Beaver, there remaining until 1879, when he sold his interest in the business and came to Winterset.  Here he embarked in the grain trade, in which he continued with success for ten years.  In 1889, when the Madison County Bank was organized, he entered the institution as its first cashier, in which capacity he served for sixteen years, resigning at the end of that time.  He was then cashier of the Winterset Savings Bank for six years and has since enjoyed a well earned rest, reaping the benefits of his former toil.  He has ever been regarded as a thoroughly reliable as well as enterprising business man, and his efforts have been attended with a measure of success that is most gratifying.

On the 16th of April, 1872, Mr. Cooper was united in marriage to Miss Anna Mary Savage, who has always been known, however, as Minnie.  She was born near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, April 16, 1844, a daughter of William and Margaret Ann (Leeper) Savage, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania.  The father was a farmer by occupation and died in 1862.  His parents were Henry and Nancy (Robinson) Savage, both of whom were natives of Ireland.  The mother's family traces their ancestry back to James Leeper, who came to the United States in 1771 from the north of Ireland.  He was a native of Scotland and only stopped a short time in Ireland before coming to America.  Mrs. Cooper was reared and educated in Pennsylvania and by her marriage she has become the mother of six children:  William S., a practicing attorney of Winterset, of whom mention is made elsewhere in this volume:  Elizabeth J., the wife of Sam R. Guthrie, of Garden City, Kansas;  Esther L., who is a teacher of English in Ames College;  Harry W., a newspaper man of Cheyenne, Wyoming;  Robert S., who is engaged in the practice of dentistry in Winterset, and who is also mentioned on another page of this volume;  and Ralph L., a civil engineer living at Boone, Iowa.

In his political views Mr. Cooper has always been an earnest republican.  He was reared in the faith of that party and has always been most loyal to its principles, doing everything in his power to promote the cause and secure the success of its candidates, yet never seeking office for himself as a reward for party fealty.  He holds membership in Pitzer Post, No. 55, G. A. R., of which he was commander for a year, and he is now aid-de-camp of the national organization.  He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church and their children are also communicants thereof.  The influence of the family has ever been on the side of progress and improvement, and they have given tangible aid to many measures and movements which have been of direct benefit to the community in advancing its material, social, political and moral progress.



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