Biography of William F. Cooper
Arizona Biographies





WILLIAM FENIMORE COOPER, Judge of the Superior Court of Pima County, was born in Dublin, Indiana, August 6, 1858. His father, John Cooper, was one of the leading educators of that State and Superintendent of the Public Schools for more than half a century. Judge Cooper began his school career at the unusually early age of four years and attended public school constantly until he was graduated from the high school at the age of twelve years. He then attended Otterbein University at Westerville, Ohio, for one year, after which he completed the classical course and was graduated in 1887 from the Peekskill Military Academy, New York. When but eight years old he manifested an enthusiastic interest in printing and began working in a small office on Saturdays and summer vacation. He later learned the printing trade, and has been engaged in newspaper work, both as employe and owner, doing local and editorial work. He served one year with the "Tucson Citizen," doing editorial work, and was for a time proprietor and editor of the "Florence Tribune." During the time he was engaged in the latter capacity he renewed the study of law, which he had undertaken with Honorable William A. Peelle, of Richmond, Indiana, as preceptor, after his graduation from Peekskill Academy. After one year and a half his system showed plainly the result of overwork during his last two years at school and at the study of law, and a physical breakdown was the result. This necessitated an entire change, and several years following spent in Colorado and on a California cow ranch completely restored his health, and twenty years ago found him in Arizona. During his first few years here he worked as miner, printer and cowboy, as well as editor, until 1894, when he passed a very creditable examination and was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court. A little later he wads admitted to practice in California. In 1896 he took up his residence in Tucson. Here he gradually began building up a practice, and in 1898 was persuaded to accept the Republican nomination for District Attorney of Pima County, was elected, and at the close of his term reelected. Having become a thoroughly proficient stenographer, he was appointed in 1904 to the position of Court Stenographer, which he held until 1908, when he was elected to the office of Probate Judge. In 1906 he was Republican candidate for delegate to Congress, and while defeated, he made a remarkable showing in his home county, having had a majority of 613 votes. Mr. Cooper has served the city of Tucson as councilman large, and was one of the Republican minority in the late Constitutional Convention. He has always been a staunch Republican, and was elected Judge of Pima County on that ticket at the first state election held in Arizona. He was the first Judge of the Superior Court to qualify in the new state, taking the oath of office at 13 minutes after nine o'clock on the morning of February 14, 1912. In April, 1894, Judge Cooper was married to Miss Elizabeth A. Douglas, of Florence, a native daughter of Arizona. Their family now consists of six children, three boys and three girls.

From:
Who's Who in Arizona
Vol 1
Compiled and Published by Jo Conners
Press of The Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona 1913


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