Biography of William C. Cooley
Jasper County, MO Biographies





WILLIAM C. COOLEY.
Among the early settlers of Jasper county, Missouri, who came with his little family to this locality in 1839, was Samuel M. Cooley, who was born in Pennsylvania, but who became a resident of Indiana when a young man. There he married the daughter of a neighbor, Margaret Rusk by name, and a few years later she accompanied him to the new home. Her death occurred when she was about forty years of age, and her husband survived her for several years. He located near Smithfield, in Twin Grove township, taking up government land. At that early day the county was not yet laid out, and Samuel M. Cooley was one of those selected to assist in the laying out of the townships. In all of the matters pertaining to the progress and advancement of the county and the township his clear judgment and sensible ideas were of great value. In that pioneer home he and wife reared a family of ten children, eight of whom grew to maturity and three of whom still survive.

William C. Cooley, the subject of this review, was born in Montgomery county, Indiana, June 31, 1835, and was about four years of age when his parents came to make their home in the wild districts of Jasper county. One of the first buidings erected by these early settlers was the school house, and in one of these primitive log cabins, where the benches were made of split logs and the huge fireplace extended across one whole side, our subject acquired his education. At the age of fourteen years he was left an orphan, and from that time he was the arbiter of his own fortunes. Reared to toil, he soon became an acceptable assistant on neighboring farms, receiving for his first labor the sum of seven dollars a month, and until he was nineteen years old he was only able to make fifteen dollars a month.

In 1860 Mr. Cooley was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Jackson, who was born in Jasper county, Missouri, and had been his playmate and companion from childhood. Her family was also one of the pioneer ones in the county. Five children were born of this marriage: Alfred and Walter died in infancy: Alice is the wife of John Manlove, and they reside on Mr. Cooley's farm; Isabel is the wife of H. L. Bryan, and they live on a part of the farm; and William also farms on a portion of the home land. All of their children are conveniently located near their father. Mr. Cooley lost his wife twenty years ago.

In 1860, after his marriage, Mt. Cooley settled in Twin Grove township, but when the war troubles arose the next year the family removed to Fort Scott, Kansas. Seven times they went back to the old home, but political feeling was so high at that time that they did not remain there until the eighth return. Mr. Cooley has been located on his present farm for about sixteen years, and owns five hundred acres of fine land, some of which is rich in mineral deposit and has been found to produce fine ore.

Mr. Cooley has always been a Democrat in his political convictions, and has served the township as collector. He will always support the party while it advocates free coinage of silver. He is one of the most respected citizens of Jasper county, and has witnessed and taken part in the wonderful development which sixty years have produced in this locality. He has recently traveled through Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Colorado, but says he saw no country to compare with Jasper county, Missouri, and returned entirely contented to make his home here.

From:
The Biographical History of Jasper County, Missouri
By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Chiago 1901


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