Biography of D. B. Cooper


Cooper, D. B., general agent of the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, resides in Syracuse, but gives much attention to the company's affairs in Buffalo. He has been with the company since 1872, having begun his service with that company under its former general agents, Peck & Hillman of Troy, N. Y. His services have from time to time been much sought after by other leading companies, but he has never stopped to consider their propositions. What the Connecticut Mutual stands for-just dealings and fair treatment of policy-holders and agents-seems to. have been attractive to him. Like the company he represents, he has always been an enemy of the various tontine features which have been attached to the life insurance business by so many companies for the purpose of forcing new business. He is well known as a hard and persistent worker, thoroughly posted in every branch of the life insurance business and capable of analyzing the statements and contracts put out by rival companies as temporary expedients for getting business. He was born in Sterling, Cayuga county, N. Y., in. 1844. He went into the army in 1861 at the age of seventeen and served through to the close of the war. He entered the service as a private in Battery F, of the 1st New York Light Artillery; later he was commissioned second lieutenant and transferred to Battery C of the same regiment. He was in active service with the Army of the Potomac continuously, taking part in the siege of Yorktown; the battle of West Point, Va.; battle of Fair Oaks; Seven Days battle on the Peninsula; Cold Harbor; Fort Stedman and the operations of the army before Richmond, including the final battle of Petersburg. On the 2d of April, 1865, at the request of General Tidball, Battery C, 1st N. Y. Light Artillery, he voluntarily joined in the assault at daybreak and captured an advanced position within the enemy's lines in front of Petersburg. The battery, as was desired, held the position although it suffered severely, being able to repulse a bayonet charge four times. Although it held this important position from daylight until the enemy fell back at nightfall, none of the commissioned officers was killed and the three were brevetted for their conduct on that occasion. A few days after the battle of Petersburg Lieutenant Cooper was detailed as an on the staff of General Hayes, who was in command of the artillery at City Point, Va. His brevet commission Is dated April 2, 1865, and states that it was "for gallant and distinguished services in the assault on the enemy's works at Petersburg, April 2, 1865." This commission was mailed in care of the governor of the State of New York, but for some unaccountable reason it was mislaid and remained in the adjutant general's office at Albany until May, 1897. At the time the Albany Journal under the heading "Lieutenant Cooper's Commission," said: "Thirty years ago David B. Cooper, now a well-known insurance man of Syracuse, cast the bread of bravery upon the troubled waters of strife that then rolled over the Union and yesterday, after many days, it was returned to him figuratively, in the form of a brevet first lieutenancy. The episode occurred in the office of the adjutant-general. Mr. Cooper was given to understand some six months ago that a brevet commission awaited him at the adjutant-general's department and that the document had been made out before the close of the war. Mr. Cooper came to this city yesterday and was presented with the commission which bore the signatures of Andrew Johnson, president, and Edward M. Stanton, secretary of war, and which was issued to Mr. Cooper for brave and meritorious service in the last assault on Petersburg, Va.. in the closing scenes of the Rebellion. The commission was none the less appreciated because of the fact that for thirty years it has lain in the department awaiting Mr. Cooper."

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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