Biography of Lee C. Cooper
Columbiana County, OH

Lee C. Cooper. - Of pioneer stock and truly an Ohioan, whose forbears on one side of the family settled in Jefferson County prior to 1800, and whose grandparents on the other side came from Chester County, Pa., and settled in Columbiana County in 1835, the subject of this sketch, Leander Calvin Brinton Cooper, was born at Tritt's Mills, on West Beaver Creek, near West Point, Columbiana County, Feb. 1, 1879. He is named after two uncles who became mayors of Ohio cities, one at Massillon, and the other, George Brinton Cooper, at Wellsville. The latter was a member of the Third Ohio Regiment in the War of the Rebellion and was severely wounded at the battle of Stone River.

Mr. Cooper is a son of the late William Penn and Mary Elizabeth (Cole) Cooper. The former was born in East Rochester, Ohio, and spent practically his entire life in Wellsville where he followed the trade of a wagon maker, and in Madison Township, Columbiana County, where for years he was a farmer. He sold his farm in 1900 and removed to East Liverpool, where he died in 1914. He is buried in the family plot in Wellsville Cemetery. Mr. Cooper served with distinction in the Union army during the Civil War as a member of Company B, 176th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was the son of William and Jane Cooper. William Cooper, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, operated the Cooper House at Wellsville from 1850 to 1890.

William Penn Cooper married Mary Elizabeth Cole, a native of Somerset, Jefferson County, Ohio, and the daughter of William and Mary Jane (Jackman) Cole. She was the granddaughter of William and Nellie (White) Jackman, who were married Sept. 27, 1803. Nellie (White) Jackman was born Sept. 7, 1782. The Jackman family came to this country from Ireland and with many other families from the Emerald Isle settled in Mount Tabor, which came to be known at that early date as "Dublin," because of the preponderance of Irish folk living there.

The Cole branch of this family came to Jefferson County in 1798 or 1799 and settled on a farm near Richmond. This farm is now a part of the cemetery in that village. William Cole, maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was twice married, both times to sisters, Sabrie and Mary Jane Jackman. Four children were born to each marriage, two of whom now survive: Mrs. William Penn Cooper, who lives in Lakewood, Ohio; and Hon. Lee C. Cole of Cleveland.

Hon. Lee C. Cole, as a lad of 14 years, guided a detachment of Union soldiers from Richmond, Ohio, to Salineville in pursuit of the rebel raider, Gen. John Morgan, on the day he was captured near West Point in Columbiana County, the most northern point reached by the Confederate troops during the war of the states. He was graduated from Richmond and Mount Union colleges and admitted to the practice of law in 1872. He located in Massillon, Ohio, and after a year's residence was elected city solicitor. In 1880 he was elected Mayor and served two terms. He was elected to the Ohio legislature in 1884 and reelected in 1886. Following his legislative career he removed to Bowling Green, Wood County, Ohio, where for several years he was engaged in oil production and glass manufacture. For ten years he was a trustee of the Toledo State Hospital. During their life time he was a close political and personal friend of Senator Calvin Brice and President Grover Cleveland, the latter at one time offering him a European diplomatic station. For more than a decade he has followed the legal profession in Cleveland.

William Penn Cooper's ancestry were English Quakers, who lived for many years in and about Philadelphia and Chester County, Pa. They came to Ohio in 1835. Accordingly Lee C. Cooper is a compound of English, Irish, Quaker and Welch ancestors, the latter being traceable through his mother's grandmother, a Mrs. White.

To William Penn and Mary Elizabeth (Cole) Cooper five children were born: William Oliver, a business man of Cleveland; Robert, of Cleveland, and Larkins, Fla.; Mrs. Harry Spellman, lives in Warren, Ohio; Mrs. Leonard Flath, lives in Cleveland; and Lee C., the subject of this sketch.

Lee C. Cooper received his education in the country schools of Madison Township, Columbiana County, and was graduated from Wellsville High School in 1896. He began life as a school teacher, teaching at Walkers and the Flats in Yellow Creek Township. He also worked on his fatier's farm. Since March 1, 1906, he has been extensively engaged in the insurance business at East Liverpool, with offices in the Little Building.

Mr. Cooper was married Oct. 3, 1906, to Miss Alice Edna Brookes, eldest daughter of John and Elizabeth Brookes, of East Liverpool, whose families on both sides emanated from England. Long engaged in gardening and horticulture, Mr. and Mrs. Brookes are among the well known and most respected residents of East Liverpool, both being prominent in the activities of the First Methodist Protestant Church of the pottery city. For many years Mr. Brookes has been a leader in the church's musical department. Six children have blessed the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Cooper: Dorothy May, William Brookes, Ruth Elizabeth, Jean Alice, Joseph Wendell Cole, and Anita Lee, all at home.

In politics Mr. Cooper is a Democrat. He is a member and trustee of the Orchard Grove Methodist Episcopal Church of East Liverpool, is affiliated with the Riddle Lodge F. & A. M. East Liverpool, has been since its erection in 1912 a director of the East Liverpool Y. M. C. A., and is a charter member of the East Liverpool Kiwanis Club. He was one of the promoters and secretary of the East Liverpool Business Men's Association for many years, which in 1912 took the form of the East Liverpool Boosters Club, which in turn finally evolved into the present East Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, of which he is and has been a member since its inception.

Mr. Cooper has been since his residence in East Liverpool an aggressive member of the younger class of the city's business men. He has evinced lively interest in all departures making for the breadth of its activities in all civic, moral and religious lines. Of an athletic turn he has been particularly active in furthering physical development in the public schools and at amateur baseball circles. He has also rendered marked aid in bringing about the procuring and development of the Y. M. C. A. camp in Madison Township, which is a part of his father's farm. He has taken a lively interest in the metamorphosis of Patterson Field in the west end of East Liverpool as a playing field for the East Liverpool High School. He lives in a spacious residence on the north side of East Liverpool, from which is discernable on clear days, the three trees that grace the summit of Round Knob, the second highest point in Ohio, near which spot he first saw the light of day.

History of Columbiana County, Ohio
By: Harold B. Barth
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1926

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