Myers Young Cooper, fifty first governor of Ohio, was born in Newton Township, Licking County, Ohio, on November
25, 1873, one of the eleven children of Lemuel Young and Ann (Greenlee) Cooper.
Lemuel Young Cooper was a school teacher and impressed upon his boys and girls the need for education. Books and
lively discussion were abundant in the Cooper household, and as a boy Myers Cooper conceived the ambition to follow
the career of his father as an educator. Fate has a way of changing plans outlined in youth, and after entering
National Normal University at Lebanon, Myers Cooper found fate taking a guiding hand in his affairs. Fate, in the
guise of necessity for earning a part of his way at the university, turned the embryo educator into a finished
salesman. The young man found salesmanship just as interesting as he had expected classrooms to be, and following
his graduation in 1893, at the age of twenty, he joined the firm of Cooper Brothers in Cincinnati as a salesman.
In 1896 he was admitted by his brothers, James G. and Sanson M. Cooper, to the firm, and the three brothers continued
the business with marked success for a number of years. When the partnership was dissolved, Myers Y. Cooper, as
president of the Myers Y. Cooper Company, kept the original suite of offices in the Union Trust Building, Cincinnati.
By this time Mr. Cooper was a well established business man of Cincinnati. He had built his home in beautiful Hyde
Park and had married Miss Martha Kinney, a lovely Cincinnati girl. He and his wife were leaders in the civic and
social affairs of the community and as their two children, Raymond and Martha Ann (now Mrs. Ferris Mills Judy),
grew older, the couple took an increasing interest in the progress of Hyde Park. His years in the real estate business
had given Mr. Cooper an exceptionally clear vision of the sacrifices necessary to the purchase of a home. The enormous
cash payments, the mortgage arrangements and the general system of purchase made it impossible for any but the
well to do to own their own homes.
Memories of his own happy home life as a boy and the thought of his own interest in the community in which he himself
was a property owner, probably prompted the young real estate man to work out the now nationally copied Cooper
plan of home ownership. To Mr. Cooper must go the credit for originating the plan which has made home owners of
thousands who, under the old system, would have been renters with no "roots" in their own communities.
For Mr. Cooper originated the plan whereby homes may be purchased with a small down payment, and a monthly payment
schedule, that is comparable to the average rental on similar property. Under his plan, Mr. Cooper built in Cincinnati
more than two thousand homes. He has never had a foreclosure.
But the real estate business alone could not absorb all the energies of Mr. Cooper. He aided in the organization
and headed such enterprises as the Hyde Park Lumber Company, the Norwood National Bank, now merged with the Hyde
Park Savings Bank under the name of the Norwood Hyde Park Bank & Trust Company, of which he is president, the
Hyde Park Supply Company, the Midland Lumber Company, and the Raymond Realty Company. In addition to his business
activities, Governor Cooper aided in the organization of the Hyde Park Business Club, the East High Community Center,
both of which he served as president.
During the trying years of the World War, Mr. Cooper devoted much of his time to the sale of Liberty Bonds, his
sales alone amounting to more than $500,000. He raised more than $600,000 for Cincinnati's war chest during this
His interest in education has never flagged, and it is evident in his work as president of the Ohio Fair Managers
Association, which, under his leadership, has made the fairs of the state exhibitions of the best products of the
state. The governor served for ten years at the head of this body and now holds the office of honorary president.
Governor Cooper headed the Ohio Council of Churches for three years and is now honorary president of that organization
of the churches of the state. He is a member of the Christian (Disciples) Church.
The public career of Governor Cooper, like his private business life, has been devoted to the interests of the
great mass of Ohioans. Under his guidance in the first year of his administration, the state legislature repealed
the Pence Law, under which utilities had been permitted to collect rate increases under bond before final disposition
of their pleas by the state utilities commission. A new law was passed, setting up machinery for speeding up the
final determination of rate cases by the commission.
Rapid culmination of plans for a comprehensive state and county building program was accomplished under the guidance
of the governor.
Governor Cooper possesses a talent for getting things done and his administration has proved this talent beyond
History of Franklin County, Ohio
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis 1930
Franklin County, OH
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