Biography - David Cooper

David Cooper, an old and universally respected citizen of Tuscola, who has long led an unselfish and benevolent life, was born in Greenbrier county, West Virginia, in the year 1813. He is a son of Francis and Elizabeth (Miller) Cooper, who were both born in the same county. Simeon Cooper (grandfather) was also a Virginian by birth, and was in the Revolutionary war. Henry Miller, his mother's father, was born in Germany, and was among the old settlers of the Old Dominion. He was also a Revolutionary soldier.
David Cooper grew to manhood in his native county, his early schooling being almost entirely neglected. At the age of twenty-seven years he emigrated to Lawrence county, Ohio, and was there engaged in farming up to 1856, when he removed to Kansas, remaining there but a short time, when he went to Nodaway county, Missouri, and lived there for seven years. In 1862 he returned to Illinois, and settled in Champaign county, and some twenty years ago located on a farm of two hundred acres in Tuscola township, which he still owns. In 1886 he retired from the farm and removed to Tuscola. On April 11, 1839, he was united in marriage to Miss Virginia Asbury, who was a native of Greenbrier county, West Virginia, and was a daughter of William Asbury, also a native of the same county. She is still living and is in the eighty-third year of her age and the sixty-first year of her marriage.
David Cooper, or, as he is familiarly known as "Grandpa Cooper" has been a devout and consistent member of the first Methodist Episcopal church, second, the United Brethren, then joined the Free Methodist church, of which he has been a member about twelve years, making in all about seventy years a member of the church, a most remarkable record of a remarkable man. Without family influence or outside help of any kind Mr. Cooper has not only succeeded in life, but has unselfishly helped others to succeed. In about 1888 he was chiefly instrumental in the building of the Free Methodist church, in the northwest part of the city. It is a frame edifice, 36x46 feet, with a seating capacity of about three hundred. Rev. Jenkins, of Arcola, is the pastor. The membership is composed, in the language of Mr. Cooper, "of the plain, common people." He is the trustee and local elder, and occasionally gives the congregation one of his sermons on "old time religion." The Sabbath school in connection with this church numbers about eighty children. Mrs. Kate Lamb is the class leader of the church. David Cooper has given thousands of dollars toward the building of churches. While living in Champaign county he gave one thousand, five hundred dollars toward the building of the Methodist church located on his farm near Pesotum. It has since been bought by the United Brethren people and moved to the village of Pesotum.

Extracted 12 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from the Historical and Biographical Record of Douglas County, Illinois, published in 1900, pages 128-129.

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