Cooley - William C. - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Cooley - William C.

William C. COOLEY

Source: McGregor, Malcolm. Biographical Record of Jasper Co MO. Chicago: Lewis, 1901 p 110

Among the early settlers of Jasper County, MO who came with his little family to this locality in 1839, was Samuel M. Cooley, who was born in PA 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 40 years of age, and her husband survived her for several years. He located near Smithfield, in Twin Grove Twp, 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 10 children, 8 of whom grew to maturity and 3 still survive. William C. Cooley, the subject of this review, was born in Montgomery County, Indiana June 31, 1835 and was about 4 when his parents came to make their home in the wild districts of Jasper County. One of the first buildings 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 age 14, 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 $7 a month, and until he was 19 he was only able to make $15 a month. In 1860 Mr. Cooley was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Jackson, who was born in Jasper Co, MO and had been his playmate and companion from childhood. Her family was 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 20 years ago. In 1860, after his marriage, Mr. Cooley settled in Twin Grove Twp, but when the war troubles arose the next year the family removed to Ft. Scott KS. Seven times they went back to the old home, but political feeling was so high at that time they did not remain there until the 8th return. Mr. Cooley has been located on his present farm about 16 years and owns 500 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 60 years have produced in this locality. He has recently traveled through Kansas, New Mexico, AZ, Calif, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Colorado but says he saw no country to compare with Jasper County, MO and returned entirely contented to make his home here.  -- typed by kbz
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