Shelby County, Indiana
Hon. Edmund Cooper. — Conspicuous among the leading citizens of Shelby County, is the gentleman whose name introduces this biographical sketch. Edmund Cooper was born in Virginia, March 19, 1819, and is the son of Edmund and Catherine (Mason) Cooper, natives of Virginia and Pennsylvania, respectively. The father was born in the year 1768, and in an early day emigrated to Indiana, settling in what is now Washington County, as long ago as 1819, having been one of the prominent pioneers of that part of the State. He was a farmer by occupation, and departed this life in the year 1835. Mrs. Cooper was born in 1772, and died at her home in this State about the year 1858. The immediate subject of this sketch was reared to manhood on a farm, and early chose agriculture as a life work, in which he has been more than ordinarily successful. His early educational advantages were limited to the country schools, but having always been a great reader and an intelligent observer, he has since obtained a fund of general and practical knowledge such as schools fail to impart. In 1847, he came to Shelby County and settled in Noble Township, and two years later went to Iowa, in which State he remained for only a limited period, returning to this county in the fall of 1850. He then resumed farming in Noble Township, and was thus engaged until 1885, at which time he retired from active life and removed to Shelbyville. He has always taken an active interest in political and public affairs, and a number of years ago was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, and later County Commissioner, in which capacity he served two terms. In 1880, he was elected to represent Shelby County in the General Assembly of Indiana, and as a member of that body discharged his duty in a manner creditable to himself and satisfactory to his constituents. He has been a life long Democrat, but enjoys great personal popularity with all parties irrespective of political affiliation. He has been twice married, the first time in 1848, to Miss Margaret Van Pelt, by whom he had several children, three of whom, Squire J., Lewis W., and Laura A., are now living. Mrs. Cooper died in 1874, and two years later Mr. Cooper married his present wife, whose maiden name was Harriet E. Stockton.
History of Shelby County, Indiana, Brant & Fuller, 1887, "Shelbyville Sketches," pages 476-77.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming
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