James Cooper is a native of Shelby Co.
He was born in Hendricks Township June 11, 1830, and is the son of James and Rebecca (Updegraff) Cooper.
His parents were natives of Pennsylvania, and on emigrating to this State came at first to Rush Co., and after
remaining two or three years they came to Shelby Co. in 1830-the same year the subject of this sketch was born.
That same year his father died leaving his wife with a family of seven children, their inheritance being 100 acres
of wild land, a small patch only being cleared about their cabin. In this emergency, Mrs. Cooper showed herself
a woman of extraordinary powers, and managed their affairs in such a manner that with the help of the children---boys
and girls---they cleared their land and made a comfortable home out of their inheritance. She also showed
herself a woman of good administrative ability, and managed everything with great fairness. She died May
15, 1855, being in the communion of the Methodist Church. The subject of this sketch was married, March 11,
1855, to Mrs. Mary A. Kendall, in Hendricks Township. By her he has had four children, as follows:
Melinda A. (deceased), Susan H. (deceased), William M. and Anna
E. (deceased). Mr. Cooper inherited as his portion 32 acres, and to this beginning he has kept constantly
adding until at the present time he owns a farm of more than two hundred acres of land, with one of the best farm
residences in the county, situated six miles from Shelbyville, on the Shelbyville & Franklin Pike. His
wife is the daughter of Sampson and Mary A. Hartman, and at the time of her marriage with Mr. Cooper
was the mother of seven children, having been previously married to William Kendall. She is a kind
and industrious wife and mother. Mr. Cooper’s only son, now twenty-one years of age, is living at home, taking
an active part in the farm duties. Mr. Cooper is a member of the Methodist Church. He has always been
a man of liberal views on all subjects, claiming liberty to be a living principle, and has always acted according
to his convictions. He is well calculated in his pleasant home to pass his life in happiness.
Atlas of Shelby Co., Indiana, Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co, 1880, pg 56.
Contributed by Carolyn Prokopich
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