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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John W. Cooper. For a period now approaching forty-five years, this honored resident of Monroe County, Ark., has been identified with the agricultural interests of this region, having settled here with his parents, Benson and Delphia (Lindsey) Cooper, in 1845. He, like his father, was born in Spartanburg District, S. C, his birth occurring in 1843, and there the latter’s marriage occurred, his wife having been born in Lawrence County, N. C. Upon their arrival in Arkansas they spent the first year in Crittenden County, afterward locating on a woodland farm in Monroe County. The father died on his farm, three miles below Brinkley, in 1863, his wife having also died there three years earlier. They had been members of the Baptist Church for many years, and the father was of Irish descent and a son of Matthew Cooper, who probably spent all his life in South Carolina. John W. Cooper is the fourth of seven children, and spent his youth in the wilds of Monroe County, receiving but few advantages for acquiring an education, as the schools of that day were few and far between. In 1861 he espoused the Southern cause and joined Company E, Twenty-fifth Arkansas Infantry, and operated in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia, and was a participant in eighteen different engagements, among which may be mentioned Shiloh, Richmond, New Hope, Peach Tree Creek, Murfreesboro, Missionary Ridge and Chickamauga, and was all through the Atlanta campaign. He returned with Hood to Tennessee and was in the engagements at Franklin and Nashville, but was captured at the last-named place and taken to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he was retained until after Lee’s surrender. On being released he went to Fort Riley, Kan., but soon after returned home, and, in August, 1866, was married to Rachel, a daughter of Samuel and Rachel A. Martin, natives, respectively, of North and South Carolina. After the war they came to Faulkner County, Ark., where the mother died in 1846. Mr. Martin married again and in 1860 settled in Monroe County, where his demise occurred seven years later. He was a member of the Methodist Church, a farmer by occupation, and held the office of justice of the peace for some years prior to his death. Mrs. Cooper was born in what is now Faulkner County, in 1844, and has borne Mr. Cooper a family of nine children, three sons and two daughters now living. Mr. Cooper has resided in different parts of Brinkley Township, and has improved four good farms and is now putting in a tillable condition his fifth farm, which comprises 520 acres, 200 acres of which are under cultivation, but a considerable portion of his land is devoted to stock-raising. He has been a resident of Brinkley for six years, in order to give his children the advantages of the town schools, and is considered one of the wide-awake and public-spirited citizens of the place. He is a Democrat and a member of the K. of H. and the I. O. O. F. At the time of his marriage Mr. Cooper was $75 in debt, but by many years of hard labor he is now in affluent circumstances. He and his elder brother, Dillard L., served together throughout the war, and during their entire service were never separated but eight days, and that was while our subject was in the hospital, after being wounded at the battle of Murfreesboro.

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This family biography is one of 86 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Monroe County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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