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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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OWEN S. COOPER, who is extensively engaged in farming in Johnson County, was born on the old Cooper homestead in this county, December 9, 1841. His father, Owen Cooper, was a native of Kentucky, born December 1, 1809. When he had arrived at years of maturity he married Sarah Tandy, a native of Virginia, who, when a child of two years, was taken by her parents from that state to Kentucky. Mr. Cooper carried on farming in the latter place until 1836, when he bade adieu to the home and friends of his boyhood and emigrated westward, taking up his residence in Johnson County, Mo. The journey was made in a wagon in the primitive style, for there were then no railroads. The father entered and purchased land near where our subject now resides, securing the first tract from Mr. Ricketts, who had entered it from the Government in an early day in the history of this county. He claimed and purchased other land from time to time, until he owned five hundred and seventy acres, which he placed under a high state of cultivation, improving it with good buildings and all modern accessories. For several years he served as Justice of the Peace, and was a highly esteemed man, who had a host of friends. His wife died in 1884, and on the 9th of May, 1894, he also departed this life, suddenly. In the family were four children, namely: Fredonia F., who became the wife of James Carson, both being now deceased, the latter being killed during the war; William Edgar, who died at the age of ten years, Owen S.; and Sarah Jane, who is the wife of William A. Calvert, and resides near our subject.

Mr. Cooper, of this sketch, at the age of nineteen, joined the Confederate service in Price’s escort to carry dispatches. He reached his command at Cassville, Mo. At the battle of Wilson Creek, near Springfield, Mo., he was taken prisoner and sent to Rolla, this state, where he remained for about a week. He then returned home, but the following summer again joined the Southern army, becoming a member of Col. Vard Cockrell’s company, near Red Dirt, Mo. Under his command he participated in several skirmishes. At the battle of Lone Jack, the company lost twenty men. The troops then marched south to the neighborhood of Springfield, Mo., where, on various occasions, they met the enemy, participating in the hotly contested battle of Prairie Grove, also that of Hartsville, Mo., and Booneville. After the last mentioned engagement, Mr. Cooper returned home on a visit, and then joined his company near Clarksville, Tex., where he remained until the close of the war, when, at Shreveport, he surrendered with his company and took the oath of allegiance to the United States.

Returning by boat, Mr. Cooper was met by his father at Booneville, Mo., and at once returned to the old homestead. Its buildings had previously been utterly destroyed by fire, and all that now stand upon the place were erected by the father and son. In the mean time Mr. Cooper was married, August 29, 1862, to Miss Mattie M. Wall, who was born in Johnson County, in June, 1848, a daughter of Benjamin F. and Susan (Fewell) Wall, who were natives of North Carolina. The father, who was a farmer, and also carried on a store in his native state, after his arrival in Missouri ran a store for some time, and subsequently devoted his energies exclusively to agricultural pursuits.

Mr. and Mrs. Cooper located on a farm south of Knobnoster, which belonged to the latter. Three years later that property was sold and Mr. Cooper purchased one hundred and thirty-eight acres of land, his present farm, which is now highly cultivated and improved with all the buildings which are found upon a model farm, including a fine residence and large substantial barns, among the best in the county. The boundaries of the place have been extended from time to time, until now four hundred acres yield to him a golden tribute in return for his care and cultivation. He is engaged principally in raising corn and wheat, and also raises enough stock for his own use.

Mr. and Mrs. Cooper have two daughters: Ottie May, born May 24, 1874; and Susan Elizabeth, born November 22, 1878. The mother is a member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Cooper has always been a supporter of the Democracy, but has never been an office-seeker, preferring to give his time and attention to his business interests, in which he has met with a high degree of success.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Johnson County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Missouri family biographies here: Johnson County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Johnson County, Missouri here: Johnson County, Missouri Map

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