John Cooper & Family
A HISTORIC BRAMWELL PIONEER FAMILY
From Martha Jane Becker's book: Bramwell - The Diary of a Millionaire Coal Town"... What John Cooper started in 1884, those who followed him into the Cooper-Bramwell-Freeman triangle helped develop into one of the most unusual of all coal fields towns. He was born in South Staffordshire, England on November 14, 1842. His parents were too poor to send him to school, so at the age of six years he was taken by his father to start his life in the mines. He continue to study on his own and worked in the mines to gain experience and strength, so by the time he came to the United States in 1862 he had held about every position in the mines, except that of mine foreman. He came to the United States at the age of nineteen. He stayed in Pennsyvlainia until 1873 when he moved to Fayette County, WV.
In 1884 John Cooper arrived in Mercer County and made his first lease with then the Bluestone Land Company. Mr. Cooper made a fortune in the coal mines of southern West Virginia and it is said that he left a honored name in the history of West Virginia. According to the great grandson of John Cooper he died on 6 December 1899. Ms. Becker's book on Bramwell's history futher details the life of this Bramwell legend and gives John Cooper's death date only as 1898.
John Cooper's mine in Cooper section of Bramwell shipped his first coal from W. Virginia's valuable Pocahontas Coalfield over N&W Rail Road on Nov. 4, 1884. The Coaldale, Caswell Creek & Booth-Bowen mines were operated by Cooper, Jones, Freeman, Booth & Bowen. These were pioneer mines in the field. The Flat Top Coal Land Assocociation which later was named the Pocahontas Coal & Coke became the coalfield's largest landholder in the area.
Edward Cooper was the son of John and Marie (Padbury) Cooper and built the historic Cooper House that remains in the Cooper family today. He was born On Feb. 26, 1873 In Treverton, PA. He represented the 5th district of West Virginia in Congress during the time of WWI. He was also a lawyer from schooling. However, he spent many years of his life working as a coal in the Pocahontas Coal Field operator as did his father befor him.
Edward Cooper was the second child of six children. He graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1893. After receiving his law degree he worked as a lawyer ain Bramwell fora couple years. Following the death of his father, John Cooper, Edward and his brother, Thomas H. Cooper operated the coal properties at Cooper.Mr. Cooper married Frances Douglass Smith, of Lexington, Virginia, daughter of James K. and Fannie (Douglass) Smith. Mr. and Mrs. Cooper had two children, Edward, Jr, 1897, and Frances Douglass, born 1902. Edward, Jr., Mr. Cooper was once a member of the town council of Bramwell.
EVELYN COOPER MURPHY
Evelyn Cooper Murphy was born on Nov. 15, 1929. She was raised and resided in the Historic Cooper House on Bramwell's Main Street. She passed away on Saturday, July 10, 2004 at her residence. She was a daughter of the late Edward Cooper, Jr. and Mildred Mitchell Cooper. Evelyn Cooper Murphy served on the Bramwell Town Council for many years. Her husband, Harry Donald "Don" Murphy, Bramwell, died Wednesday, Aug. 5, 1998, at Bluefield Regional Medical Center of Bluefield. Don was born on Oct. 1, 1931, in Bramwell. He was one of two sons and a daughter of the late George Patrick Murphy and Margaret Marie Painter Murphy. Mr. Murphy had been a lifelong resident of Bramwell, was the mayor of Bramwell at the time of his death. He was a 1947 graduate Bramwell High School. He was a graduate of Concord College.
JOHN HENRY COOPER
Thomas Henry Cooper ( July1, 1869 - March 23, 1911 ) --- He was a son of John and Marie (Padbury) Cooper of Bramwell, Mercer County. Thomas Cooper married Mary Ella Busey Baritz of Salem, VA on June 6, 1893. He was also a very successful coal baron. THOMAS HENRY COOPER . He moved his family to Salem, VA in 1904 and lived there until his death in 1911. In 1897 he was elected manager of the McDowell Coal & Coke Company and managed this company until his death.