COAL BARON - JOHN COOPER'S HOME

John Cooper's home is located in Coopers, WV.

Coal Baron John Cooper
1842 - 1899

John Cooper's Wife, Marie Padbury Cooper (1844 -1920 )
Married John Cooper on Dec. 17, 1866

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. John Cooper married Maria Padbury (1844-1920). They were married on December 17, 1866 in the Church of St. Edmund Dudley, Staffordshire Co., England. He brought his wife to the United States in 1867. They arrived in Port of New York on January 16, 1867. The ship was the Edinburg. They had nine children.

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.

Another Account of John Cooper's Life

The following information provided by James Shanklin (Oct. 2009, Revised January 2010, Revised February 2010-1, Revised June 2010-2):

John Cooper was born Monday, November 14, 1842 in Pensnett village located in Kingswinford district, in the South Staffordshire area of Staffordshire County, England. Pensnett became Pensnett District of Kingswinford village in 1844 and is now a locality in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, West Midlands County, England. He died in his home in Cooper, Rock District, Mercer County, West Virginia on Wednesday, December 6, 1899. His first interment was on a “beautiful hill just back of his home” in Cooper, West VA on Sunday, December 9, 1899. He was moved to East Hill Cemetery in Salem, Roanoke County, Virginia when Maria died. Their interment date at East Hill was Monday, March 1, 1920. He and Maria were moved to the Cooper area in the Thomas Park Section of Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Bluewell, Mercer County, West Virginia during the 1930s.

Maria (Padbury) Cooper was born Monday, December 9, 1844 in the Pensnett District of Kingswinford village in the South Staffordshire area of Staffordshire County, England. She died in her home in the Cooper section of Bramwell, Rock District, Mercer County, West Virginia on Thursday, February 26, 1920. Her first interment was at East Hill Cemetery in Salem, Roanoke County, Virginia on Monday, March 1, 1920. She was moved with John to the Cooper area in the Thomas Park Section of Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Bluewell, Mercer County, West Virginia during the 1930s.

Note: James "Jim" Robert Shanklin's father was John Pack Shanklin, maternal grandparent's (great grandparents) were John and Maria (Padbury) Cooper. Jim's Father's Mother was John and Maria's daughter, Mary Padbury (Cooper) Shanklin (Jim's grandmother).

COAL BARON JOHN COOPER PASSPORT

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