Nathan Cooper, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Nathan Cooper

NATHAN COOPER. During the building up process in every community some men acquire fame or notoriety as holders of public office, others achieve wealth or reputation as financiers or professional men, while still others remain content to follow the humbler walks of life as farmers, mechanics or tradesmen. Yet, in his sphere, the humble citizen -- the man who by his industry, energy and perseverance produces the nation's wealth -- is as much a component part, as useful a member of society, as the public official, the professional man or the great financier. In the development of Porter county Nathan Cooper has been one of the "workers." With no aspirations for political preferment, no yearning for great achievements foreign to his tastes and inclinations, he has remained in the ranks of the great army of agriculturists, who constitute the bone and sinew of the nation.

Nathan Cooper was born in Putnam county, Ohio, January 10, 1841. His parents, Jacob and Elizabeth (Joseph) Cooper, both died while he was still in his early childhood, hence he has never been able to learn much of their antecedents or early ancestry. After the death of his parents he lived with his maternal grand-parents until he was about nine years of age, when he found a home with a man named William Beard, with whom he remained for about two years. In the fall of 1855 he came to Porter county with an uncle, Michael Joseph, and from that time to the present this county has been his home. Orphaned at an early age, and coming to a comparatively new country when only fourteen years old, Mr. Cooper's opportunities to acquire an education were extremely limited. But with that ambition and persevering spirit which have ever been such marked characteristics of the man, he managed to obtain the rudiments of an English education, at least enough to enable him to transact the ordinary affairs of business that came in his way. For some time after coming to the county of Porter he was in the employ of Elias Schenck, one of the prominent farmers of Washington township. On March 4, 1861, the day that President Lincoln was inaugurated for his first term, Mr. Cooper went onto the farm in Washington township, which he subsequently purchased and where he passed the greater part of his subsequent life. He still remained with Mr. Schenck, however, in the capacity of a hired man, until the close of the Civil war. Mr. Schenck was in poor health and during the war Mr. Cooper was practically in full charge of his employer's large farming interests. That he was both capable and faithful in the discharge of his duties is evidenced by the fact that when he was drafted for military service Mr. Schenck would not permit him to leave the farm and employed a substitute to take his place in the army.

On January 11, 1866, Mr. Cooper was united in marriage with Miss Zada A. Stoner, daughter of Abraham and Susan (Ludy) Stoner, who were among the pioneers of Morgan township. Mrs. Cooper was born in that township July 7, 1844, and consequently has been a resident of Porter county all her life. Her parents were both natives of Maryland. They left that state and settled in Ohio, but later came to Porter county, as already stated. Abraham Stoner died in Morgan township in March, 1880, and his wife died in March 1881. They are buried in the Luther cemetery, near the farm where they lived for nearly half a century. To Mr. and Mrs. Cooper have been born two children -- a son and a daughter. The son, Frankie, died when but two years old. The daughter, Lulu Belle, is now the wife of Addison N. Worstel, who occupies an important and responsible position with the Farmers' National Bank of Valparaiso. They have one son.

Some years ago Mr. Cooper removed to Valparaiso, where he lived for about eight years, but the "call of the farm" was too strong and he again went to the country. In the year 1910 he built a handsome residence at 203 Indiana avenue and in December of that year he again became a resident of Valparaiso, though he still makes almost daily visits to his farm during the busy season, giving his personal attention and supervision to its affairs. Although Mr. Cooper has passed his "three score years and ten," he is as active as many men fifteen years his junior, and it is his boast that up to the time he was sixty years of age he never lost a month's time from active labor on account of ill health. In a financial way he has prospered and is now the owner of several valuable farms in Porter county. Politically he is independent, usually casting his vote for the man whom he believes to be best qualified for the office. His religion is one of practice rather than profession, as he belongs to no denomination. He likes to hear a good sermon, however, and attends any church where this taste is likely to be gratified. He is a notable example of the "self-made man," frugal without being stingy and liberal without being extravagant. He is therefore neither a miser nor a spendthrift, but has always been regarded as a kind neighbor and a good provider for those dependent upon him. A marked trait of the man is his strong dislike of quarrels and lawsuits, preferring to suffer a wrong rather than to engage in a broil, or to seek relief through the courts. An instance of this kind occurred in the fall of 1911, when some dredgers engaged in excavating a ditch through one of his farms unearthed the skeleton of a mastodon. Mr. Cooper wanted to get possession of the prehistoric bones and a suit was instituted for that purpose, but after thinking the matter over, the suit was dismissed, though some of the relics are still in his possession. He likes to associate with his fellow men, and is an interesting talker upon almost any subject, but he finds his greatest enjoyment in his family circle. Among his large circle of acquaintances in Porter county he is looked upon as a man whose "word is as good as his bond," and naturally he commands the respect and esteem of the entire community in which he has passed so many useful and fruitful years.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 767-769

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul