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The Cooper Family of Arkansas

Updated September 5, 2000

Brady Cooper

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We are tempted to blame those who came before us for being insensitive to the recording of family histories. But we must never fault them, for they were pioneers and had little time for much more than to pursue there dreams for a better life somewhere else. Their major concern was not where they were or where they had been, but where they were going and how they would survive when they reached their destination. They were, along with many others, the trailblazers who made this great country what it is today. We are eternally indebted to these brave and courageous people.

As we reflect back into the darkened recesses of our heritage, we suddenly realize that we have emerged from a deep and unknown forest and we fantasize that we can still hear the voices of those who came before us, echoing from glen to glen. But those voices have now faded and the world from which they surfaced, has shrunk into a pinch of dust and the forest has died as if the sun's breath was suddenly cut off. We can sweep away the rubble of the dying forest, but we will always imagine that we still hear those voices in the dark shadows of the towering stubs that were once trees.

I am indebted to Burl Dean Cooper of Brush Creek, AR., Who researched the basic roots of the Cooper family and who also generated in me, a profound interest to continue through eight generations. Burl's input started with Howell Cooper, Sr., who was born in Surry county, Virginia in the early eighteenth century and on down to William Franklin Cooper, whose first appearance was in Hot Springs county, Arkansas in 1879. My contribution to this package begins with William Franklin Cooper, and on to the present.

Genealogy is not an exact science, for official records are not always available. Please bear that in mind when you review this history, for it was compiled from information supplied by many dedicated family members, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude.

Somewhere, on down the road, someone will be pleased that we preserved this small bit of our history. So please, take the time to write it all down and pass it on for future generations. They will thank you.

Genealogical information on the Cooper family prior to William Franklin Cooper, generation 3 of this genealogy, is, at best fragmented. Not unlike many other pioneer families, the Cooper's unfortunately, left little in the way of historical family information.

This genealogy begins with Howell Cooper, SR, who was, according to fragmented bits of family history, born in Surry County, VA in the early 18th century. He later surfaced in North Carolina and the notes indicate that Howell Cooper, SR was married to his cousin, Holanberry Cooper, and in 1792, a son, Howell Cooper, JR was born in Granville County, NC. He later moved his family to Jasper County, GA., where, it appears, that Howell Cooper, SR, vanished from the scene.

Sometime during the intervening years, Howell Cooper, JR, relocated to Hardeman County, Tennessee, where he lived during the 1830's. After 1840, he moved his family to Hot Springs County, Arkansas, where, according to the 1850 US Census, he was a ginwright and farmer. The same census also, indicates that his son, Francis M., was a saddle maker. Howell Cooper, JR died in 1863. George Washington Cooper, son of Howell Cooper JR, father of William Franklin Cooper of this genealogy, from bits of family information, appears to have been a pillar of strength in the Clear Creek Community of Hot Springs County. He was a registered member of the Clear Creek Methodist church, having joined in 1869. Although not an ordained, minister, George Washington Cooper was said to have preached in various churches in Hot Springs and Dallas counties. Rumor has it that his voice was such that it could be heard from without the sanctum wherein he spoke.

Authentic information on the life and times of Howell Cooper, JR., and his descendants to William Franklin Cooper, is at best, sketchy. Many segments of

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