Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Page 847

WILLIAM KNOX COOPER . - William Knox Cooper, whose home on section 15, Gardner township, is one of the attractive farms of Sangamon county, has throughout his entire life carried on agricultural pursuits and is today the owner of three hundred acres of rich and productive land. A native son of this county, he was born October 8, 1850. His father, Hugh K. Cooper, was born in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, January 5, 1820, and the grandfather, Thomas Cooper, was a substantial farmer of Mercer county. In the place of his nativity Hugh K. Cooper spent the days of his boyhood and youth, and when a young man he came to the west. After traveling to some extent over the country he decided to locate in Sangamon county, Illinois, and established his home here in 1845. Securing a tract of new land, he opened up a good farm and made further preparations for having a home of his own by his marriage, in 1847, to Miss Sarah Talbot, a native of Shelby county, Kentucky, and a daughter of David Talbott, who was born in Baltimore county, Maryland, January 6, 1786. His father, Edward Talbott, removed with his parents to Kentucky about 1795, the family settling in Shelby county. There he was married December 4, 1806, to Harriet Harding, whose birth occurred in Brooklyn county, Virginia. They became the parents of twelve children, born in Kentucky, and in 1835 they started with their family for Illinois, arriving in Sangamon county on the 16th of April. The Talbott family is of English lineage and was founded in America about 1700 by three brothers who braved the dangers of an ocean voyage and became residents of the new world, two setting in Virginia and one in Maryland.

Mr. And Mrs. Cooper began their domestic life upon the home farm and there for a number of years Mr. Cooper was widely known as an active and successful agriculturist, but he died in the prime of life, September 5, 1850, when about thirty years of age, passing away while on a trip to Kentucky. His widow afterward became the wife of William J. Shaver, who died January 25, 1864. There were three children born of that marriage, but only one is now living, George D. Shaver. Mrs. Shaver resides with her son William K. Cooper on the old family homestead.

On this farm in Gardner township William Knox Cooper was reared. He was the only son of his mother's first marriage, but has an own sister, Rosa H., who is now the wife of William E. Perkins. In the common schools he acquired his education. After arriving at years of maturity he bought out the interest of the other heirs in the old home place and has since purchased sixty acres additional. He is one of the practical and successful farmers and stock-raisers of the county. There is no richer or more productive tract of land than is comprised within his fine farm. Of late years, however, on account of his ill health he has rented most of his land, giving his attention to the raising and feeding of stock and to keeping up the place in harmony with the advanced ideas of modern farming.

In 1871 in Sangamon county Mr. Cooper was married to Miss Kate S. Van Patton, a daughter of Aaron Von Patton, and she spent the greater part of her girlhood days in this county and by her marriage has become the mother of three children: Maude Alice, who was married October 22, 1903, to Dr. George H. Vernon, a resident of East St. Louis; William K., who has a good position in Chicago; and Mark Ament, who is attending the Springfield high school. They lost their first born, Rosa, who died when about two years of age, and a son, Charles, who died at the age of four years. Both Mr. And Mrs. Cooper are members of the Farmington Presbyterian church and he votes with the Democracy, to which he has always given his support, taking an active part in politics during campaigns in order to secure Democratic successes. The rewards and emoluments of office, however, have had no attraction for him. He and his wife have made several trips to the south and west, visiting Florida, California and the Pacific coast, and have found much pleasure in travel. They are much esteemed in the county and their many friends know them to be people worthy of the highest regard.

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