The following was extracted from a family history - Chadwick, Cooper, Hawkins, and Richards by Regina Richard Cross and William A. Lewis. Published in 1993. Mr. Lewis lives at 2525 Skyway Street, Gadsden, AL 35901. Phone (205) 547-3229. This Cooper family is our relation through George Washington Warren’s first wife Mary Cooper.
The older members of the Cooper family discussed here were born in Kentucky, according to census records. The only information we have found so far indicates they came from Wayne County. When James enlisted in the Union Army, the record shows he was born in Wane, Kentucky. We feel this was a misspelling of Wayne County.
Both the Cooper and Hawkins families were in White County, Tennessee before coming to Alabama. As to whether they were there at the same time, and whether they came to Alabama at the same time, we do not know. We feel the Coopers were in DeKalb County by 1840. There was a W. Cooper shown in the 1840 census and his age would match that of William Cooper. Also, William’s child, Thomas B., was born in Alabama in 1840.
The 1850 DeKalb County census lists this family, who we feel to be parents, brothers and sisters of our James Cooper:
William Cooper Age: 43 Born: Kentucky
Susanna 42 Kentucky
Elvira 18 Kentucky
Nancy 18 Kentucky
Mary Ann 16 Kentucky
Thomas B. 10 Alabama
Malinda 8 Alabama
Manora 5 Alabama
Caroline 3 Alabama
We feel James Cooper, (B) 10-22-1824 and (D) 6-15-1888, was the oldest child of the above family. He was already married and lived only three of four houses from his parents when the 1850 census was taken. When the 1860 census was taken, the oldest child is shown as John C., born about 1827. We feel he was living away from home in 1850, but since his father was deceased, he returned home to help his mother. A sad story was revealed in the 1860 census mortality schedule, in that the record showed William Cooper had been pistol shot to death in October, 1859. Because of the lack of newspapers and other news sources during that period of time, we do not know of other facts about this tragedy.
The focus of our research has been on James Cooper and his wife, Lucinda Hawkins, whose family will be discussed next. We feel all of you will be interested in this information.
James and his brother-in-law, Alexander Hawkins, enlisted in the Union Army, Company C, First Regiment of Tennessee Independent Vidette Cavalry, at Stevenson, Alabama, September 19, 1863. About October 20 of that year James suffered an attack of diarrhea, a cough, and pains in his chest. Apparently, this was not too disabling at first because in January, 1864, he was promoted from private to first sergeant. He and Alexander were discharged from service June 14, 1864, and from then until October 1865, the record shows James lives in Whiteside, Tennessee. Then, the family returned to the Valley Head area, where they remained.
Following the Civil War, both James and Alexander filed claims with the Southern Claims Commission, an agency set up by Uncle Sam to pay individuals for property such as crops taken or damaged during the war. James received $85.00. Alexander received $125.00. To collect, you had to show you were loyal to the U. S. Government and did not render assistance or service to the Confederate States Army. Both James and Alexander collected for crops destroyed or taken by Union forces.
During the war James was treated by Army doctors for his condition, and the record shows he traveled to Nashville to receive his discharge. He received medicine from a doctor there, and at Whiteside he was treated by a German doctor, name not known. In his pension application, dated in 1887, he said he used patent medicines and domestic remedies. After returning to Valley Head, he was treated by Dr. B. F. Payne, who died in 1881, Dr. J. N. Winston and Dr. E. P. Nicholson. Incidentally, when he filed for a pension, he was 5 ft. 11 inches in height; has dark complexion; gray hair and dark eyes. The records indicate his condition continued to deteriorate, and it was necessary he spend time in bed for a few weeks. At one point, he said he was able to do only about twenty-five percent of the work he needed to do. Unfortunately, he did not receive a pension before he died. Lucinda then filed for a widow’s pension, which she was paid until her death in 1907.
While we were not able to confirm this by records, we assume James and Lucinda were members of the Valley Head Baptist Church, which was established in 1845. They, or other family members, could have honored their memory by installing a stained glass window with their names on it in the present church building. A photo of this is in the book for you to see.
We have also learned the first store in Valley Head was owned by the Cooper family but, unfortunately, we do not know which family was the owner. The store could have been in existence as far back as the 1830’s or 1840’s, and we sure wish we could tell you more about it.
James Cooper born 10-22-1824 in Kentucky died 6-15-1888. His tombstone reads: Age 63 yrs, 7 mo., 24 days.
On 5-2-1848 he married Lucinda Hawkins, according to information given by Lucinda in her pension application. She said the marriage was performed by Elija Boulin, Esquire, near Valley Head. The record was apparently lost, as we were not able to find it. Also, we feel the marriage was either one or two years before the date on the pension record.
He was the son of William and Susannah Cooper. She was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Hawkins.
He was a farmer and Lucinda a homemaker. Both are buried in the old abandoned cemetery at Valley Head, Alabama.
Etowah County, Alabama census shows Lucinda, a widow, to be living with her
youngest son, having been married forty years, having had eight children with
five still living. Since we have a
record of seven children, we assume one was either “
stillborn” or died very young.
The known children:
1. Amanda Ann Cooper born 2-22-1848 died 7-9-1930. She married John J. Chadwick.
2. Mary Emeline Cooper born 1850-51 died 1880-85. She married George Washington Warren
3. James Riley “Dick” Cooper born 1852 died 1887. He married Mary Jane Johnson.
4. John Hawkins Cooper born 3-10-1857-58 and died 4-3-1938. He married Annie May Blalock.
5. William Preston “Bill” Cooper born November, 1860 died 3-14-1933. He married Ida N. Sitz.
6. Josephine E. Cooper born 4-1-1862 died 8-20-1917. She married Jason C. Kirby.
7. Charles Sherman Cooper born 2-14-1865 died 9-10-1942. He married Rena Eugenia “Jeanie” Higgins.