George H. Cooper

Among the citizens of Greenfield, Indiana, who have achieved a definite success in life, not only surrounding themselves with valuable personal property, but what is of greater import, have also gained the respect and esteem of the community, is George H. Cooper, who has long been recognized as a leading and influential citizen of Hancock County. Mr. Cooper was born on August 10,1860, in Greenfield, the old home being where the public library building now stands. He is the son of Dr. Berry Willis and Malissa (Hoel) Cooper, both of whom are now deceased, and who are specifically mentioned elsewhere in this work.

George H. Cooper attended the Greenfield public schools, graduating from the high school in 1879. Later, he attended Indiana University two years, and also took the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Course at Island Park, Indiana, under Dr. (afterward Bishop) John H. Vincent, and Dr. John Dewitt Miller, being one of the two men who graduated with a large class of women. In the summer of 1880 Mr. Cooper entered the Citizens Bank at Greenfield as bookkeeper, and later was employed in the same capacity at Hughes' Bank, in this city, for two years. He then returned to the Citizens Bank and has been closely and actively identified with it ever since. For many years he has been cashier of this strong financial institution, and much of its splendid success has been due to his careful management and his accommodating attitude towards the patrons of the bank, of which he owns a large interest. Aside from the bank, Mr. Cooper possesses also large landed interest in Hancock County. For the past eighteen years with his family he has spent the summers as "The Sycamores," a country home near Greenfield, and his summer home, as well as his city home, has been freely used as places of entertainment in the church, school and family social life of Greenfield.

In the civic affairs of Greenfield and Hancock County, Mr. Cooper has always shown a healthy interest and performed his full part in promoting every cause or movement for the advancement of the community. For nearly ten years he served as treasurer of the Greenfield school board and when, at the close of his service, the state accounting board examined his books they found them balanced to a cent. Mr. Cooper took a leading part in the movement which culminated in the securing of the present public library building, the site for which was donated to the city by his mother, Mrs. Malissa Cooper.

Politically, Mr. Cooper is a Democrat, and is this year (1916) the nominee of his party for representative in the Legislature. In the Masonic order he has taken all the degrees of the York Rite and is a thirty-second degree member of the Scottish Rite, while he also belongs to the Mystic Shrine. He is a member of the Christian church and treasurer of its official board.

On November 21, 1888, he was married to Lotta M. Bottsford, the daughter of Sheldon E. and Lorinda (Wright) Bottsford, of Sugar Creek Township, Hancock County. Their sons and daughters are as follows: Lois F., wife of Irwin W. Cotton, of Greenfield; Gertrude M., Berry W., Sheldon B. and Warren G. Cooper. Their grandchildren are Wright Cooper Cotton and Allen G. Cotton.

Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 817-818.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 11, 2001.

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