North Idaho, 1903 – Richard P. Cooper has resided in Idaho county
for nearly a quarter of a century and much earlier than that did he
first come to this favored section, and he should surely be classed with
the building of the county and its wealth.
He was born in Kentucky on April 15, 1841, the son Covington and
Cynthia (Moupin) Cooper, natives of Kentucky and born in 1805 and 1810,
respectively. The father
came to Missouri in 1843 and farmed there until his death in 1850.
The mother died in California in 1890.
Our subject was educated in the public schools and in 1854
crossed the plains to California, the family all coming then.
The next year he started the battle of life for himself and
continued to work for wages until he was twenty.
Then he took up stock raising and in 1862, he came to Florence,
it being the time of the gold excitement.
Returning to California he took a pre-emption and raised sheep
until 1880, when he sold out and came thence to Camas prairie.
July 17, of that year he landed here and bought a quarter section
north of Crooks street. He
sold to Seth Jones in 1885 and removed north of Keuterville, and spent
the summers there but the winters on the Salmon.
Finally he bought his present place, one mile northwest from
Keuterville. Mr. Cooper had two hundred and eighty acres of land and he
does a general farming business and raises stock.
He makes a specialty of sheep and has some fine specimens,
especially of the Rambouillet breed.
He has two rams of this well known breed that are as fine as any
in this section of the country and he takes great pains to raise the
best of animals and is successful in his efforts.
Mr. Cooper has the following brothers and sisters: John, George,
Robert, deceased, Joseph, Mary Silvers, James, Adam.
August 7, 1888, Mr. Cooper married Miss Lodema, daughter of Gabriel and
Mary G. (Brown) Church, born in Wilkes county, North Carolina, in 1823
and 1825, respectively. They
were farmers in that state and the father died in 1885 and the mother on
February 10, 1881. Mrs.
Cooper was born in Wilkes county, North Carolina, on July 7, 1855, and
has the following brothers and sisters: Martha Brown, Levy A., Mary J.
Vanoy, Alzina Eller, Ely, Emeline.
Six children were born to this union: Mathilda A., born February
26, 1867; Mary E. Rogge, born January 10, 1870; Benjamin R., born July
6, 1875; Ida B., born April 6, 1877 and died in October, 1883; Peter R.,
born October 6, 1879; Matie D. Andrews, born February 11, 1881.
Mr. Cooper and his wife are strong Republicans and he is a member
of the I. O. O. F.
“Pioneer Days in Idaho County”,
I, by Sister M. Alfreda Elsensohn:
“ An excerpt from the Nuxoll Letters, [July 25, 1886]: Our neighbor Mr. Cooper, received $600 cash for wool yesterday.
In a month, he will shear his flock again.
He has a thousand sheep of his own, and takes care of another
thousand for Mr. Brown, receiving half in payment.
It is only two years since he entered the sheep industry and he
has already cleared $1500 this fall.
That certainly is making good money.
might be remarked here that the Cooper family had lived in the county
for some time. Dick Cooper
moved to the present Charles Poxleitner place, northwest of Keuterville,
about 1885, and was prominent in Keuterville history for many years. His sons, Ben and Dick Cooper, are also frequently mentioned
in the annals of the community.”
[April, 1887] ….Our
neighbor, Mr. Cooper, did not feed his sheep at all and did not lose
even eight per cent. He has
300 spring lambs in his flock now.”
(Referring to the type of winter they endured) pages 491-492.
Days in Idaho County”, Volume II, page 110: “Grave Creek rises
on the south slope of Cottonwood Butte from a spring on the Poxleitner
place, about a half mile from the Keuterville church.
Richard Cooper settled at Keuterville in 1883 and is responsible
for the name Grave Creek. He
named it from the fact that a miner was buried about fifty feet from the
first Catholic church, not far from the head of the creek.
The miner was frozen to death and his two companions had their
feet frozen, but they did not die from the effects.
They were taken to Lewiston where they had their feet amputated
and each was thereafter know as “Peg”.
About 1946, in digging on his land
at Keuterville, Henry Uhlenkott thought he had located the remains of
this deceased miner. It was
approximately 1920 when C. J. Poxleitner and family bought the Cooper
place northwest of Keuterville from Mr. Tallman.
On a previous occasion Tallman had tried to sell the place and
had failed because the wife of the prospective buyer objected to the
cemetery on the property. He, Tallman, had burned the little white fences around each
grave. The graves are about
a quarter of a mile away from the site of the former Helm sawmill, on
the hillside. Bark from the
early sawmill operations was still evident on the sawmill site in 1942.
When the Poxleitners came into
possession of the place in 1920 they placed a fence around the cemetery.
Mrs. Dick Cooper gave Mr. Poxleitner the names of most of the
thirteen buried there: Albert Rogge, Mrs. Jogan, Dan Denham, Mrs. Dick
Cooper, Sr., a daughter of Ben Cooper, a son of R. P. Cooper, two
Stonestreet children, Myrtle Chase, Baby Rogge, and Ned White.”
Mary E. Cooper married Fred W. Rogge 24 November
1885, Idaho County; #70422, v1p38.
Matie D. (Della) married Eugene Andrews 28
November 1900 at Keuterville; #70886, v2p155.
Benjamin R. Cooper married Frances G. Church 12
March 1903 at Keutervile; #71726, v2p249.
Peter Richard Cooper married Edith Wright 15
December 1909 at Grangeville; #72738, v2p584
According to information I located at Online
Washington Deaths, 1907-1960, Richard
P. (Pierce) Cooper died at Goldendale Klickitat, WA ,
05 February 1932 at the age of 90 years, nine months and 21 days.
Lodema Cooper, died 05 December 1940 at
Goldendale, Klickitat, WA at the age of 85 years, four months and 28
ICFP, Thusday, March 7, 1946:
P. Richard Cooper, Victim
Peter Richard Cooper, who entered
General hospital last Friday, March 1, suffering from influenza
pneumonia, passed away the following morning, March 2.
He was born October 6, 1879 in
Cloverland, Calif., and came to Idaho, with his parents when one year
old. The family located on
Grave creek, south of Cottonwood where they operated a stock ranch.
On December 15, 1909, he was married
to Miss Edith Wright in Grangeville.
They moved to Keuterville to make their home where Mr. Cooper
carried the mail for several years.
In 1929 they moved to Stites where they had since made their
In addition to his widow, he is
survived by one son, Virgil Cooper, of Stites, one daughter, Mrs. Jessie
Lynn, Harpster; one sister Mrs. Ella Bennett, Lebanon, Oregon and two
grandchildren, Dorothy Lucile and Clarence Cooper of Stites.
Funeral services were held Tuesday,
March 5 at 2p.m. at the Hancock chapel with Rev. Wm. E. Harrison
was furnished by Mrs. Esther Pearson.
Pallbearers were John Baldwin, C. A. Johnson, Harry Kennedy,
Harry McCargar, Raymond Bartlett and Tom O’Hern.
Burial was in the Cottonwood Protestant cemetery.