Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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Wilford Cooper

WILFORD COOPER, deceased, one of the early settlers of Kansas, was the founder of Labette City, Labette county, Kansas. A man of honest, upright character, actively interested in all that pertained to the development of the county, in which he lived, his death was sincerely regretted by all. Mr. Cooper was born in Belleville, Indiana, in 1841, and was a son of Robert and Sarah (Joseph) Cooper.

Robert Cooper, the father of Wilford, was born in 1798, in Virginia, and died in Labette county, Kansas, in 1873. His wife, who was born in North Carolina, in 1805, and died in Labette county in 1870, was the first person buried in Liberty township. They reared the following offspring: Frank, James, Jane (Galliger), and Harrison, deceased; Emma (Graham), of Des Moines, Iowa; Hale (Metcalf), of Carthage, Missouri; Wilford, Levi, Mary and Jessup, deceased.

Wilford Cooper was six years of age when his parents moved to Hendricks county, Indiana, where he lived for five years. The family then moved to Andrew county, Missouri, where he received his primary education. He assisted his father on the farm until 1861, when he enlisted in Company G, 4th Reg., Mo. Vol. Cav., and was attached to the Army of the Tennessee. He was mustered out at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, in 1865. He returned to Andrew county, Missouri, where he was ambushed by guerrillas, and was badly wounded. In 1869, he moved to Labette county, Kansas, and filed and settled upon a claim where the city of Labette now stands, which was then the southwest quarter of section 25, Liberty township. He proved up the land, laidout the town, and lived there until his death, which occurred February 5, 1901, on the homestead. He was well known throughout the county, and this section of the state, where he was considered one of the best of farmers. Mr. Cooper acted with the Populist party. At the time of his decease, he was a member of the G. A. R., of Oswego, Kansas, and of the M. W. of A. He had previously belonged to the I. 0. 0. F.

Mr. Cooper was united in marriage with Miriam Piper, who was born in Nicholas county, Kentucky, in 1851. Her father was John F. Piper, who was also a native of Nicholas county, Kentucky, and was born in 1801. He died in Labette county, in 1875. Her mother was Margaret Brown, who was born in 1822, in Nicholas county, Kentucky, and died in Mason county, Kentucky, in 1863. They reared the following offspring: Angeline (Summers), of Oswego, Kansas; Miriam (Cooper); Ella, deceased; Addie (Christian), of Riverside, California; Matilda (Bell), of Scott county, Kansas; and John, of Labette county.

Mr. Cooper and his wife were the parents of six children, namely: Maggie and Mary, deceased; John, of Labette county; Elizabeth; Mabel, deceased; and Ivan I., of Labette county. Mrs. Cooper lives on the homestead, and is a charitable woman, who is loved for her many estimable qualities. She is a member of the Presbyterian church.