Cooper, Job Adams

Job Adams Cooper
Greenville, Bond Co., IL
Ohio - unknown
New Jersey - unknown

page 510

Job Adams Cooper, sixth Governor of the State of Colorado (in the seventh term), was born in Greenville, Bond county, Ills., November 6, 1843, of English and Dutch descent.  His father, Charles Cooper, an English manufacturer, came to the United States in 1820, settling first in New Jersey, later in Ohio, and still later removing to Bond county, Ills., where he became a farmer.

In his boyhood, Gov. Cooper attended school at Knoxville, Ills., and afterward entered Knox College at Galesburg, Ills.  While at that institution he enlisted in the One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, under one of the later calls for troops by President Lincoln, and became Second Sergeant of Company C.  With his regiment he was serving at Memphis, Tenn., when that city was attacked by the Confederate General Forrest in 1864, and remained in service until the regiment was mustered out.

Resuming his course at Knox College, he was graduated there, and then began studying law.  After his admission to the Illinois bar, he returned to Greenville, and in 1868 was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court and Recorder of Bond county, serving four years.

Gov. Cooper removed to Colorado in May, 1872, located in Denver, and resumed practice of law, which he continued until the autumn of that year when he engaged in the fire insurance and real estate business in partnership with Peter Winne.  In this business partnership, which continued until the autumn of 1876, he acquired important interests in the city and laid the foundations of his fortune. In the spring of 1877 when the German Bank was reorganized as the German National Bank, as related elsewhere in this volume, he became its first Vice president, but before the close of that year was elected Cashier of that bank.  Except during a brief interval he continued as Cashier of the German National until after his election as Governor of Colorado in November, 1888.

Gov. Cooper, an earnest, consistent Republican, had been nominated for Governor by his party, and his election by a majority of about 10,000 occurred on the forty-fifth anniversary of his birth.  As Chief Executive of the State, his administration of public affairs was able, faithful and conservative, and when he closed his term in January, 1891, he had the approval and good-will of the people of Colorado.

Gov. Cooper was one of the organizers of the National Bank of Commerce in the summer of 1890, became a member of its first Board of Directors, and was elected its first President.  He continued as President of that bank until January, 1897, when he retired, from his more active participation in business affairs. He was one of the builders of Denver, and his interests in the city were large and many.  The great "Cooper Building" at Seventeenth and Curtis streets, erected in 1892-93, an architectural ornament of the city, was one of his works.  He was also interested in various undertakings elsewhere in Colorado and for several years before his death was identified with several important mines in the Cripple Creek district.

Governor Cooper’s death at his home in Denver on January 20, 1899, after a very brief illness, caused deep sorrow in the city and State, or he had been a man of much public spirit and had exerted great influence in the development of both.  On September 17, 1867, he married Miss Jane O., daughter of Rev. R.E. Barnes, of Galesburg, Ills., and she survives him.  Four children, a son and three daughters, were born to them.