The Cooper name has honorable distinction among the early settlers of our country. The most distinguished member of the family in America is without doubt James Fenimore Cooper, the novelist, who is descended from James Cooper, born at Stratford-on-Avon in 1661. This James Cooper came to America before 1682, in which year he received a grant of land in New Jersey. In 1683 he bought a lot of land in Philadelphia, situated on Chestnut street, opposite the marble custom house. Several generations of this family were Quakers. Another early immigrant of note was Thomas Cooper, of Boston, born about 1650, probably in London. He was the founder of the famous Brattle Street Church in Boston, and he inherited the "Green Dragon Tavern," another landmark from Governor Stoughton, whose niece, Mehitable Minot, he had married. Their son, William Cooper, born March 20, 1694, was ordained pastor of the Brattle Street Church in 1716. He was a graduate of Harvrd, the presidency of which he afterward declined, and he married Judith Sewall, daughter of Chief Justice Samuel Sewall. The present branch is descended from a still earlier settler than either of those mentioned. Probably no family in New Hampshire can show an unbroken continuity of deacons through so many generations or a higher record of probity and public service than here follows:
(I) Deacon John Cooper, ancestor of all the Coopers of Croydon, New Hampshire, was born in England, 1618. His father died comparatively young, and his mother, Widow Lydia Cooper, married Gregory Stone. She had two children by her first marriage: John and Lydia; and six children by her second marriage: John, Daniel, David, Samuel, Elizabeth and Sarah Stone. The whole family of Stones and Coopers migrated to Cambridge, Massachusetts, before 1636. John Cooper became a man of influence in his new home, serving as selectman of Cambridge for thirty-eight years, from 146 to 190, and as town clerk from 1669 to 1681. He was deacon of the church there in 1688. Deacon John Cooper married Anna, daughter of Nathaniel Sparhawk, of Cambridge, who was born in England, and came to this country with her parents. Children: Anna, born November 16, 1643; Mary, John, Samuel, whose sketch follows; John, Nathaniel, Lydia, Anna, born in December 26, 1667. Deacon James Cooper died August 22, 1691, and his widow married James converse, of Woburn, Massachusetts, and was living in 1712.
(II) Deacon Samuel, second son and fourth child of Deacon John and Anna (Sparhawk) Cooper, was born January 3, 1653, probably in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He inherited the homestead of his father, was chosen deacon of the church, March 2, 1705, and was selectman twelve years, from 1702 to 1716. On December 4, 1682, Deacon Samuel Cooper married Hannah, daughter of Deacon Walter and Sarah Hastings, who was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 9, 1656. They had nine children: Hannah, Lydia, Sarah, Samuel (2), whose sketch follows; Mary, Elizabeth, Walter, John and Jonathan. Deacon Samuel Cooper died in Cambridge, January 8, 1717, and his widow died October 9, 1732.
(III) Deacon Samuel (2), eldest son and fourth child of Deacon Samuel (I) and Hannah (Hastings) Cooper, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 29, 1689. He inherited the homestead of his father, which he sold in 1730 to Ebenezer Frost, and removed to Grafton, Massachusetts. There he became a member of the first church, formed December 28, 1731, and about a month later he and James Whipple, grandfather of Deacon Moses Whipple, of Croydon, New Hampshire, were chosen the first deacons of said church. Deacon Samuel (2) Cooper was moderator of Grafton in 1738, selectman in 1735-38-43; school committee in 1738; town clerk in 1739, the first to hold that office. He was evidently a man of education, for the Grafton records of 1738 contain this entry: "Paid Deacon Samuel Cooper three pounds, four shillings for keeping school." On March 29, 1719, Deacon Samuel (2) Cooper married Sarah, daughter of Deacon Samuel and Sarah (Griggs) Kidder, who was born in Cambridge, August 17, 1690. The children of whom we have any record were born in Cambridge: Nathaniel, July 21, 1720; Samuel, Joseph, John and Sarah. The date of the deaths of Deacon Samuel (2) Cooper and his wife is unknown.
(IV) Deacon John (2), fourth son and child of Deacon Samuel () and Sarah (Kidder) Cooper, was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 4, 1725, and moved with his parents to Grafton, Massachusetts, 1730. After marriage he settled in Hardwick, Massachusetts, where he lived till 1769, when he moved to Cornish, New Hampshire, the first of his line to come to this state. He remained in Cornish but a year, and in 1770 moved around Blue Mountains to Croydon. With his wife and eight children he settled on the farm which afterwards descended to his grandson. Deacon Otis Cooper, Deacon (2) Cooper and Moses Whipple were chosen deacons of the first church in Croydon in 1783. Deacon Cooper was tythingman in 1773-81; town treasurer in 1773; town clerk, 1772-73-74; moderator seven times, and selectman nine years. His honorable distinction at Croydon was but a continuation of his record at Hardwick, Massachusetts, where he was deacon twenty years, assessor ten years, town clerk five years, selectman one year, and schoolmaster many times. On March 15, 1748, Deacon John (2) Cooper married Mary, daughter of Nathaniel and Mary Sherman, who was born in Grafton, Massachusetts, December 9, 1726. She was a cousin of the celebrated Roger Sherman, of Connecticut. They had ten children, all born in Hardwick, Massachusetts: Sarah, Nathaniel, Mary, John, Joel, Huldah, Sherman, Matilda, Barnabas and Chloe. Deacon John (2) Cooper died at Croydon, New Hampshire, August 10, 1805, and his wife died there September 4, 1796.
(V) Sherman, son of Deacon John 92) and Mary (Sherman) Cooper, was born at Harwick, Massachusetts, April 3, 1761. He moved with his father's family to New Hampshire, settling at Croydon. He as a soldier in the revolution in Captain Joshua Hendee's company, Colonel David Hobart's regiment, 1777; also in Colonel Joshua Chase's regiment from Cornish and vicinity, which reinforced the army at TIconderoga, 1777; also in Captain Samuel Paine's company, Major Benjamin Whitcomb's regiment, for six months in 1780 for the defence of the western frontier. In 1790, according to the first federal census, he was living in Croydon and had one son under sixteen and three females in his family (probably wife and two daughters).
(VI) Otis, son of Sherman Cooper, was a farmer and school teacher in Croydon, Sullivan county, New Hampshire. He married Hannah (Powers) Barton, widow of Bazeleel Barton and daughter of Ezekiel Powers, of Croydon, Sullivan county, New Hampshire, who bore him two children: I. Augusta, died in infancy. 2. Augusta, referred to below. Hannah Powers by her first marriage with Bazeleel Barton had eight children: Lucinda, Adelia, Levi W., Williams, Hiram, Alanson, Ziba and Angeime.
(VII) Augusta, youngest child of Otis and Hannah (Powers-Barton) Cooper, was born in Croydon, Sullivan county, New Hampshire, April 17, 1835, and is now living in Vineland, Cumberland county, New Jersey. She was a precocious child and her poetical abilities showed themselves at an early period of her life, her first verses being written when she was only eight years of age, and her first published poems appeared in the newspapers when she was fifteen, and the poems published in book form when thirty years of age. She was a good scholar, forward in mathematics, and showing an aptitude for logical and philosophical reasoning. At the age of thirteen she was studying the same books that her half-brother was studying in Dartmouth College. She attended the public schools of Croydon and a preparatory school at Meriden, New Hampshire, and then went to Canaan Union Academy, and to Kimball Union Academy. She began teaching when she was fifteen, and kept to this employment for seven years, when she married. In 1869 Augusta Cooper published her first volume of poems and gave her first public lecture, which events appear to have changed the course of her intellectual career, as since that time she has been a prominent platform speaker. For four years she was president of the Ladies' Social Science Class of Vineland, giving lessons from Spencer and Carey every month. In the winter of 1880 she gae a course of lectures before the New York Positivist Society on "The Evolution of Character," and followed it by another under the auspices of the Women's Social Science Club of New York City. In June, 1880, she was sent by friends in New York to study the equitable association of labor and capital at the Familistére in Guise, France, founded by M. Jean Baptiste Godin, the inventor and reformer. She was also commissioned to represent the New York Positivist Society in an international convention of liberal thinkers in Brussessl, in September ,1880. She lived at at the Familistére, or "Social Palace" for three months, and gave a lecture on the "Scientific Basis of Morality" before the Brussels convention. After her return to the United States she taught French for many years in Vineland, New Jersey, and translated and published "The Rules and Statutes of the Association of Labor and Capital of Guise" from the French. In 1881 she was chosen state lecturer of the Patrons of Husbandry in New Jersey. In 1882 she was employed by the national lecture bureau of that society. Since her second husband's death, she has appeared but seldom on the public platform, being wholly occupied with the care of her estate. A short while ago she sold er farm in the township and is now living in the city of Vineland itself. Some of her philosophic and scientific lectures have been translated and published in foreign countries. In 1870 she published her "Philosophy of Art;" in 1876 her "Relations of hte Maternal Functiosn to the Woman Intellect;" in 1880 her "Science as the Basis of Morality," a French edition of which appeared in 1882; in 1895 her volume of poems entitled "The Web of Life;" and in 1904 the volume "Spray of Cosmos."
In 1857 Augusta Cooper was married to G. H. Kimball. By this marriage she had one child, Annie Loraine, born March 25, 1857 a musician and musical composer, who married William A. Sloane, a lawyer and judge in San Diego, California, to whom she bore three children: Harry, Paul and Hazel, the two boys being now at Pomona College, California. In January, 1866, Augusta (Cooper) Kimball was married to Louis Bristol, an attorney of New Haven, Connecticut, who died in 1882. He was a nephew of the celebrated Jonathan Edwards, president of Yale University, and preacher in Northamtpon, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University in 1835, at age of seventeen, and after his marriage removed to southern Illinois, here he managed a fruit farm. In 1872 he bought a farm in Vineland, Cumberland county, New Jersey, and removed thither. Louis and Augusta (Cooper) Kimball-Bristol had two children: 1. Bessie, married, 1905, John Mason, of Vineland, and has one child, Augusta Loraine, born August 26, 1907. Mrs. Mason conducts a very successful music school in Vineland, and her husband is an inspector of glass in a glass factory in the same place. 2. Otis Cooper, died aged seven.