HENRY C. COOPER. - Henry C. Cooper , who for the past fourteen years has been engaged in the meat business in Riverton, is a native of Sangamon county, his birth having occurred in Clear Lake township, August 12, 1842. His father, Ambrose Cooper, was born in Virginia but during boyhood removed to Tennessee with his father, Jonathan Cooper, who was also a native of Virginia. Ambrose Cooper remained in Tennessee until after reaching man's estate and was first married there. Subsequently he came to Illinois and after living for a time in St. Clair county became a resident of Sangamon county prior to the winter of the deep snow. He entered land in Clear Lake township and opened up a farm, upon which he spent his remaining days. After the death of his first wife he married Eliza Wilson, a daughter of Samuel Wilson. She was born in Kentucky but was reared in Ohio and married in Illinois. She survived her husband several years and was the mother of three children, namely: Stephen, now a resident of Buffalo, Illinois; Henry C., of this review; and Dabney, a farmer of Cooper township.
In early life Henry C. Cooper received a fair common-school education in this county and remained with his father until the Civil war broke out. Feeling that his country needed his services he enlisted at Springfield, July 20, 1861, and joined Company B, Eleventh Missouri Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Tennessee. His first engagement was at Fredericktown, Missouri, and was followed by the battles at New Madrid, Island NO. 10, Corinth and Iuka, the Vicksburg campaign and the battle at Jackson, Mississippi, besides many other engagements. In 1863 he veteranized and came home on a furlough, after which he rejoined his regiment at Vicksburg. From there he went to Nashville and later to Mobile, Alabama, and after participating in the battle at Spanish Fort went to Montgomery, Alabama. After hostilities ceased he was on guard duty at Tuscaloosa until mustered out of service on the 20th of January, 1866, being honorably discharged at St. Louis. Returning home Mr. Cooper assisted in carrying on the farm for several years and then removed to Riverton, where he embarked in the meat business. In 1903 he admitted James M. Knox to a partnership in the business, which they are now carrying on with good success.
At Riverton Mr. Cooper was married in 1890 to Mrs. Fannie King, nee McCrea, who was born in this state and reared in Sangamon county. Since casting his first presidential vote for General Grant in 1868 he has never failed to Support the Republican party, and although never an office seeker he takes an active interest in public affairs and has efficiently served as commissioner of highways. Both he and his wife are members of the Christian church and he also belongs to the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained to the thirty-second degree in the Scottish Rite. He has filled all the offices and is past master of the lodge at Dawson, is a member of Dawson Chapter and Elwood Commandery. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and Camp Butler Post, G.A.R., of which he is past commander and now quartermaster. He has manifested the same loyalty in days of peace as in time of war and all who know him have for him the highest regard.