Alabama Pioneers Honored

Biography: Daniel Nelson Cooper born March 31, 1839 – photograph






Daniel Nelson Cooper was born at Mount Vernon, Ohio, On March 31, 1839, to Thompson Cooper and Rebecca (Craig) Cooper (1812-1892), the fourth in a family of six. He lived there until he enlisted in the Union army. His paternal ancestors were descendants of John Witherspoon, the great Presbyterian divine, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. His paternal grandparents were Daniel and Ellen Cooper of New Jersey who were related to John Witherspoon.

The Cooper family moved West in the early part of the nineteenth century, locating at Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where they went to the iron foundry business and the manufacture of plows. From this venture became the mammoth iron works at Mt. Vernon doing a business of over one-half million dollars a year in 1904.

On his mother’s side, Mr. Cooper’s ancestors were Scotch-Irish. His maternal grandparents were William and Mary Craig, natives of New Jersey and Pensylvania. One of his ancestors was an aide-de-camp to William of Orange at the battle of the Boyne. A later ancestor came into prominence as an officer in the British navy. Sympathizing with the colonies in their struggle for independence, he resigned his commission in the navy and remained in the country.

Mr. Cooper received his education at the Mt. Vernon high school. In August 1862, he and quite a number of students enlisted in the Ninety-sixth Ohio Volunteer infantry, under William Mitchell, president of the school. He was captain of one company. The Ninety-sixth regiment was sent to Cincinnati to repel Bragg’s invasion of Kentucky, and made the race under Buell to Louisville, beating Bragg. From there they were sent to Memphis, and thence to the first siege of Vicksburg under Sherman, where they were repulsed. After the defeat of Vicksburg, they were sent to Fort Hindman, which they captured with six thousand prisoners. They participated in the siege and capture of Vicksburg and of Jackson. After a short time the regiment was sent to Louisiana, where, on the 3rd of November, at Grand Cotleau, the Ninety-sixth suffered the loss of half of its men in killed, wounded and captured. At this place, Mr. Cooper was wounded and promoted to a second lieutenancy. He was afterward promoted first lieutenant and brevetted a captain, but was not mustered in on account of the smallness of the regiment.

Lieutenant Cooper was in both attacks on Mobile. He saw Admiral Farragut lashed to the Hartford, where he ran by Fort Morgan. He participated in all the battles around Mobile in 1864 and 1865, and after being mustered out of the service returned home and commenced the study of law under his brother, Col. W. C Cooper. The doctors told him he could not live in Ohio on account of a throat trouble. Hence he removed to Huntsville, Alabama, in the summer of 1866, where he went into the cotton buying business. From Huntsville, he removed to Courtland, where he engaged in planting on a large scale. In raising cotton and buying futures he lost all he had but continued to plant for several years with varying success.

In 1878 he was appointed Deputy United States Marshal, and filled the position four years, doing much to exterminate the “moonshiners” in western Alabama; he was then appointed United States commissioner.

For several years he took an active interest in the success of the Republican party, spending his time and money freely in its interest. He was chairman of the county, district, and a member of the State, executive committees for years. He was a delegate to four national Republican conventions. In 1898 he was nominated on the Republican and Populist tickets for Congress from the sixth congressional district but was defeated by Hon. J. H. Bankhead. He was an ardent admirer of John Sherman, always supporting him when his name came before the convention. After Sherman, he was a great friend and supporter of William McKinley. It was as McKinley’s personal friend that he was appointed as United States marshal of the northern district of Alabama in September 1897, in opposition to the machine politicians of the party.

He was a director in the Warrior Coalfield Railway Company, whose road was designated to penetrate one of the finest mineral regions of the state and was very liberal in his contributions to all enterprises tending to develop the state’s natural resources. He was the owner of 2,500 acres of fine land, of which 200 are under cultivation and considerable other property.

He married Sarah E. White (1857-1940), and had at least one known daughter Catherine Craig Cooper (1897-1901). Daniel  Nelson Cooper passed away Feb. 8, 1911 in Hacklebury, Marion County, Alabama and is buried in Hamilton City Cemetery in Hamilton, Marion County, Alabama along with his wife, Sarah and daughter Catherine.


  1. #24849554 # 24849568 # 24849560# 82700968# 82700989
  2. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography by Thomas McAdory Owen, Vol III, Published by S. J. Clark Publishing Company, 1921.  Submitted by Veneta McKinne
  3. Memorial Record of Alabama.  By Hannis Taylor,   Brant & Fuller Publishers, Madison, Wis. 1893


Start researching your family genealogy research in minutes. This inexpensive book has simple instructions on how to get started with FREE sources. Download the Ebook WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources


“This book was very informative and at a very modest price. Thank you for your great newsletter and this book.”

“The book was clear & concise, with excellent information for beginners. As an experienced genealogist, I enjoyed the chapter with lists of interview questions. I’d recommend this book to those who are just beginning to work on their genealogies. For more experienced genealogists, it provides a nice refresher.”