Rev. A. E. Cooper was born in Halifax County, N.C., October 12, 1803, and was one of seven children, two now living, of Isles and Nancy-(Edwards) Cooper. The former was of Scotch origin, born in 1767, and reared his family in Halifax County, N.C. He died about 1812. The mother was born in North Carolina, and was a few years younger than her husband.
Our subject was taken to South Carolina when a small boy and was educated in the common schools of the Palmetto State. In December, 1839, he married Mary H., daughter of Hon. Robert Clendening of York District, South Carolina. Mrs. Cooper was born near Yorksville, S.C., December 11, 1811, and has the following living children: S. C., a farmer living in Henry County, Tenn. ; William F., a professor of music and a resident of McLemoresville; Mary A. (Mrs. J. J. Wingo); Martha L. (Mrs. William Fuqua); Robert A., a farmer residing near McLemoresville; Eliza A. (wife of George Ferrell, who is a lawyer by profession and is now editor of the Humboldt Weekly Messenger). In 1830 Mr. Cooper located at McLemoresville, where he has since resided. Mr. Cooper began his ministerial labors in 1846 and has since been actively engaged in preaching the doctrines of the Cumberland. Presbyterian Church. He assisted in establishing Bethel College and was president of the board of trustees when the school was organized, and with the exception of a short time has since held the position. About 1870 the college was moved to McKinzie, and about one and a half years Mr. Cooper devoted his time and interest to the endowment fund of the college, the same being raised to nearly $50,000. He has always been an energetic worker, and although eighty-three years of age, preaches at three regular appointments.
Transcribed by David Donahue
Source: History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Carroll, Henry and Benton Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978.