Hon. Mark A. Cooper

The Cartersville American
Cartersville, Georgia
March 24, 1885, page 2
Transcribed by:  

Death of a Great Man.

Our venerable and highly honored fellow citizen, Hon. Mark A. Cooper died at his home near Cartersville last Tuesday evening.  In his death Georgia loses one of her bravest and truest sons – a patriot, statesman and philanthropist – the last perhaps of a generation that gave luster to her name and fame.  In looking over the names of our departed statesmen, none appears in better light than that of Mark A. Cooper.  He was respected by all, and warmly loved by those intimately acquainted with him.

Hon. Mark A. Cooper was born in Hancock county, April 20th, 1800.  His parents were Virginians.  His father married Judith Harvey, daughter of James and Sarah Harvey, whose maiden name was Clark, sister to the grandfather of the late James Clark, Esq., of Atlanta.  He was graduated from Columbia, S. C., college in 1819.  He was admitted to the bar in 1821, and practiced in Eatonton.

He served as paymaster in Colonel Hamilton’s regiment in the war against the Seminole Indians in 1825 and 1826.  He served one term in the United States Congress, and was elected for a second term, but resigned his seat to accept the nomination of the Democratic party for Governor of Georgia, but was defeated by his opponent, George W. Crawford.  This was in 1842.  He then retired from political life.  He was never defeated for any office, except when put forward and called out by his party.  In 1877 he was complimented by the people of his district with a seat in the Legislature as Senator to fill a vacancy, which he accepted, serving his term.

In 1826 he served in Florida in the second campaign against the Seminoles as Major of the Georgia Battalion, in General Scott’s army.

He made the first public address in favor of building the first railroad in the State at a meeting of citizens called at Eatonton to consider the project of building a road from Augusta to Eatonton.  He was instrumental in getting the charter.  He followed up this subject until the Georgia road was built to Athens, Madison, Covington, Decatur, Atlanta, and on to Chattanooga.  He built the branch road to Etowah, and was the projector and president of the Cherokee road.  He planned and organized the Eatonton cotton mills, one of the first in the country.  He procured a charter and established a prosperous bank in Columbus, which survived the great crash of banks in 1837-38-39.  He built the Etowah Iron Works, and established the first merchant flouring mill in Georgia.  He was the first to open the Dade Coal mines, and those on the Tennessee river. He organized and founded the State Agricultural Society.  He was a trustee of Mercer University at its organization and for fifty years a trustee of the University of Georgia.

He has been a devoted Baptist all his life, and was a member of the first Temperance society organized in Georgia –fifty years ago.  He has organized and built churches and contributed many thousands of dollars to benevolent and religious purposes.  He was in many respects one of the most illustrious men in Georgia, and died peacefully in his 86th year, at his beautiful home, full of the honors and blessings of a great and useful Christian life.


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