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Laura Cooper Collection (Byron)


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

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Laura Cooper Collection (Byron), 1892-1965 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: Laura Cooper Collection (Byron), 1892-1965

ID: RHC/RC/044

Extent: 1.75 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 11/06/1978

Subjects: Byron (Ill.), Byron, Churches, Congregationalists, Cooper, Laura, Diaries-- 1870-1909, Diaries-- 1910-1960, Diaries-- 1961-1990, Family life--History, Middle Creek Presbyterian Church, Winnebago, National Grange, National Grange. Byron Grange (Ogle County, Ill.)

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Laura Cooper’s diaries, located in box one, date from 1892 to 1893, 1938 to 1942, 1944 to 1948, and 1954 to 1965.  The diaries offer a chronicle of one woman’s day-to-day activities over a number of years including comments on family, deaths of relatives and town members, church activities, and other common situations such as meals and weather.

Box two of the collection contains reminiscences of Mrs. Cooper about Byron’s Congregational Church (1897-1924); weekly bulletins, programs, histories, and anniversary booklets from several Byron churches and the Middle Creek Presbyterian Church in Winnebago, Illinois.  Mrs. Cooper’s husband, John T., was active in granges throughout Ogle County and file 11 consists of grange histories, programs, and reminiscences (1936-1958).  Of special interest to the researcher is a Byron Centennial History, 1835-1935.

Several sunday school books (ca. 1910), children’s story books and prayer books are included in box 3.  Also in box 3 is a one hundred and ten page scrapbook compiled by Mrs. Cooper which contains newspaper clippings documenting the history of the Cooper and Whitney families and that of Byron itself (1899-1942).

Collection Historical Note

Laura Annie (Whitney) Cooper (1881-1965) was the daughter of Wilbur F. (1848-1937) and Elizabeth (Barton) Whitney (1853-1939).  She was a member of the Byron School Board, president of the Congregational Church’s Missionary Society, charter member of the Byron Grange, as well as, being active in other local societies and organizations.  Mrs. Cooper died of a sudden heart attack on October 31, 1965, at the age of 83.

On January 27, 1902, Laura married John Cooper (1878-1938), the son of Philip (1855-1934) and Mary (Miles) Cooper (1858-1888).  Beginning as a farmer, John next became a mail carrier in the Byron area.  Following thirty years of service, he retired to become the supervisor of Byron Township in 1937.  Mr. Cooper, like his wife, was active in the community.  He was the First Master of the Byron Grange and organizer of other granges in Ogle County including the County Pomona Grange.  He was also a Mason and member of the Congregational Church.  Mr. Cooper died on June 25, 1938.

The Coopers had one son, Wilbur P., who donated this collection to the Center.  He attended Beloit College and the University of Illinois Law School, later becoming a prominent attorney in the Byron area.

Subject/Index Terms

Byron (Ill.)
Byron, Churches
Cooper, Laura
Diaries-- 1870-1909
Diaries-- 1910-1960
Diaries-- 1961-1990
Family life--History
Middle Creek Presbyterian Church, Winnebago
National Grange
National Grange. Byron Grange (Ogle County, Ill.)

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Mr. Wilbur Cooper

Acquisition Method: Mr. Wilbur Cooper of Byron, Illinois donated his mother's diaries and personal papers to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on November 6, 1978.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],

Box 1
Folder 1-6: Diaries (24), 1892-1893, 1938-1942, 1944-1948, 1954-1965
Box 2
Folder 1: Whitney-Cooper Sympathy Resolutions, 1923, no date
Folder 2: Laura Cooper, Byron Congregational Church Reminiscences, 1897-1924
Folder 3: Cooper Momentos, 1949, no date
Folder 4: Byron Congregational Church Weekly Bulletins; United Church of Byron Weekly Bulletins, 1924; 1935-1961
Folder 5: United Church of Byron, Programs, Anniversary Booklets, 1934-1963
Folder 6: United Church Program, 1935
Folder 7: Middle Creek Presbyterian Church, Winnebago, Illinois, 1930-1955
Folder 8
Item 1: Byron Churches: Byron Congregational Church, 1900, 1904
Item 2: Byron Churches: Byron Methodist Episcopal Church, 1937
Folder 9: Church Bulletins, 1926-1937
Folder 10: Byron Centennial Book, 1835-1935
Folder 11: Grange Histories, 1936-1958
Folder 12
Item 1: Photographs: Cora Carpenter, no date
Item 2: Photographs: Laura Cooper, June 22, 1958
Box 3
Volume 1: Scrapbook (1 Volume)
Volume  2-4: Stories from the Olden Time, Parts I, III, IV (3 volumes)
Volume  5-6: Hero Stories, Parts I, II (2 volumes)
Volume  7: A Book of Prayers (1 volume)
Volume 8: His Last Week (1 volume)
Volume 9: The Acts of the Apostles (1 volume)
Volume 10: Stories of Daniel (1 volume)
Volume 11: Great American Inventions (1 volume)
Volume 12: The Quest of Prince Arros (1 volume)
Volume 13: Bruce of the Cumberlands (1 volume)
Volume 14: The Young Shield Bearer (1 volume)
Volume 15: Chapters from the Country Kitchen (1 volume)
Volume  16-17: Two Addresses Delivered by J.S. Braddock to his Wife (2 volume)

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],

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