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Duval Co. Biographies

COOPER, Charles Merian

Author: The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1923,  Vol. II pg.116

COOPER, CHARLES MERIAN was born in Athens, Georgia, January 16, 1856,
His ancestors settled in early times in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia,
and the family has been long established in Florida and prominent in Florida
affairs. His great-grandfather, Col. JOHN COOPER, was of that portion of
Liberty County, Georgia, which would became McIntosh County, and was a
distinguished officer of the American Revolution, having served throughout the
war as Captain, Major and Lieutenant-Colonel of Georgia Troops, and a number
of his exploits are mentioned in the histories of Georgia. His maternal great-
grandfather, JAMES JACKSON, also served with distinction, as Major and
Lieutenant-Colonel of Georgia troops in the Revolutionary war, and as Governor
of Georgia, a member of the United States House of Representatives in the
First Congress and as United States Senator from Georgia, dying at a
comparatively early age while in the United States Senate. The maternal
grandmother of CHARLES M. COOPER was MILDRED LEWIS COBB, who was of Virginia
ancestry and related to George Washington. The two sons of Col. JOHN COOPER,
namely, CHARLES M. COOPER, the first, and JAMES G. COOPER, removed from
McIntosh County, Georgia, to Florida, while it was still a Territory. JAMES
G. COOPER settled in Nassau County, and became a member of the territorial
Council, served with distinction as Major of Florida troops in the first
Seminole Indian war, and was a member of the State Senate and of the Secession
Convention. He afterwards moved to Manatee county. His son, FRANCIS M.
COOPER, was State Senator from DeSoto county, CHARLES M. COOPER, the elder,
first acquired and settled on a plantation on the Suwannee River, but soon
removed to Jacksonville, where he resided many years, being a leading citizen,
and for some years Postmaster of that city. His son, CHARLES PHILIP COOPER,
the father of the present CHARLES M. COOPER, as above mentioned, was one of
the leading lawyers of Florida, and resided in Jacksonville for many years.
From 1857 to 1861 he was General Agent of the United States Treasury
Department, having supervision of customs from North Carolina to New Mexico.
When the war between the States began, he was employed by the Government of
the Confederate States to assist in the organization of its Treasury
Department. In 1866 he represented Duval County in the Legislature. In 1884
he was a member of the Democratic Convention that first nominated Grover
Cleveland for the Presidency. Nearly all his active life, however, was
devoted to the practice of his profession, and it was as a lawyer that he was
chiefly known and identified with the history of Florida. Another son of the
first CHARLES M. COOPER was MERIAN R. COOPER, who entered the Confederate
service at the age of sixteen years as a private in the Second Florida
Infantry, and after being wounded in Virginia and discharged, enlisted in the
Second Florida Cavalry. He was promoted and commissioned as Lieutenant for
unusual gallantry at the Battle of Olustee, and was after commissioned Captain
in the Confederate Army. After the war he was for many years county Judge of
St. Johns County, Florida. CHARLES PHILIP COOPER left two sons, CHARLES
MERIAN COOPER and JOHN COBB COOPER, both of whom reside in Jacksonville,
Florida. JOHN C. COOPER is a leading lawyer of the State, whose prominence
and ability in his profession has been long and universally recognized. He is
Chairman of the Board of the Florida Branch of The Federal Reserve Bank,
located at Jacksonville, and is a Director in other large corporations.
CHARLES M. COOPER also is a lawyer. He was admitted to the bar in
1877. In 1880 he was married to ROSA LEONARDI. In 1881 he was a member of
the House of Representatives of the Florida Legislature from St. Johns County,
and in 1884 was State Senator from that County. In 1884 he was appointed
Attorney General of the State by Governor Perry, and served for four years.
In 1889 he was appointed one of a Commission of three which revised the
Statutes of the State of Florida, which Revised Statutes went into effect in
In 1892 he was elected a Representative in the Congress of the United
States from the Second Congressional District of Florida, and was re-elected
in 1894, and served until March, 1897. Since that time he has continued to
reside in Jacksonville, and to practice his profession.

Transcribed by Nancy Rayburn

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2016 Fran Smith
This page presented August 19, 2010