Sunday, July 23, 2017

Ashley Joseph Cooper (1868-1941) - Part 1

Old Cooper Bible

A.J. Cooper obituary. Honolulu
Star-Bulletin. May 9, 1941, page 1

Cooper, Ashley Joseph. Family Bible Records. 1848-1868. The Holy Bible. [Cover page torn out.] Privately held by Mary R. Cooper. San Diego, California. 2005.
Ashley Joseph Cooper is the seventh son, eleventh child, of fourteen children of Austin COOPER and Elizabeth GIBSON. He was born on 22 Aug 1868 in Roscommon, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. His father was the station master for the Midland Great Western railway of Ireland. 

"Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620-1881," database, FamilySearch ( : 8 December 2014), Ashley Joseph Cooper, 22 Aug 1868; citing 0362, ROSCOMMON, ROSCOMMON, IRELAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 101,172. Accessed 5 May 2005.
Ashley lived in counties Galway and Cavan with his family, before he left for the United States in 1886. His father died three years before. His widowed mother left for America in 1884. 

On 1 May 1886, Walter Cooper, age 18 [19], boarded the City of Rome in Liverpool with his younger 16 [17] year old brother, "Jos. A." Cooper for New York. In reality, the boys were almost two years older as stated on the ship document.

"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital image, ( : accessed 19 May 2017), Image 722 of 1059, Line 497, Jos. A. Cooper entry, citing List Number 490 of National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, Roll 485; Ship City of Rome out of Liverpool, R. W. M[???] master, arrived New York on 1 May 1885.

Did their mother, Elizabeth Gibson Cooper, meet her two sons in New York at this time? Did she give the family Bible to them, before they moved on to Texas? Did she go to Texas with them by 1888? Interesting to see Ashley's birthdate written at a later time in the Bible. I find evidence of the brothers living in Texas.

Ashley is working for the Austin Dispatch according to the Austin, Texas, Directory in 1888 to 1889.  

Walter travelled on to Denver, Colorado, to settle by 1900.

Ashley is a border in a hotel, with a wife, in Austin, Texas. Ashley and Ida had been married for six years. I find their marriage license dated 16 April 1894 in Austin.

"Texas Marriages, 1837-1973," Marriages V. 8-9  1892-1898. A. J. Cooper and Ida Hancock, 16 Apr 1894; citing marriages, [Austin], Travis Co., Texas. FHL Microfilm #978,167 : accessed 19 July 2017. 

The 1900 Census states that Ashley arrived in 1890 [1886] and was naturalized. Ashley still worked as a printer. Where are those naturalization records for Ashley?

In 1903, I find Ashley J. Cooper listed in Houston, Texas, City Directory. He works as a linotype operator for the Houston Post. He lives at 1512 Texas Ave.

Ten years later in 1913, I find Ashley in Honolulu, Hawaii, filing a petition for divorce from Ida. So this states when and where they were married: April 16, 1894 in Austin, Texas. She left him April 15, 1906.

Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Honolulu, Hawaii). 8 Aug 1913, Fri. page 2 col. 7.
The previous year, 7 Aug 1912, the Honolulu Star Bulletin reports that Ida Cooper was living down in Mexico City.

9 Feb 1914, The Honolulu Star Bulletin reports that Ida Cooper's whereabouts is unknown. 

Honolulu Star Bulletin (Honolulu, Hawaii), 9 Feb. 1914, Mon.  page 7, col 4.
He was granted his divorce on 27 April the same year on the grounds of desertion taking effect on 1 May. She is declared either missing or dead.

In 1917, I find Ashley in his first business transaction with partner, J. M. Cunningham in buying the Santa Clara, California, News, while in Hawaii. The copy of this article does not show the whole page.

Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Honolulu, Hawaii). 28 May 1917, Mon. page 5 col. 3.
Four years later, Ashley Cooper finds love again marrying Miss Daisy E. Smith on 31 Dec. 1918, at St. Andrew's Cathedral of Honolulu. They made their home at 1721 Dole St. 

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