On Saturday of Labor Day weekend in 1980, grandchildren, Elma Louise
Skidgel Smith & Joe Frank Cooper, organized the first SANFORD JOSEPH COOPER
family reunion at Piney Bay on the back waters of the Arkansas River west of
Russellville, AR. For several years the reunion alternated between Piney Bay
and Old Post Road Park in Russellville, AR .
Since 1990, Sanford's
grandson, William Wade and his wife Vivian Wade have been in charge of
organizing the yearly family reunion. They have been tireless in thier
efforts and everyone apreciates the sucess of these reunions.
starts showing up around 8 a.m. to visit and catch up on family news before a
covered dish dinner is served at 12:oo noon. We record new marriages, births,
deaths, divorces, catch up on family news and take family group pictures before
Our first project was to compile genealogy records of all the
descendants of Sanford & Harriet Cooper. Julia Tackett Cooper recorded
the records into her computer and submitted these records to the LDS library in
Salt Lake City, Utah.
Julia has also donated the Coopers and all related
families to Family Tree Maker and Kindred Kousins. This year, 1999, we are
trying a new place for the Cooper Reunion. It will be held at the Booger Hollow
Community Building, northwest of Dover, AR at the intersection of Hwy 123 &
Long Pool Rd. The Bull Frog Masonic Lodge,owns the community building. Sanford
Joseph Cooper belonged to this lodge. This is in the area where Sanford &
Harriet lived and raised their children.
In 1997, the Cooper Descendants
started a family project of putting tombstones on the graves of their ancestors
while there were older cousins that knew where the graves were. In 1998, a
stone was purchased for Sanford's mother-in-law, Adelaine Nicklason, whose is
buried next to her grandson, Charles Rufus Cooper in Pollard Cemetery, north of
Dover, Pope County, AR. In 1999, small foot stones were purchased for Rena,
Lela & Alvey Joe Cooper, infant children of Sanford & Harriet Cooper.
Rena & Lela are buried near their parents in Mt. Airy Cemetery outside of
Lamar, Johnson County, AR. A stone for Alvey Joe was placed next to his sisters
with the inscribtion, "In Memory of" because we do not know for sure where Alvey
is buried. Mt. Airy Cemetery has many Morgan relatives of Harriet N. Morgan
Cooper buried there.
Each year many Cooper descendants come as far away
as Oklahoma, Texas & California to join the Arkansas relatives in a day of
renewing family ties.
From sixty to eighty people show up for the Annual
Reunion. Sanford Joseph has 1 living child, Jefferson Morgan Cooper, b. 1907,
who lives in California. Jeff hasnít been able to come to any of the
In January of 1997, Julia A. Cooper who has been keeping the
family tree records of Sanfordís descendants started researching
backwards. She was having trouble finding the family in Tennessee until she
found Sanford's brother, Georgeís records at the LDS library in Hurst,
TX. With the information submitted by RAMONA DUFF, that the family came from
McNairy, Co.,TN, Julia was able to find all of the family in the census records
and TN State Archives. Her goal is to contact any & all of the
descendants of the McNairy Co., TN COOPERs and hopefully find out where in
Virginia they came from and any personal history of this family. In 1997,
Julia & Charles H, Cooper Sr., found descendants of George Monroe Cooper in
Sevier County, AR. It has been wonderful to meet these "new" cousins. They are
interested in genealogy also. With their information handed down from George, we
found Rufus K. Cooper's UNION Military Civil War Records. In 1998, Madison
Bell Cooper's death certificate was found and from there, his gr-granddaughter's
FAMILY TREE MAKER Web PAGE on the Balls, Wrights and McCallisters. The
following data is what Julia A. Cooper has researched and found at the National
Archives in Ft.Worth, TX, the TN State Archives in Nashville, TN and visiting
Selmer, McNairy Co. Tn.