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Hon. Rauseldon Cooper

From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.

HON. RAUSELDON COOPER, of Oquawka, who is now serving as County Judge of Henderson County, has been connected with the Bench and Bar of this locality since February, 1876, and has won a leading position as a lawyer, one that has not only secured for him a liberal patronage, but has also been the means of giving him the responsible position which he now fills. Judge Cooper has a wide acquaintance in this community, and all who know him hold him in high esteem. We therefore feel assured that this record of his life will prove of interest to many of our readers. Born in Wayne County, Ind., on the 24th of December, 1845, he comes of a family of English origin. His father, John Cooper, and his grandfather, William Cooper, were both natives of Pennsylvania, and the former, who follows farming, is now living in Bald Bluff Precinct, Henderson County, whither he removed in 1849. He married Martha E. Smith, and they became the parents of two children, Rauseldon, and Martha L , now deceased.

The mother of our subject died when he was only about four years of age, and he then went to live with his grandmother in Wayne County, Ind. His education in early life was limited to the privileges afforded by the common schools, but afterwards he attended Lombard University, in Galesburg, Ill., and was graduated from that institution in 1869, with the degree of B. S. He had come to Henderson County in 1853, locating in what at that time was known as Greenville Precinct, but is now called Fall Creek Precinct. On completing his literary education, he returned to the farm and worked for his father for six years, but, not content to follow agricultural pursuits throughout life, he determined to enter the legal profession, and in the autumn of 1873 and in the winter of 1874-75, he was a student in the law department of the University of Michigan, being graduated therefrom in the spring of 1875. In February, 1876, he came to Oquawka, and, opening an office, at once began practice, which he carried on continuously until 1880. In that year he was elected State's Attorney of Henderson County, and so ably did he discharge the duties of the office that he was re-elected in 1884. Again, on the expiration of his second term in 1888, he was chosen his own successor, and filled the office until 1890, when he resigned, for he had been elected County Judge. He at once entered upon the duties of that position, and his course on the Bench has met with the same high approval and commendation that greeted his administration of affairs while serving as State's Attorney.

On the 14th of September, 1875, Judge Cooper was united in marriage with Miss Lucy E. Cummins, a daughter of Opdyke H. and Ellen D. (Oxford) Cummins. They became the parents of five children, three sons and two daughters, Moses R., Margaret E., Rauseldon, Harry Mac and Leona, and the family circle yet remains unbroken, for all are still under the parental roof.

The Judge is a warm advocate of Republican principles, having been identified with that party since casting his first Presidential vote for U. S. Grant. Besides the positions already mentioned, he has filled several local offices, having served as Justice of the Peace, as a member of the Town Board and as School Director. Socially, he belongs to Tranquil Lodge No. 193, I. O. O. F.; and Oquawka Camp No. 1037, M. W. A. His rulings on the Bench are always just, the result of decisions which have been obtained after careful deliberation and weighing of evidence. Skill and ability have won him prominence in the legal profession and given him a foremost place at the Henderson County Bar.