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REV. RICE HARRIS COOPER  was born June 18, 1848 in Nicholasville, Jessamine Co., KY, and died September 21, 1935 in Moberly, Randolph Co.,  MO.  He married (1) MARY F. CURRELL February 16, 1869 in Clay Co., MO.  She was born September 09, 1850, and died October 22, 1869 in Henry Co., MO.  He married (2) WILLIE BLANCH LOCKE January 10, 1877 in Brunswick, Chariton Co.,  Missouri, daughter of HARRISON LOCKE and REBECCA.  She was born July 06, 1851 in Chariton Co., MO, and died May 19, 1906 in Fayette, Howard Co., MO.


He lived in Fayette or Moberly most of his life.  Was a Methodist minister, Chaplain of Central College and has a chapel named for him at Central.

Named Idaleen Cole

Drew pictures that Shirley J. McCoy has.



by Rev. T.H.B. Anderson, D.D.

Rev. Rice Harris Cooper

He is the son of Rev. L.W. and Hester A. Vaughan Cooper, born in Nicholasville, Kentucky, June 1, 1848.  With his parents he emigrated to Missouri in 1854, and was educated in the Gallatin Seminary [Clay Co]  and Central College.  Dedicated to God in infancy, converted at the age of twelve; two years later he joined the Church, and in July, 1871, was licensed to preach.  Being the only son it was the dearest wish of his parents that he might be a preacher of the gospel.  For this they prayed.  He joined the Missouri Conference at Mexico [Audrain Co], September, 1872, and without interruption has give six years to Circuits, nine to Stations, and twenty to Districts.

On Circuits and Stations he was careful and painstaking - what we call a good pastor.  At the same time an excellent student, a habit he still possesses.  Schaff, F. W. Robertson and John Watson, are among his favorite authors.  His expression of faith is his own.  Cant, set phrases, so frequently heard, are not in his vocabulary.  He is orthodox and his spirit conforms to his preaching.  He had revivals in his early ministry, and after put in the Eldership did the work of an evangelist.  "Concerning the collections" he has rare talent.  Give him time and things come to pass.  His District work stands as his monument.

He is a vigorous, thoughtful and entertaining preacher, delighting his auditors; he sets the truth logically in their minds and they go away to ponder it.  Socially is most companionable, quaint, sharp, good at repartee, but leaves no string.  He has a word of anecdote, and is fond of giving them to his friends.  Withal he is a sober, serious man, far removed from levity or light mindedness.  Life to him is not a garden of roses, but conflict with foes visible and invisible.  He feels keenly the responsibility of his position.  His scholastic attainments are above mediocracy;  he knows the Bible, Methodist Theology, English literature, Economics, History, and the best thought of the modern mind.  His acquirements, like disciplined soldiers, go and come at his bidding.

Measured by all rules he is one of the strongest men of the Missouri Conference, and has years of service ahead.  He is now Presiding Elder of the Macon District, Curator of Central College for Women, President of the Missouri Conference Trust Fund, and President of the Joint Commission of Federation of North Missouri.  He has diplomatic ability, and gets as a rule what he goes after.  His judgment of men and measures is good.  Had he turned his attention to business he would have succeeded admirably.

Recently his wife and companion went away to Heaven.  The loss to him and family was great, as she was a most estimable lady.  Brother Cooper has borne his affliction with heroic fortitude, reveres her memory, and looks forward hopefully to sweet reunion over there.  Mrs. R.H. Cooper had a host of friends who cherish her memory.

1935 Missouri Conference Minutes for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, p 110
Memoir for Rice Harris Cooper
Rice Harris Cooper, son of L.W. and Hester Vaughan Cooper, was born in Nicholasville, Ky., June 18, 1848. In 1854 he came to Missouri with his parents. In July, 1871, he was licensed to preach. He joined the Missouri Conference at Mexico in September, 1872. On September 2, 1874 he was ordained deacon by Bishop Keener at the Conference held at St. Joseph. On September 2, 1876, he was ordained elder by Bishop McTyeire at Hannibal. On January 10, 1877, he was married to Miss Willie D. Locke, of Brunswick. She died May 17, 1905. Surviving sons and daughters are: Mrs. Lutie Knight, Paul Cooper, Robert E. Cooper, Mark Cooper, Mrs. Alva Kirby, and Mrs. J. A. Walden. Among other appointments he served the St. Joseph District. Since 1907 he served as Agent and Secretary for the Missouri Conference Trust Fund. He died at the home of his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Walden, at Moberly, September 21, 1935. Funeral services were held at Fourth Street Church, Moberly. His brethren having part in this service were: S.P. Cresap, R.H. Ruff, W.L. Myers, J.D. Randolph, John L. Taylor, and the writer. The service at the grave in Fayette cemetery was conducted by Bishop John M. Moore. --- Rolla S. Kenaston.


Database: St. Joseph, Missouri Directories, 1887-90

Name              Business Name             Occupation   Location 1     Location 2     City         State       Year

Rice H. Cooper     M. E. Church South             presiding elder                      r. 620 Bon Ton      St. Joseph MO      1889

reverend Rice H. Cooper M. E. Church (south)      presiding elder                      r 2028 Clay     St. Joseph MO      1890


1917, D.D., Central College


Rice Cooper and Mary Currell - February 16, 1869, Clay Co., Missouri

This record can be found at the County Court Records, Film # 0955302 - 0955309

Marriage Records of Clay County, Missouri, 1852-1900; Three Volumes - Volume II

Rice Cooper and Willie Locke - January 10, 1877, Brunswick, Chariton Co., Missouri


Children of Rice Harris Cooper and Willie Locke are:
Harry Merchant Cooper


b. Abt. 1877; d. Abt. 1878.

Maybird Cooper


b. Abt. 1878; d. Abt. 1879.

Samuel Thornton Cooper

b. January 1880, Missouri.

Lutie Locke Cooper

b. August 1881, Missouri.

Robert Cooper

b. January 1883, Missouri.

Paul Cooper

b. March 1885, Missouri.

Birdie Cooper

b. September 1887, Missouri; d. November 12, 1949; m. ALVA KIRBY; b. September 12, 1883; d. February 17, 1953.

William Mark Cooper


Constance Cooper



1850 Federal Census  

Jessamine Co., KY TownshipMicrofilm Series Roll p. 141Dwelling 451

1860 Federal Census  

Daviess Co., MO Gallatin TownshipMicrofilm Series Roll p. 551Dwelling 451

1870 Federal Census

  TownshipMicrofilm Series Roll p. Dwelling

1900 Federal Census  

Howard Co., MissouriRichmond TownshipMicrofilm Series  T623Roll 859p. 175Dwelling 247

1910 Federal Census  

Howard Co., MissouriRichmond Township Fayette City SupplementalMicrofilm Series  Roll p. 26aDwelling

1920 Federal Census  

Howard Co., MissouriRichmond TownshipMicrofilm Series  T623Roll 859p. 4aDwelling



Walnut Ridge Cemetery, Fayette, Howard Co., MO



Soc. Sec.
Social Security #: 
SS# issued in:  
Birth date: 
Death date: 
Residence code: 
ZIP Code of last known residence: 
Primary location associated with this ZIP Code: 
[Broderbund Family Archive #110, Vol. 1 A-L, Ed. 5, Social Security Death Index: U.S.]