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WILLIE BLANCH LOCKE  was born July 06, 1851 in Chariton Co., MO, and died May 19, 1906 in Fayette, Howard Co., MO.  She married REV. RICE HARRIS COOPER January 10, 1877 in Brunswick, Chariton Co.,  Missouri, son of LARKIN COOPER and HESTER VAUGHN.  He was born June 18, 1848 in Nicholasville, Jessamine Co., KY, and died September 21, 1935 in Moberly, Randolph Co.,  MO.




Mrs. Willie Locke Cooper, wife of Rev. Rice H. Cooper, was born in Chariton County, Missouri, July 6th, 1851.  In early life she became a member of the Methodist Church, and ever afterward endeavored to live up to the high standard of her Church.  In the winter of 1877,  January 10th, at Brunswick [Chariton Co], Mo., she entered into wedded life, and to plighted vows was ever true.  Nine children were born to bless her love.  Harry Merchant and Maybird died in infancy.  Mr. Samuel Cooper is one of the substantial business men of Fayette.  Miss Leutie Locke Cooper is a young woman of education and refinement.  Robert Cooper and Paul Cooper are coming into manhood.  Miss Byrd Cooper is an accomplished young lady.  Mark Cooper is the youngest son and Miss Constance is the youngest of the family.

It fell to the lot of Rev. R. H. Cooper and wife to live eight years in St. Joseph, [Buchanan Co.] Mo.  There they owned a city home, and to that dear home the weary itinerant returned all those years to enjoy the fellowship of that happy fireside.  It was here that this writer first became acquainted with Brother and Sister Cooper.  It was here I first felt the charm of the truly unselfish life of Sister Cooper.  She had many domestic and social duties, but she was never too busy to come into the study and greet with a cordial welcome the visiting minister, no matter what his place in the Conference might be.  Her gentleness endeared her to her husband's friends.  In the city, with its many allurements and temptations, she stood for truth and integrity.  In her Church, she advocated the things which make for progress and advancement.  When the time came for her to leave St. Joseph, she left enshrined in the love many dear friends.  It was her joy to help in planning their last home, Sunny Side, Fayette, Mo.  She entered gracefully into the Christian and classic life of Fayette.  Her ample new home even enlarged her love for entertaining.  She sat as a queen at the head of her table, dispensing hospitality to her guests.  When the shadows of suffering fell across her spirit, this home to her was all the sweeter.  The roses at the doorway were planted by her own hands.  She was a lover of beauty and of God.  When the angels of God came they received her spirit into a mansion in the skies.  The dear home and the sweet roses of Heaven are hers forever.

1906 Missouri Conference Minutes for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, p 74

Mrs. Willie Locke Cooper
Mrs. Willie Locke, the beloved wife of Rev. R.H. Cooper, was born in Chariton County, Missouri, July 6, 1851, and having served faithfully her generation, by the will of God fell asleep in Jesus at Sunny Side, her beautiful home, May 19, 1906, aged fifty-four years ten months and thirteen days. Being of delicate form, she was ll her life the child of suffering. Especially was this true during the past eight years, when she had repeatedly taken leave of her family and gone upon the surgeon's table, submitting to operations that were more than doubtful as to their results. Life to her was the sweetest born, and she clung to it with an unyielding grip. The world was beautiful; its flowers, trees and varied seasons all had a charm for her; but more than these she loved her friends and the loved ones at home, and if heroism and an indomitable will, with all the aid that medical skill could bring to her assistance could have availed, the death angel she so often turned aside, would not have been victorious in the last conflict. But in this war there is no discharge.
Reared under the sanctified influences of a Christian home, she gave her heart to God in tender childhood and became a devoted member of the Methodist Church. In her religious experience she professed to be one of the least of her Lord's disciples, and yet if fidelity to duty and self-sacrificing services for others are the cardinal graces of the Christ life, she was indeed a saint. For thirty years she shared the fortunes and privations of the itinerary ministry. During much of this time, on account of the forced absence from home of her husband, in his official duties, she was left with the care and responsibility of a large household, and yet like a Christian heroine, she bore these burdens and counted it a great joy to have a place in the ministry. Some time before her death she wrote these beautiful words:
"The years of our wedded life have been strangely fraught with hopes and fears, joys and tears; but in all these, my dear husband, your presences has both brightened and lightened every scene of my life, and well I know that love like ours, so holy, pure and high, can not perish with mortal life, but in Heaven will brighten to a lovely star and glow in eternity more beautiful. Only a few years do we journ here, and we come to that bridge - Death - which transports us to a paradise of joy or a land of wretchedness."
"How sweet, 'twill be at evening
If you and I can say,
Good Shepherd, we've been seeking
The lambs that went astray;
Hear sore and faint with hunger
We heard them making moan,
And lo! we come at nightfall
Bearing them safely home."

She was married in Brunswick, Mo., January 10, 1877, and was the mother of nine children: Harry Merchant, the first born, when fifteen months of age, and Maybird, when six, were gathered as lambs to the upper fold. Samuel, Leutie Locke, Robert, Paul, Byrd, Mark and Constance are the ones who abide, and if a mother's love solicitude and ceaseless prayers can avail anything, she has left them a goodly heritage.
The golden bowl is broken and the silver cord is loosed, and life's weary warfare has ceased. When told that her time was short and that she must set her house in order, she said she loved her home and friends so dearly she could not get her consent to leave them. She had planned and supervised the making of her home, the planting of the trees and flowers, she had watched the unfolding of every life at Sunny Side until this was to her enchanted ground. But God had in store something better for her. After days and nights of suffering she awoke one day from a peaceful sleep during which she had had a vision of the unseen. To her husband she said: "I am going away to leave you, but it is all right." To each of her children she gave a mother's blessing and the sweetest token of her love. When the tide of life was fast ebbing, she was asked how she felt. She whispered in answer: "Only trusting, and 'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus." Again she said: "God's tender mercies have followed me all the days of my life, and while I am so unworthy, He will receive me." To her husband she said: "Meet me in Heaven and bring all the children with you." Her last prayer was that God would bless her physicians, who she said had so faithfully and sympathetically stood by her in all her suffering. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, without a struggle, she calmly and peacefully entered into her rest.


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


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 T. 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.

Mark Cooper


Constance Cooper



1860 Federal Census  

Daviess Co., MO Gallatin TownshipMicrofilm Series Roll p. 551Dwelling 451
1860 LOCK HARRISON Chariton County MO 306 Clark Township Federal Population Schedule MO 1860 Federal Census Index MO22966271

1870 Federal Census

  TownshipMicrofilm Series Roll p. Dwelling
 1870 LOCKE HARRISON Chariton County MO 181 Clark Twp Federal Population Schedule MO 1870 Federal Census Index MO301107407

1900 Federal Census  

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



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.]