Job Adams Cooper, Governor

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Job Adams Cooper

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Charles Cooper and Maria Hadley
Husband of Jane Olivia Barnes
Father of Mary Louisa Storrs

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Job Adams Cooper, Governor

Job Adams Cooper (November 6, 1843 – January 20, 1899) was a U.S. Republican Party politician. He served as the sixth Governor of the State of Colorado from 1889 to 1891.

Early life

Job Adams Cooper was born in Greenville, Illinois, to Charles and Maria Hadley Cooper, one of seven children. The future Governor attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, but took a leave of absence to fight in the American Civil War for the Union Army.

Cooper enlisted as a sergeant in the 137th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was stationed in Memphis, Tennessee, during the Confederate raid on the city by troopers under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Following the war, he returned to complete his studies. Upon graduation from Knox College in 1867, he returned to his hometown of Greenville and was admitted to practice law in Illinois. That same year, he married Jane O. Barnes, the daughter of a prominent minister, and they had four children together. Leaving his family behind in 1872, he accompanied A. C. Phelps on a westward journey hoping to find entrepreneurial opportunities, and eventually settled in Denver, Colorado, where they started the law firm of Phelps and Cooper. In between 1872 and 1888, Cooper expanded his business interests to include insurance, banking, mining, and the cattle industry.

Governor of Colorado

In 1888, Cooper was nominated for Governor, and went on to defeat Rocky Mountain News editor Thomas MacDonald Patterson. Following his inauguration as the state's sixth Governor in January, 1889, he signed legislation that created thirteen new counties, including: Baca, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Montezuma, Morgan, Otero, Phillips, Prowers, Rio Blanco, Sedgwick, and Yuma. Furthermore, he opened a state orphans home in Denver and a state reformatory in Chaffee County.


Cooper declined to seek reelection in 1890, and returned to his law practice. He later formed a construction business and built Denver's Cooper Building, which is considered an architectural gem to this day. From 1893 to 1897, he served as President of the local Chamber of Commerce. He died at the relatively young age of 55 and is buried in Block 24 of Denver's Fairmount Cemetery.

Family life

He was survived by at least one child, a daughter, Mary Louisa Cooper, wife of geologist and railroadman, Lucius Seymour Storrs. The Storrs had two children, Lucius Seymour Storrs, Jr., and Margaret Storrs Grierson.

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Job Adams Cooper, Governor's Timeline