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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
James Chrysler Cooper

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 46-47 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Portraits | Illustrations | Maps

James Chrysler Cooper, former city judge of Schenectady, who has been an active representative of the legal profession in that city during the past quarter of a century, maintains his offices at No. 423 State street. His birth occurred at High Mills, Schenectady county, New York, on the 23d of April, 1872, his parents being Rensselaer J. and Lydia M. (Chrysler) Cooper, both of whom were natives of Glenville, that county. The father, who was of Holland Dutch and Scotch-Irish parentage, devoted his attention to farming in early life but later became a school teacher and subsequently engaged in the grocery business. Taking an active part in public affairs of his city, he was made a member of the board of education and also served as deputy collector of internal revenue. When forty years of age he took up law practice, to which he devoted his time and energies throughout the remainder of his life, gaining wide recognition as one of the most able attorneys in the United States. He had attained the ripe old age, of eighty-three years when called to his final rest in January, 1918, and in his passing Schenectady county sustained the loss of one of her valued citizens and honored native sons. His wife died in 1875, at the comparatively early age of thirty-three years.

James C. Cooper supplemented his early education, acquired in the public schools of Schenectady, by a course of study in the Union Classical Institute of that city. He then matriculated in Union College of Schenectady, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1897, while two years later the same institution conferred upon him the honorary degree of Master of Arts. Having determined to follow in the professional footsteps of his father, he entered the Albany Law School and after completing the work prescribed therein was graduated in 1899. The same year he was admitted to the bar and through the intervening period to the present time has remained in active practice in Schenectady, being accorded a large and lucrative clientage in recognition of his pronounced professional ability and wide legal learning. His brother, Frank Cooper, is now a resident of Albany, serving as United States judge for the northern district of New York. James C. Cooper filled the position of county attorney for one term of two years and in 1919 was elected city judge of Schenectady, remaining on the bench until January 1, 1924, and making a splendid record in the efficient discharge of his important judicial duties. He enjoys the distinction of being the only democrat who has ever been chosen for this office.

On the 14th of September, 1916, Mr. Cooper was united in marriage to Miss Marguerite Kennedy, daughter of Alex G. and Isabella (Compton) Kennedy, who are natives of Prince Edward Island and now reside at Saranac Lake, New York. Mr. Kennedy is a well known artist. Mr. and Mrs. Cooper have a son: James Compton, whose natal day was May 31, 1920. The family home is at No. 710 Union street in Schenectady.

While a student at Union College Mr. Cooper joined Chi Psi fraternity. He is also a member of the Mohawk Golf Club and is interested in all forms of athletics, particularly baseball and football. His political support is given to the democratic party. In all matters of citizenship he maintains a progressive stand and his influence has been a potent force on the side not only of law and order but of advancement and improvement.

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