Notes for Mathias Cooley (1837-1915) m Wilhemina Smith


Noted added Mon Jan 29 22:16:28 2007

The following was received from Sandra Stanton in Jan 2007.

Portrait & Biographical Records, of Willamette Valley
Pioneers By Chapman, Chicago, 1904


Social and political position in the United States is
not dependent on titles or long lines of family
ancestry, but is based on a man's own achievements.
The subject of this writing owes his success to his
individual efforts anf began the battle of life at the
age of fourteen. From a humble beginning he has risen
to a place os success and honor, an esteemed resident
of his community.

Mr. Cooley is now living a retired life on his farm
three miles north of Silverton, Marion county, and has
the distinction of being one of the pioneer settlers
of that section. His life has been an eventful one and
he has followed a variety of vocations, being also
largely instrumental in the upbuilding of his

Mr. Cooley was born in Platte County, Missouri, August
26, 1837, and is a son of Cornelius and Dolly (White)
Cooley, the latter a native of Missouri. Cornelius was
a Kentuckian by birth. He settled in Missouri when a
young man, and it was there that his marriage took
place. Four sons were born to him and his wife. When
Mattias was but seven years old, the father died, and
as he had requested, the lad was placed in the care of
a family named Wilson. In 1845, the Wilsons crossed
the plains to the far west and many incidents of the
long and perilous journey are still fresh in the mind
of Mr. Cooley. Upon leavind Council Bluffs, Iowa, the
emigrant train consisted of one hundred wagons and it
required about eight months to make the journey to
Oregon. Owing to the scarcity of food, the suffering
was intense. For two weeks they lived on dried salmon
skins, which they obtained by trading with the
Indians, having barely enough of this poor food to
sustain life. They first settled at The Dalles, and
Mr. Wilson was so nearly starved that he overtaxed his
stomach and died the next morning following their
arrival at that place. His widow settle on the
Tualatin plains near Hillsboro, Washington county, and
some time afterward married David Hill, who located in
Oregon in 1840. He took up a donation land claim where
Hillsboro now stands, and gave half of the town site.
He died about 1850, and his widow continued to reside
upon the same farm until her death, having previously
esposed a third husband, whose name was Whelock

Mathias Cooley was the recipient of but a meager
education, which was obtaine in the district schools.
When he attained the age of fourteen he started out to
make his own way in the world, working by the month as
a farm hand until he reached his majority. At the age
of twenty-two years, he entered a wagon shop as an
apprentice, and completely mastered the double trade
of wagonmaker and carpenter. Later he went into
business for himself in Waconda, and it was there that
his marriage took place. Four or five years later the
family removed to Gervais, and about four years after
Mr. Cooley purchased the farm which is still his home.
This farm consists of one hunddred and sixty acres of
land and upon it general farming and stock-raising was
carried on until Mr. Cooley's retirement.

December 23, 1868, Mr. Cooley was joined in matrimony
with Willimina Smith, daughter of John W. and Matilda
(Elliott) Smith. Mrs. Cooley was born in Wayne co.,
Ohio, crossed the plains with her family in 1854, and
settled in Polk county, Oregon. Nine children were
born of this union: Cornelius J., M.G., Mrs Lillian
Urdan, of Portland; Matilda M. of Portland, Sampson J.
of Portland; Bird Bell; Jennie J.; Wallace B. and
Willis. They have a pleasant and attractive home
which is beautifully located. The residence is
conventiently built, the out buildings substantial and
the surrounding grounds well kept.

Mr. Cooley is a loyal and earnest Republican and has
done a great deal of active service for his party. All
the member of his family are more or less inclined
musically and the fame of the Cooley's orchestra is
known throughout that section. Mr. Cooley was at one
time one of the leading violinists of the far west.

Submitted by michael_95073
Noted added Tue Jul 1 00:32:51 2008


"s/w" means "seen with" and indicates which people
are listed on the same stone.

Cooley, Fern, b. 1899, d. 1923
Cooley, Gert, b. 1873, d. 1942
Cooley, Lillian Erdine, b. 3 May 1875, d. 22 Mar 1907,
Daughter of M. & Willimina Cooley,
s/w Mathias Cooley and Willimina Cooley

Cooley, Mathias, b. 1837, d. 1915, "Father",
s/w Lillian Erdine Cooley and Willimina Cooley

Cooley, Willimina, b. 1852, d. 1937, "Mother",
s/w Lillian Erdine Cooley and Mathias Cooley

Submitted by michael_95073
Noted added Sat Aug 30 19:40:19 2008

Series: T623 Roll: 1349 Page: 167

Series: T624 Roll: 1284 Page: 263