Name: John Cooley103
Born: Jun 21-27, 1789
Place: Stokes Co NC
Died: May 1866
Place: Bartholomew Co IN
John served in the War of 1812 for thirty-five days in 1812 from
Washington County, Indiana under Captain Hiram C Boon. His brother, Reuben
Cooley, served for thirty days as John's substitute in 1813.
John's exact birthdate is unknown. However, he had reached his 61st
birthday by the time the 1850 census was taken on July 23 but had not yet
reached his 71st birthday as of the taking of the 1860 census on June 20.
He was 66 at the time of signing a declaration in respect to his 1812 war
service on June 28, 1855. We can safely guess, then, that he was probably
born between June 21 and June 27, 1789.
Unsubstantiated information is circulating that John's widow, Selah, married a second time to William Elkins in 1869. In
fact, Selah is found living as Celia Cooley on the 1870 census. Her son Noah
had a daughter named Selah who would have been of marriageable age in 1869.
(See my notes for Noah Cooley).
Aiken. He was in Putnam County MO by 1860. Died at St
Louis MO barracks, 25 Jul 1865.|
||Married Catherine Goss.
||Married Nancy A Johnson. Find A Grave Memorial# 54914099.
||Married Priscilla Goss.
||Married Berthena Goss.
||Probably died young.
1850 census for Jackson Township, Washington County,
Series: M432 Roll: 179 Page: 271
22 22 John Cooley 61 M Farmer NC
Sela " 59 F NC
Bradley " 22 M IN
Barthena " 21 F IN
23 23 Edward Cooley 27 M Farmer IN
Priscilla " 27 F IN
John H " 7 M IN
Merrill " 5 M IN
Noah " 1 M IN
Barthena " 1 F IN
25 25 David Cooley 34 M Farmer IN
Laurinda " 29 F IN
Thompson " 8 M IN
Dill " 7 M IN
Greenberry " 6 M IN
Amanda " 1 F IN
1860 census, Jackson Township, Bartholomew County,
366 371 Stephen Cooley 54 M Farmer NC
Nancy " 54 F NC
Daniel " 32 M IN
367 372 Abraham Cooley 27 M Farm Laborer IN
Nancy C " 23 F IN
Louisa J Cooley 4 F IN
Joseph " 3 M IN
Mary E " 2 F IN
Nancy C " 1 F IN
368 373 Noah Cooley 40 M Farmer IN
Nancy " 38 F IN
Mary E 17 F IN
? 14 F IN
Sarah E 12 F IN
Catherine J 11 F IN
Wm W 6 M IN
Martha J 4 F IN
Francis A 1 F IN
394 399 Joseph Cooley 38 M Farmer IN
Mary " 38 F NY
Elizabeth 17 F IN
Wm G 12 M IN
Martha 9 F IN
Nancy 7 F IN
Amanda 4 F IN
415 420 Patsy Cooley 66 F NC
454 459 John Cooley 70 M Farmer NC
Selah " 66 F NC
455 460 Bradley " 32 M Farmer IN
Parthena " 30 F IN
Christopher " 9 M IN
Freemont " 5 M IN
Samantha " 1 F IN
1870 census, Jackson Township, Bartholomew County,
Indiana, pg 187-188
30 30 Cooley, Celia 77 F W Keeping House NC
Davis, Sarah 16 F W Domestic Servant IN
32 32 Cooley, Bradley 42 M W Farmer IN
Bartheny 41 F W IN
Carson 19 M W IN
Fremont 14 M W IN
Samantha 11 F W IN
Olive 8 F W IN
41 41 Cooley, Noah 51 M W Gunsmith IN
Nancy 51 F W Keeping House IN
Mary E 26 F W IN
Sarah E 21 F W IN
William 16 M W IN
Martha E 13 F W IN
Francis 11 M W IN
Alma 6 F W IN
43 43 Cooley, Stephen 64 M W Farmer NC
Louisa J 14 F W IN
Will of John Cooley
One of the first things that struck me after reading John's will is the
fact that it was written only six weeks after the death of his son David.
My thanks to Meg Grossman, genealogist at the Bartholomew County Clerk's
Office, for a photocopy of the following.
The last will and testament of John Cooley of the Township of Jackson in
the County of Bartholomew State of Indiana
Considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound mind and
memory, Blessed be the almighty for the same, do make and publish this my
last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say first I
hereby constitute and appoint Samuel W Fitch to be sole executor of this my
last will and testament, directing him to pay all my just debts and funeral
expenses and to attend to the renting of the real estate for the use of my
wife and further to see that all of the provisions of this my will are
Second--I give and bequeth to my wife Celah all my real estate to have and
to hold the same until her death.
Third--at the death of my wife I want my executor to sell my real estate and
all my personal property that is so remaining and divide it equally amongst
my heirs, the children of my son David deceased to be as one heir.
Fourth--I have a land warrant which I want my executor to sell, also a
suckling colt and a three year old colt, also a yearling calf, the proceeds
of which he will use to pay the debts and the balance, if any, to be given
to my wife.
Fifth--I want my son Bradley to have my hand saw.
Sixth--I have a young orchard which I want to be well taken care of allowing
no stock to run in it. Seventh--I want my executor to give my son Bradley to
use of certain fields in prefference [sic] to any one else to farm the one
third to be given to my wife Celah, the fields described as follows, all the
clear land on the east side of the road, also the last part of the cleared
land on the west side of the road. Eighth I want my son Noah to have the
meddow [sic] on the west side of the road to mow and to give the one half of
the hay to my wife also what land he has cleared he his to have the use of
it if he wants it during his lifetime of my wife free of rent Ninth I want
the wagon and mare kept on the place for the use of the same Tenth I want my
wife to have the cow and heifer and to have the hogs to make use of as she
Eleventh. My son Bradley is to have my flock of sheep to keep during my
wifes [sic] lifetime to give her one half the wool and one half the
In witness whereof I have unto set my hand and seal this 6th day of Sept
The above instrument consisting of one sheet of paper was now here
subscribed by John Cooley the testator in the [------] of us, and was at the
same time declared by him to be his last will and testament and we at his
request sign our names hereto as attesting witnesses.
Gilbert Coons residing in Jackson Township Bartholomew County Ind
Robert Marshall residing in Jackson Township Bartholomew County Ind
State of Indiana )
Bartholomew County )
Be it remembered, that on the 11th day of May 1866 Robert Marshall one of
the subscribing witnesses to the within and foregoing last Will and
Testament of John Cooley late of said County, deceased, personally appeared
before me Albert Jones Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of Bartholomew
County, in the State of Indiana, and being duly sworn by the clerk of said
court, upon his oath declared and testified as follows, that is to say, that
on the 6th day of September 1865 he saw the said John Cooley sign his name
to the said instrument in writing as and for his last will and testament.
and that this deponent at the same time heard the said John Cooley declare
the said instrument in writing to be his last will and testament, and that
the said instrument in writing was at the same time, at the request of the
said John Cooley. and with his consent attested and subscribed by the said
Robert Marshall & Gilbert Coons in the presence of the said testator,
and in the presence of each other as subscribing witnesses thereto. and that
the said John Cooley was at the tinme of the signing and subscribing of the
said instrument in writing as aforesaid, of full age, (that is, more than
twenty-one years of age,) and sound and disposing mind and memory, and not
under any coercion or restraint, as the said deponent verily believes; and
further deponent says not.
Sworn to and subscribed by the said Robert Marshall before Albert Jones
Clerk of said Court, at Columbia the 11th day of May 1866.
[S.S.] In attestation whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and
affixed the seal of said Court
Albert Jones Clerk
State of Indiana )
Bartholomew County )
I Albert Jones Clerk of the Court of the Court of Common Pleas of
Bartholomew County, Indiana, do hereby certify, that the within annexed last
will and testament of John Cooley had been duly admitted to probate, and
duly proved by the testimony of Robert Marshall one of the subscribing
witness thereto, that a complete record of said will, and the testimony of
the said Robert Marshall, on proof thereof, has been by me duly made
recorded in Book "B" [--] pages 124 & 125 of the Record of Wills of said
[S.S.] In attestation whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and
affixed the seal of said Court of Columbus Ohio 11th day of May 1866.
Albert Jones Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of Bartholomew County
This photo of Ella (left) and Rachel Cooley,
Carson's daughters and the great-
granddaughters of John Cooley (1789-1866),
came from Shirley Long. Shirley writes that
writing on the back photo says that "Ella
died at the age of six."
Jane Ries submitted the
following transcriptions in October 2006. Bradley Cooley, who wrote the
first letter, was one of John's sons. Carson was Bradley's son and "Tompson"
(son of David) one of his nephews. The letter was written to his nephew
James (a son of Isiah Cooley). Bradley also mentions his brother Edward. His
brother David, who died during the Civil War, would have been dead about 20
Perhaps this makes the relationships a little more clear:
David Isiah Edward Bradley
| | |
Thompson James Carson
The letter from Bradley Cooley to James Cooley...
Saturday May the 8 1884
I have received your leter and now shall anser as well as I can. I am
not well at this time have kind of _____ _______. Carson is not at home has
got him a picture gallery it cost him about 500.00. Your uncle Edward is in
Henry County Ioway Thow _____ is his post ofice adres. Tompson Cooley was
living in Putnam County Missouria the las I new his post ofice was
Ayrsville. I have had no word from him for a long time. Carson is taking
pictures. Has a gallery of his own. Well James I am still living with my
three children. Cemantha is talking of getting married. Fremont is no good
nor never can is not smart anuff. Olive can't do anything. I am 56 years
old will be 57 if I live till the 2 day of Febrary. My health is not good.
I cant do much work. Edward is 6 years older than I am an is quite poor.
Edward childern live in Washington County Indiana post ofice adres Pekin or
Now James let me know how you all are when you write agane.
You did not mention Angeline nor Mary. I dident now whether tha was living
or not. I was sorry to hear of your Brothers death. But I hope these few
lines may find you all well.
from your Uncle
Bradley Cooley to James Cooley an all the rest of you
The letter from Carson Cooley to James Cooley...
May the 14 1884
I seat myself down to write a few lines to let you know that I
am well. Well and hope these few lines find you the same. I just got a
letter from father stating that David was dead and John to which I was sorry
to hear but we all have to pay that debt sooner or later. I am rung a
picture gallery here. I am not stout like I use to. My lungs is not stout.
Cousin William Cooley died the 31 day of las may with Consumption. Uncle
Noahs family is all dead but 2. Mother diede 3 years ago last November 18.
Our family is all single yet. I have bin married twice. My first wife
diede and the last one was a bich and I run her off. Well Wheat don't look
very well and it is backwards about planting corn here. Well I will close
for this. Write as soon as you get this.
Direct to Carson Cooley
In a July 2009 email, Jane Ries tells this story:
I remember my aunt saying that when she was real little, Fremont Cooley,
(whom his dad said was no good, never would be, not smart enough) came to my
grandparent's house for dinner. That's when the little kids had to wait and
eat after the grownups. Apparently Fremont had quite a healthy appetite
because my aunt, who was only about 4 years old, couldn't take it any more
after she saw him take his 3rd piece of chicken and she shouted out in her
childish lisp, "My Dod, Fweemont, save some for us poor tids!" That's been a
family joke at dinners for years, so I guess old Fremont did leave a legacy
All original portions ©
Michael Cooley, OrbitInternet.net -