Name: McCabe Cooley2
Born: 22 Nov 1899
Place: Lucerne, Putnam Co., MO
Died: 7 Jan 1958
Place: Oakland, Alameda Co., CA
Married: 4 Apr 1920
Place: San Francisco, CA
McCabe Cooley c1917
McCabe and his brother William "Jack" Allison Cooley, who died in France
during the Meuse-Argonne offensive, are referenced several times in From
Doniphan to Verdun: the Official History of the 140th Infantry, by Evan
Alexander Edwards (1920). It's likely that the mention of "Cooley" in the
following passage from the book is a specific reference to William since the
author, Evan Edwards, knew the brothers well and had written to their family
following William's death.
The men of the 140th were scattered through every state in the Union.
Volunteers, they were men who put these old United States first. Good
soldiers once, they are good citizens now and, if the necessity comes, will
again prove themselves good soldiers.
Many of them could not return to hear the acclaim of comrades and the praise
of men. Heroes of the decoration of The Wooden Cross, they sleep in a
distant land. The Nation honors them.
Some night when the rain is dashing against the windows, and we sit alone
watching the fire-some night we shall see them all again-together we shall
march over muddy, endless roads; together we shall wait and watch in the
trenches; together we shall struggle forward against a storm of shot and
shell over the bloody fields and valleys of the Argonne. The shadowy forms
of our comrades will be with us-Davis and Scott and Kenady and Holden and
Champion and Compton and Roberts and Stigall and Stein and Sam Adams and
Tanner and Holt and Robertson and Dillon and Cooley and half a
battalion more. Our hearts will thrill, and the tears will flood our eyes,
and we shall whisper: "The old One Hundred and Fortieth. God bless them!
There never was a finer Regiment!" (Edwards, 146)
My grandfather died just before my eighth birthday. I remember only two
interactions with him. (I don't think we visited him often unlike my Uncle
Howard's family.) We drove to the Oakland theater he managed one
afternoon, probably not long before he died, and my dad went in to talk.
Grandpa came out to greet everyone and asked me to roll down the window. He
reached in, grabbed the hair on my arm, and twisted it. He thought it was
good fun. Dad later told me that he regularly did that to him when he was a
kid. The only other thing I recall about that encounter is that we were in
Dad's beloved Studebaker. And I do have a vague recollection of being in
the theater once. Certainly, I would have seen him then but I don't recall
The second occasion was at his home. He offered my younger sister and I
(probably 5 and 7, respectively) a small glass of beer each. My dad mildly
protested and I declined. (Or I tried it and didn't like it. I don't
remember which.) Lonnie, however, quickly downed it and
asked for more. Grandpa was ready to pour it but Dad strongly protested. I
rolled my eyes at Lonnie's request; everyone else thought it was amusing.
But that incident, if you knew Lonnie, was an important foreshadowing of her
life to come.
There are only a few related things I recall: The drive to his home was
so hilly that I later believed he lived in San Francisco rathee than
Oakland, and he had a cat ramp that went from a window to the ground. I
also remember the bicycle he bought for my 7th birthday. Dad helped me up
and pushed me along. I didn't know what to do — how the steer it
— and ran into the neighbor's car. The man, Mr Anderson, darted out
of the house and yelled at me. A grumpy man, I guess.
Mom's parents, grandmother, and others moved to Long Beach some years
earlier. After grandpa's death, she wanted to be near her family. We
moved, I believe, that summer (1958). I vaguely recall grandpa's second
wife. If we hadn't gone south she certainly would have been an affectionate
Grandma Cooley, but I never saw her again. But the alternative was highly
desirable. Hugh, Birdie, and Uncle Ron became enormously influential in my life.
I wrote a highly personal essay for a class in 2007 which riffed off
McCabe's death, The Square
Hole. (I warn readers that it's not to every one's taste.) And I wrote
the following essay about the brothers' experience during the Great War for
a World War I history class at HSU: Following
the Cooley Brothers into the Meuse-Argonne: Life and death Among the 140th
Jack's Biographical Sketch For McCabe Cooley
My father, Jack Cooley, wrote this for an article on USGenNet.
I've corrected several typographical errors.
My father McCabe told me when I was [a] young man that he preferred the big
city life rather than the small country farm life, and as I can recall he
rather liked Paris France. He must have spent some time there during WW I.
Shortly after WW I he moved to San Francisco California, and found
employment in a men's clothing store as a salesman. He met my mother Marie
Hennequin in San Francisco, and was married there on April 4, 1920. They
had two boys, Howard McCabe, and Allison Claude "Jack" Cooley. McCabe had a
very good personality, and a good sense of humor. In his younger days he
did a lot of deer hunting and fishing for striped bass in the Bay Area. The
last fifteen years of his life he was employed as a theater manager in
several different theaters in Oakland, California. At the age of 58 January
7, 1958 he passed away from a heart attack, his fourth one. His doctor said
that the first one should have taken him, but that he had such a strong
desire to live that he would not give up, and worked to the end.
Obituaries for McCabe Cooley
New Fruitvale Theater
The following obituaries were contributed by J G Italiano. I suspect the
first one was printed in a Kansas City newspaper and the second is likely
from an Oakland paper, possibly the Tribune. McCabe would have turned 58
the previous November, not 59 as stated in both obituaries.
Additional remembrances of McCabe can be found at Cinema Treasures.
McCabe Cooley passed away at his home in Oakland, Cailf., Jan. 7, 1958, at
the age of 59 years, 2 months.
McCabe is the son of the late Joseph W. Cooley of Lucerne, Mo. He is
survived by his wife, Lilas Lee Cooley, two sons, Howard and Allison Cooley
and seven grandchildren. He is also survived by a brother, Claude Cooley of
Seymour Iowa, and a sister, Mrs. Ora Shelton of Kansas City, Mo.
McCabe was born and raised in Lucerne, Mo., and moved to California after
World War I.
He was happy to meet friends and relatives and acquaintances in Lucerne
three years ago while visiting Missouri and expressed a great deal of
delight in the visit.
He had been in ill health for a few years and leaves with us all a loving
Theater Man Dies En Route To Home
McCabe Cooley, 59, manager of the Fruitvale Theater, died of heart attack
early today as he attempted to question a man he apparently believed to be
loitering near his home.
The cause of Cooley's death was determined by a corner's [sic] autopsy this
morning as police sought a mystery man who roared away in a car immediately
after Cooley collapsed on a lawn in front of 2417 Montana St.
For a time, police thought Cooley might have been the victim of a robbery
attack that caused a fatal heart seizure. Cooley had a long history of
The license number of the mystery man's car was supplied by Mrs. Dora Dana,
45, of the Montana St. address, who told police she saw that what she
believed to be a fight between Cooley and the attacker.
The car's owner, however, a 28-year-old teamster, told officers that
Cooley approached him as he parked his car near his home and seemed to say
something and then collapsed. The teamster told officers he grabbed Cooley
and helped him to the lawn and then fled in panic, because he had been
drinking. He was released.
Six youths seized at the scene when they cruised by acting suspiciously were
still being held for questioning today, since a loaded .22 caliber pistol
was found in the possession of one of them.
Cooley, who lived at 3321 Flagg St., was employed by the firm which owns
Fruitvale Theater for almost 20 years. He is survived by his wife,
Cooley's fatal heart attack occurred as he was returning home after locking
up the theater shortly after midnight.
COOLEY, McCabe, in Oakland January 7 1958. Beloved husband of Lilas Lee
Cooley, loving father of Howard and Allison Cooley, brother of Claude Cooley
of Iowa and Mrs. Vernal Shelton of Missouri. A native of Lucerne, Missouri,
aged 58 years. A member of the Fruitvale Presbyterian Church, Emeryville;
Industrial Post No. 1010 V.F.W., and East Oakland Aerie No. 1375 F.O.E.
Friends are respectfully invited to attend funeral service Friday, January
10 at 3 p.m. at the Fruitvale Chapel of the Clarence N. Cooper Mortuaries,
1580 Fruitvale Avenue, Oakland. (Phone KEllog 3-4114.) Parking areas
adjacent to chapel. Memorial contributions to the Fruitvale Presbyterian
Church memorial fund will be greatly appreciated.
All original portions ©
Michael Cooley, OrbitInternet.net -