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JOHN EVERETTE COPE

1846-1919

NARRATED BY JOHN EDGAR COPE 1975

 

  My grandfather was a veteran of the civil war. He was a confederate His name was John Everett Cope. He apparently settled in Tom Green County, which is now Sterling City. At what time, I do not know. He and my Father William E. Cope came to Pecos County in 1900, crossing the Pecos River at Horsehead Crossing. This was the Old Spanish Trail. John Everett was in the freighting business. He probably hauled some of the old rock to build the Court House and old Jail Building. He  hauled these rocks by wagon. When he came here, his oldest son, Madison Cope, had a ranch - The Old Bud Price Place - Southeast of Fort Stockton a few miles. Madison Cope got killed - drug to death - by a horse on this ranch. He died October 1, 1901. Madison left his wife, Matilda and three children Ernestine, Everett, and Earl. Ernestine was 6 years old when her father died. When she was a just a teenager she contracted tonsillitis and died. She was an outstandingly pretty girl. Everett was 3 years old at the time of his Fathers death. He was named after his grandfather and father. He lives in Sterling City now. Earl was 15 months old at his father's death. He was Justice of the Peace at Eldorado, Texas at one time. I'm not sure where he is now. His wife's name is Grace. They have one girl. Madison Everett Cope was buried at the old Fort Cemetery. There is a tall gravestone with a cage around it designating the spot where he was buried.

 

  Tom Cope, another son of John Everett Cope, took over the old Ink Ranch after Madison was killed. The old Ink Ranch was north of Fort Stockton. Tom's wife, Maggie died February 20, 1918. She left Tom and four children: Tommie Lee, a female, who is dead now. She died of cancer in Big Lake some time ago. Jack Cope, Eldest son of Tom and Maggie Cope, lives in Nevada some where now. He was working for the Atomic Energy Commission. Willard Cope, second eldest son, was killed in WW II, if I'm not mistaken. Jesse Cope, the youngest son, the last I heard, was working for the Navy in Corpus Christi. They were big ol Boys. Maggie Cope had a lot of Indian Blood in her. Tom and Maggie are buried in the Old Valentine plot at the cemetery. Maggie's Maiden name was Valentine. I have a picture of her. She looked just like an Indian.

 

  William E. Cope was the youngest child of John Everett Cope. And Lucretia Cope. William was a "change of life baby". In those days, they didn't know what to do about something like that and Lucretia lost her mind over it. She was declared insane on December 27th 1919. Her Father was a wealthy man. He was a lay preacher. His name was Thomas Ray. In closing out Lucretia's estate, it was mentioned that she owned a section of land in Sterling County.

 

  A series of tragic events followed the declaring of Lucretia as insane. John Everett died November 1, 1919, of kidney trouble. Soon after, Lucretia died. On February 5, 1920, her daughter, Presha died. Presha was an old maid school teacher. She had spells of depression. I can remember her crying in her room. She played the piano beautifully. She was buried in the old Boydstun plot at the cemetery.

 

  John Everett had a $14,000 interest in an old Gold Mine in Mexico. He had several partners in this venture: I think Old Judge Williams was one of them, also Judge Butz, James Rooney, and several others. They had a real good thing going there when Mexico had a revolution and the men lost everything.

 

 

Narrated by: John Edgar Cope About 1975

Submitted by Joan Cope, Neagle

Correction 2004 by Eddie Cope: The name Ernestine in first paragraph is possibly incorrect as census records show otherwise