BY JOHN EDGAR COPE 1975
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.
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.
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.
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.
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