Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
TRAUSDELL M. COOPER, who lives
at No. 1151 West 20th street, Los Angeles, California, is one of the well
known pioneers of Lincoln county. He still owns an immense amount
of property in this and adjoining counties and has only recently secured
a dwelling in California for his winter residence. He was born in
Cattaraugus county, New York, on April 9, 1848, the son of John and Louisa
A. (Dye) Cooper, natives of Rutland, Vermont and Oneida county, New York,
respectively. The father was born in 1804 and followed farming and
merchandising in early days and was a captain in the State Militia.
He was an active politician but never sought office, and was a prominent
man. He died in 1872 at Bushnell, Illinois. The mother was
born in 1809 and died in Bushnell, Illinois, at the age of eighty-seven.
Our subject received a common school education at Bushnell and at the age
of nineteen, started in life for himself. He first occupied the position
as foreman on a thousand-acre farm in Illinois and a year later went to
Marshall, Iowa, where he worked for a year. For a time he was in
the dairy business and in 1876, came to Portland and followed the same
business there for three years. Then he journeyed in 1879 via the
river and stage to Spokane and arrived in the latter place in December,
1879. Mr. Cooper states that there were about one half dozen dwellings
in that now prosperous city and the only bridge across the river was Cowley's,
some miles up, and Lapray's as far down the river. The next spring
he came to the Big Bend country with D. R., and Jessie Cole, Walter Hazeltine
George and Frank Simon, and Tom Grinstead. They located in township
27, range 34, being the first settlers in that location. The last
day of May, 1880, was the date of their location and in the fall of that
year, the two Troger brothers and Daniel Snyder and Mr. Bush came in.
Spokane was the nearest postoffice, seventy miles away. For five
months these settlers never saw any one from outside and the next year
everybody fled on account of the Indian scare. Mr. Cooper was obliged,
like the others, to go to Walla Walla and work in the harvest fields to
gain money to improve the place and he labored along steadily, gaining
property until he now owns over three sections of grain land in Whitman,
Adams and Lincoln counties, every bit under cultivation. He also
has five dwellings and two business lots in Sprague, besides his residence
in Los Angeles, which is worth over eight thousand dollars. In 1884
Mr. Cooper was the Democratic candidate for county auditor but owing to
the county seat fight was defeated by P. K. Spencer, Republican.
At the next election, he was chosen on the Democratic ticket for county
treasurer and in 1888 was elected county auditor. He has been very
prominent in politics and with but two exceptions has attended every state
convention and was also an alternate at the national convention at Kansas
City in 1900.
On September 1, 1888, Mr. Cooper married Miss
Alice M. Barrett, the wedding occurring at Sprague. Mrs. Cooper's
parents, Peter and Bridget (Ward) Barrett, were natives of Ireland.
The father came to Sprague in 1890, and followed railroading until 1902,
when he died. The mother is living in Spokane. To Mr. and Mrs.
Cooper, three children have been born, Telford M., Bazel D. and Elbur L.
They are very bright and precocious children and at the contest in Los
Angeles in which several thousand children were competing, Elbur L. was
chosen as the most beautiful child, the judge being the famous child painter,
Walter Russell. Mr. Cooper is a member of the Royal Arcanum, the
Maccabees and the Grand Fraternity. Mrs. Cooper belongs to the Episcopal
Mr. Cooper has completed a brick business
block in Sprague. He has been councilman several times in Sprague
and was mayor in 1902 when he resigned and took up his residence in Los
Angeles, California. Although Mr. Cooper now resides in Los Angeles,
still he is not lost to Lincoln county as this is largely the place of
his triumphs and success. He is well known and has the esteem and
confidence of all.