The maternal grandfather of T.J. Cooper, was John Ellsworth Clarke. We know little about his roots. Family history tells us that he was orphaned at a young age and raised by "foster families". Not the term of the day but a true picture of his status. He apparently related how curely he was treated and he ran away and lived on his own at a very young age. According to the Clarke Family Bible he was born December 28, 1870 in Helena, Arkansas. The only other documentation I have found of him is the 1880 Phillips County, Arkansas census A young 27 year old widow, A Clarke, is raising a 9 year old son John.
John E. Clarke marries Rosa Lee Stone Shuts, the daughter of Robert and Francis Stone. Francis Stone was previously married to E. England and is listed with him in the 1860 Shelby Co., Tennessee census. She has 5 children by E. England and Robert bring two sons to the marriage. They are all raised in the Stone family with Rosa. They are listed in the 1870 and 1880 Shelby Co. Tennesse census.
Rosa Lee is either divorced or widowed and has two children, a 10 month old daughter, Oma and a 4 year old son, Robert Lee. They were married November 18, 1892. As all of Rosa's children were born in Memphis, Tennessee from both marriages, it is likely that is where she and John Clarke were married. The bible does not give a location for their marriage. The family is listed in the 1900 Shelby County, Tennessee census with Viola Nora born in 1895 and William Harvey born in 1899. Alvine is not born until 1901. He is listed in the 1910 census in Crittenden County, Arkansas just across the Arkansas border where the family relocated.
Robert Lee Shuts marries Rosa Riggins in 1921 but died in 1925. Oma Myrtle Shuts married Norman Curtis on September 8,1912 and Sydney Kelly before 1833. Viola Nora Clarke married Thomas James Cooper on April 25, 1914. See the Cooper family history. Viola and Thomas Cooper had 4 children. William Harvey Clarke died single at the age of 36 in 1933. There is not further information on Alvine Clarke, the youngest brother.
1 Unknown Shuts
..+Rosa Lee Stone2 Robert Lee Clarke 1888 - 19251 John Ellsworth Clarke 1870 - 1956
.. +Rosa Riggins
2 Oma Myrtle Clarke 1892 - 1974
.. +Sidney Kelly
.. +Rosa Lee Stone 1871 - 1954
2 Viola Nora Clarke 1895 - 1987
.. +Thomas James Cooper 1893 - 1957
3 John Harvey Cooper 1915 - 19932 William Harvey Clarke 1897 - 1933
.. +Florence Marie Conrad 1914 - 1994
*2nd Wife of John Harvey Cooper:
.. +Gene Wick
3 Vioma Corrine Cooper 1916 - 1995
.. +William Otis Smith - 1995
3 Thomas James Cooper 1923 -
.. +Betty Maxine Stratman 1926 -
3 Baby Viola Cooper 1926 - 1926
2 Alvine Clarke 1901-