University of North Texas Archives

Elizabeth Simpson Cooper Papers

Collection Summary

Creator: Cooper, Elizabeth Simpson
Title: Elizabeth Simpson Cooper Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1840-1932
Bulk Dates: 1840-1865
Identification: MSS Elizabeth Simpson Cooper Papers
Catalog URL:
Quantity: 1 box

Creator Sketch

Elizabeth Simpson Cooper, 1840- spent her childhood on a farm in Virginia before moving westward with her family in 1857 to a farm near Pleasant Run Creek, in Kansas. She married George R. Cooper in 1860, after a three-year acquaintance, and together they had nine children. They left Kansas in 1890, George Cooper died in 1904, and at the end of her life, Elizabeth Cooper was living in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

Scope and Contents Note

This collection consists entirely of a 41-page typed memoir by Elizabeth Simpson Cooper, written for her family in 1931 and 1932 when she was 91 years old and living in Nebraska City, Nebraska. In her memoir, entitled, "Memories of My Life," Cooper describes her early life and experiences from 1840 to 1865 and provides a little more information about her life in select years of the early 20th century. She writes about her school days in Virginia, the run of typhoid fever that decimated her family, her involvement with church, the Cooper family history, "Bleeding Kansas" (the period of conflict over deciding if Kansas would be a free or slave state), and the Civil War in Kansas. She specifically mentions the Lawrence Massacre and notes the savagery of Quantrill's band of bushwackers, who killed nearly every male in town they suspected of abolitionist support and vigilante activity. Also included in her memoir are her memories of personal encounters with Native Americans in Kansas and her trip back to visit her old home in Virginia in 1932.



Information in the memoir is arranged roughly chronologically, with groupings by subject. In order, these include: "Thoughts of my Early Life, Memories of Childhood and Youth;" "Family;" "School Days;" "Church;" "Christmas Season;" "Days of 1854;" "My Mother's People, Robert Ralston;" "Year of 1857, Commencement of a New Life;" "The New Home;" "1859;" "1860;" "1861;" "1861-'62-'63;" "Biography Father Cooper's Family;" "1861;" "1863;" "Indian Story of the Years '57-'58 and '59;" "1904-1919-1921;" "Memory of the Absent Ones," "1932;" "My Visit East;" and "On Memory."


Restrictions on Access

Open for research.

Index Terms

Cooper, Elizabeth Simpson, 1840-. Cooper, Elizabeth Simpson, 1840--Archives. United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865. Kansas--History--1837-1891. Lawrence Massacre, Lawrence, Kan., 1863.
Pleasant Run, Kansas. Paris, Pennsylvania.
Document Types:
"Memories of my Life"

Related Material

For reproduction of any copyrighted materials, permission must be obtained from the owner of the copyright. This is a responsibility of individual researchers, not the University Archives.

Materials are available for research only in the University of North Texas Archives, during its normal hours of operation. Materials are not loaned out. Depending upon how fragile the materials are, they may or may not be allowed to be photocopied or scanned.

Administrative Information

Administrative Information: Custodial History

This copy of Elizabeth Simpson Cooper's memoir was donated to the University of North Texas by Mrs. August (Bessie Cooper) Schreibner, of Dallas, Texas, in c. 1978.

Preferred Citation

Elizabeth Simpson Cooper Papers, University of North Texas Archives, Denton, Texas.

Detailed Description of the Collection


Series 1, Memoir, "Memories of My Life"

Box Folder
Box 1673 1 Memoirs 1931