DEC 17, 1880 - APR 15, 1945

Son of: James Fountain Cooper and Lucyann Missouri Levins

1st wife: Mary Ann Matthews

2nd wife: Martha (Ida) Helms
3rd wife: Vilola J. Taylor


Father's page


1880- Charlie was born at home, on his father's farm, in Harold, Florida on December 17, 1880. He was the first child of eleven children born to James Fountain Cooper and Lucyann Missouri Levins. Charlie's father was a wealthy Entrepreneur who owned several thriving businesses as well as land in Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa County, around Harold, Holt and Milton, Florida.

1892- When Charlie was 12 years old, his grandfather, John Jordan Cooper, uncle William Erasmus Cooper, aunt Dora Bloodworth Cooper, aunt Eilizabeth Reed Cooper and first cousin, Henry Cooper (son of his uncle Henry Moses Cooper) dies of the Grippe (influenza). That following summer his uncle John Robinson Cooper whom Charlie derived his middle name from, dies of a relaps of the flu. This must have been understandably devastanting to young Charlie, to have so many in his family die at the same time. Many in the family were sick with the Grippe but with God's grace most of the family survived.

It is around this time that a tin-type photograph, possibly several photographs, were taken of Charlie and his uncle Frank (Joseph Franklin Cooper). Frank was tenth and last child born of John and Louisa. Joseph was only a year older than Charlie and they may have spent a lot of time together being so close to the same age.

The summer of 92 also had some happy times. Charlie's uncle Ike (Michael Raleigh Cooper)  married Alice Elizabeth (Dollie) Owens, a local school teacher.

Very little is known about Charlie's early years. During his early adulthood he fell in love with a local schoolteacher in Milton, Florida with whom he had plans to marry. It is remembered that his family and the town's people felt they were a perfect match. It is also at this time that a young flirtatious redheaded woman full of spirit from Harold, Florida caught the eye of young Charlie and enchanted him. Under her enchantment he broke-off his engagement to the young schoolteacher and ran off and married the spirited redhead. Her name was Mary Ann Matthews. 1Her family lived in Harold , Florida. Her father and most of his clan had moved there around 1870 from what is now named Beinivlle Parish, Louisianna.

1909- On September 22, 1909, Charlie married Mary Ann Matthews in Santa Rosa County, Florida.

2Charlie got his start in business with his cousin and brother-in-law, Floyd M. Cooper, Sr. by salvaging deadheads on the Black Water River. Deadheads were logs destine for the sawmills on Black Water River that became mired in the mud and sandbars before reaching their destination. The law of salvage granted ownership to anyone that freed the logs. Like his father he was a successful businessman. 3Sometime between 1910 and 1913 Charlie owned a store in Holt, Florida with the name Charlie Cooper's General Store.

1910- In 1910, Charlie and Mary had their first child, Clara Evelyn Cooper. She was born on February 28, 1910 at their farm near Harold, Santa Rosa County, Florida.

1912- In 1912, Charlie's and Mary's second child was born, Marshall Fisher Cooper. He was born on September 17, 1912 at their farm near Harold, Santa Rosa County, Florida.

1914- In 1914, Charlie's and Mary's thrid and last child was born, Milledge Lushington (Bill) Cooper. He was born on November 7, 1914 at their farm near Harold, Santa Rosa County, Florida.

1918- Charlie's Uncle Joseph Franklin Cooper (Uncle Frank) dies from the Spainish influenza. The Spainish influenza took less than nine months to travel around the world and killed over 40 million people worldwide.

Charlie In order to provide the lifestyle he wanted for his family required that he spend a considerable amount of time monitoring his businesses and investments. Meanwhile his young wife liked to go out by herself to dance and raise Cain. When the impulse to go out and party came over her, and Charlie wasn't home, 4she would lock the three children in the closet so they wouldn't mess-up her precious house. Charlie it is assumed, was very upset by they way his wife treated their children, when he wasn't present, and the fact that she squandered his hard earned money. It has been said that he was a true gentleman, however there was a point when for the children's best interest he decided to divorce his wife. Around 1917, there was a lengthy and expensive divorce which ended with the courts giving total custody of the children to their father, Charlie. Because his wife had squandered his money and the costly court fees it almost broke Charlie financially.

5One day while Charlie was at work, Mary, his X-wife, kidnapped the three children and put them on a train to Texas. When they pulled into New Orleans, Clara, the oldest child, remembered that her mother stuck her head out the window and yelled to a street vender pushing a food cart. She bought some tomalleys for herself and the children. Clara said that the tomalleys were the only food that her mother had given the three children on their trip to Texas.

Clara recalled that they arrived at a ranch (farm) somewhere in Texas (it was actually Beinville Parish, Louisiana) where she recalled seeing cowboys and horses. Shortly after they had arrived, the Sheriff of Santa Rosa County called and ordered Mary to return the children to Florida. Instead she place the three children in a Catholic Orphanage where they stayed until their father arrived to retrieve them. Trying to raise the three children by himself and recover from the severe fanatical loss, caused by his wife, was more than he could handle. He had no other alternative but to ask his sister Lorina (Renee) and Floyd, if they  would take his daughter, Clara, into their home until he got back on his feet. Charlie's two sons, Marshall and Milledge, went to live with their grandparents Jim and Lucyann. 

6Charlie stayed with his sister, Lorina, and her family frequently during the early 1920s. Sometime around 1923, Charlie and his second wife, Martha (Ida) Helms, contracted typhoid fever when they were living down at the bowel of Blackwater River where Fisher's Mill was located. One of the treatments for typhoid, back then, was to put heated stones or bricks next to the persons legs. During one of the treatments the heated bricks burned one of Charlie's legs and it never healed completely. Callie recalled bathing her uncle Charlie's bad leg on occasion, when he stayed with them, and applying, "Texas Star Liniment", which was his favorite liniment. She said that his leg would improve when he stayed with them and she had the opportunity to treat it for him, but when he had been away for a while, he would return with a sore leg. Charlie's second wife died of the typhoid fever.

In the late twenties, Charlie meets a widow in Flomaton, Alabama by the name of Viola J. Taylor. It is believed that her maiden name had been Spencer. She had three children: Lovina, Harvey and Barnard. Charlie married Viola and lived in Flomaton for awhile. He owned several stores in Flomaton. Three of the stores were located side by side like a present day stripe mall. It's uncertain what took place during those years other than his third wife once again took advantage of his kindness and broke him finatically. Their marriage ended in divorce.

1928- In 1928 Charlie's oldest son, Marshall,  was still living with his grandparents when he turned 16 year old. Marshall wanted very much to join the Navy and see the world but because he was under age he had to have his father sign a release form allowing him to join. His father did sign the papers and his son joined the Navy that year. In 1934 his other son, Milledge Lushington (Bill) Cooper, decided to enlist in the Army Cavalry, which he did.

1930s- 7During the thirties Charlie stayed with his sister Bessie periodically.

1945- 8Charlie died of a stroke in his sleep, April 15, 1945. He had been staying with his sister Bessie but had traveled over to visit with one of his younger brothers Tom (Thomas David Cooper) and his family for a few days when he died.

His final resting place is in the Holt Cemetery next to his parents, James Fountain Cooper and Lucyann Missouri Levins Cooper, two of his brothers, George Washington Cooper and Thomas David Cooper and one of his sons, Marshall Fisher Cooper.

1 Dorothy Mae Adams, July 1995.
2 Floyd M. Cooper, Jr., July 1995.
3 Max Morris Cooper, A History of Holt Florida, March 1969.
4 Clara E. Cooper Heirs, 1978.
5 Eunice L. Heirs Maris and Charles J. Heirs, June 1995.
6 Callie D. Cooper Lowery, August 1995.
7 Ruth Ingram Keen, June 1995.
8 Shirley J. Cooper, June 1995.