Edward Cooper Family Mystery

Here is some info on the new Edward Cooper that I have found.  He was born in 1876 in Cooper County, Missouri.  His Father was Armstead Blevens Cooper and his Mother was Mary F. Licklider.


I began assembling “facts” about the new Edward that fit our Grandfather...


He was born in 1876. (Correct time period)

He was born in Missouri.

He was Scots-Irish (with a tad of German).

His parents died when he was young. (This explains their absence)

He listed in the 1900 census and never is listed in future years.

Our Edward is listed in 1910 and forward, but not in the 1900 and further back.

No further record of the new Edward has been found.

No marriage record

No census record

No death record

No cemetery record

No record of our Edward has been found prior to 1900.


I have spoken to several people doing research on this family.  They all do not know what happened to the new Edward.


The Polk County Missouri Historian told me that he had also researched Armstead’s family and was also puzzled about how the children had scattered and disappeared.  I also spoke with a descendant of Caswell Taylor Cooper (He would be a half brother to Edward), she was also mystified by the disappearance of Edward Cooper.


Here are some interesting observations about the two Edwards;


They are from Missouri.

The ages are compatible.

Edward Cooper, son of Armstead disappears after 1900.

Our Edward does not appear until after 1903.

His parents die when he is young.

The heritage of Scottish is true.

No other records of Edward could be found in Cooper Co., MO.

Upon the death of his first wife, Armstead deserts his “first” family and marries Mary


When they marry in 1864, Armstead is approximately age 60, Mary is 33.

Apparently Armstead and Mary had a child out of wedlock in 1862, (Richard)

Armstead is approximately 75 when his last child, Andrew is born.

The first family children stay in Polk County and the second reside in Cooper County.

Upon the death of Armstead, the family experiences lots of problems, including the

    forfeiture of some land in Polk County due to delinquent taxes.

Things are bad enough that the mother, Mary F. (Licklider) Cooper must live with her

    sister in 1900, her children are mysteriously absent.

Both Armstead and Mary are buried in unmarked graves, probably in Pilot Grove, MO.

Many of Edward’s brothers and sisters disappear.

Only his brother George shows up in additional records. (Could he be the brother that

    turned up in Joplin at the train station looking for our Edward ?)

Edwards’ half brother Armstead Jr. is a confined to the Polk County home for the

    mentally disturbed.


This was a troubled family.  Maybe this is why our Edward never talked about his family.


I have been to both Cooper and Polk County’s in Missouri.  We looked at every type of record that we could find.  We talked to every historian that we could.


Based on what I have found, I can not say that this is 100% positive that he is our Edward Cooper.  I wish I could.


However, based on all of the circumstantial info and the many conversations with other researchers, I do believe that this man is indeed my Grandfather Edward Roy Cooper and that he is the son of

Armstead Blevins Cooper and Mary F. Licklider.


If this is true, then Edward Roy Cooper would have been born in 1876 not 1872.  We can only speculate as to whether the December 24 date is correct.


I will probably never be able to positively prove this connection, but I will probably always look for that one missing piece of information.

Ed and Mary Cooper


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