John Cooley

John Cooley

Company C, 61st Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Great-grandfather of John Cooley

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John Cooley

John Cooley

John Cooley was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, December 21, 1835 to James Samuel Cooley and his wife Margaret. He had two sisters and six brothers. He moved from Ohio with his parents to Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois in early 1850 before the youngest, Thomas Franklin, was born. Here in Jerseyville he learned the wheel-right trade (wagon-maker) before the civil war broke out. John’s father, James Samuel, was a carpenter and may have contributed somewhat to his trade selection.

John Cooley mustered into Company C 61st Illinois Volunteer Infantry on February 5, 1862 at Carrollton, Illinois as a private and was steadily promoted until he became a 1st Sgt. in 1864. He was present at all campaigns of the Regiment including Shiloh (Pittsburgh Landing) and Vicksburg until he was wounded in the battle of “the Cedars” near Murfreesboro, Tennessee on December 7, 1864. He returned to his unit after two weeks in hospital to serve out the rest of the war until mustered out at Nashville, Tennessee on September 8, 1865 as a Second Lieutenant.

John was commissioned as Second Lieutenant by Governor Ogelsby of Illinois. He was Company Commander during the short term of his commission owing to the Captain being a prisoner in Andersonville or Libby Prison in Georgia.

Josephine and John Cooley (circa 1880)

Josephine and John Cooley (circa 1880)

He followed his trade 23 years with exception of the time he served in the Civil War. He met his wife, Josephine Elizabeth Horn, and while on furlough during the Civil War and they were married on September 22, 1864. They had 8 children (two passed away as infants), 5 boys and 3 girls. John also served as a Justice of the Peace in Jerseyville.

He and his family moved to Johnson County, Missouri in September, 1878 where the family resided for five years farming. In the fall of 1883, they moved to western Jewell County, Kansas where he had bought a farm of 160 acres of raw prairie land, planting corn and other crops. He also served as a Justice of the Peace in Jewell County.

The children listed to this family were:

[cryout-multi][cryout-column width=”1/4″]Name

Francis Millroy

Elmer Elsworth

James (died as infant)

Rosie (died as infant)

Margaret Caroline

Leonard Moore (twin)

Lettie May (twin)

John D.

[/cryout-column] [cryout-column width=”1/4″]Birth Date

1866

1868

1870

1871

1872

1875

1875

1883

[/cryout-column] [cryout-column width=”1/2″]Birth Place

Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois

Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois

Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois

Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois

Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois

Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois

Jerseyville, Jersey County, Illinois

Wymore, Gage County, Nebraska

[/cryout-column] [/cryout-multi]

In his later years his health failed him as a result of the injury incurred during the war. He received a small pension from the government, although he waited several years to apply.

He died May 1st 1899 and was interred May 2nd 1899 in Sweet Home Cemetery in Lebanon, Smith County, Kansas under the direction of the G.A.R. [Grand Army of the Republic] Post of Lebanon, Kansas-Smith County.

After John passed away, Josephine continued on the farm in Esbon for awhile, renting it out to her sons. John D. worked the farm for awhile. Later, she sold the farm and moved to Gentry, Benton County, Arkansas where she lived with her son John D. and his family until she passed away on June 17, 1920 after a few days of illness. She was buried somewhere in Gentry area under the direction of Carpenter Bros. who was listed as the undertaker on her death certificate.

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