Malachi was born on the 14th of April, 1762 in Pasquotank, North Carolina, to David Cooper and his wife Elizabeth Wilder. Both Malachi and his father served in the War for Independence. Some Cooper descendants claim that the Battle of Cowpens was fought near David Cooper's plantation in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
|"Battle of Guilford Courthouse" from Wikipedia|
Around 1795, Malachi, his wife, and their small children migrated to the new state of Kentucky. Malachi's younger brother Edward and his bride Susanna traveled with them. According to a family history written by Clyde Toland, the Cooper clan made the journey by pack train, crossed Daniel Boone's Wilderness Trail, and settled in the foothills beyond Cumberland Gap. Malachi and Edward are described as "a pair of tall, silent brothers."
Malachi Cooper served on the first grand jury in Pulaski County, Kentucky in 1797. The jury returned indictments for retailing liquor without license, profanity, and gambling. When the jury retired to consider their verdicts, they were compelled to go outside since there was no room to meet inside.
In 1806, Malachi was granted 135 acres of land on Fishing Creek. As an ordained Baptist minister, Malachi Cooper established the Old Fishing Creek Church in Pulaski County and ministered there for many years. Two of his sons, Levi and James Cooper, also became Baptist ministers.
After the death of his wife in 1820, Malachi began to disperse his land holdings in Pulaski County. Records of these transactions are found in Pulaski County deed books. In 1825, he "sold" 100 acres to his son Milton Cooper for $1 "in consideration of love and natural affection he entertains for his son." However, two years later Malachi sold 235 acres of land to his son Asa, for $700. (Pulaski County, Kentucky Deed Books) I wonder why he practically gave land to Milton, but expected Asa to pay a substantial amount.
|This is the only known signature of Malachi Cooper, an endorsement on a 1782 currency certificate.|
|Malachi Cooper's monument erected by the DAR|
Photo taken by James Arnold of the Daniel Guthrie Chapter SAR in June of 2006.
In the summer of 1978, a local DAR chapter erected a monument for Malachi and held a dedication ceremony at Pleasant Run Cemetery in New Salem, Rush County, Indiana. Unfortunately, his first and last name have been reversed on the plaque. I have a copy of some correspondence that discusses the error. Some effort has been made to correct the mistake, but nothing has been done yet. More than 30 years have passed since the plaque was installed, and I would really like for it to finally be corrected. Malachi Cooper should be honored with an accurate monument.