Remembering Former Richland Parish Sheriff, Mark A. Cooper (1916-1924)


May 01, 1965 – Mark A. Cooper, Former Sheriff Dies, Funeral Held Sunday

Mark A. Cooper, Former Sheriff Dies, Funeral Held Sunday

A lifelong and esteemed parish resident, Mr. Mark A. Cooper, who was a former sheriff of Richland Parish, died last Friday morning, April 23rd, at his home on Julia Street following a short illness. He was 88 years of age at his demise.

He had been a resident of Rayville for 48 years since he moved here from Mangham in 1918. He moved here after living in Mangham for a number of years after being elected sheriff in which office he served until 1924. While in Mangham, he was engaged in the mercantile business. Mr. Cooper was born Aug. 1, 1878, at the Cooper Place near Alto, La., in Richland Parish and was the son of the late Col. A. B. Cooper and Martha Ann Prewitt, who resided in this parish.

His lifelong occupation was that of planter in addition to having been engaged in business and having served in public office. He was an elder in the Rayville Presbyterian Church and was a past Worshipful Master of the R. F. McGuire Masonic Lodge of Rayville and a Shriner. During the funeral services which were held Sunday at 3 p. m. in the Rayville Presbyterian Church at which Rev. Ernest D. Holloway and Rev. Sellers Aycock, Jr., officiated, Rev. Holloway stated that he had known Mr. Cooper for many years and that he was “a dedicated Christian, a devoted husband, and father and a loyal and true friend.”

Truer words have never been spoken about any person, for Mr. Cooper exemplified these attributes in his daily life. He was truly a gentleman in all respects, for though he kept abreast of the times throughout his life, with a keen interest in news of the world, national, state and local events, he was never a man given to idle conversation or meaningless pursuits. His words and his actions were meaningful and, for these fine characteristics, he will long be remembered by those who knew him well.

Burial was in the Rayville Masonic Cemetery by Mulhern Funeral Home of Rayville. Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Bess Whatley Cooper, Rayville; two sons, W. A. Cooper, Rayville; Col. M. E. Cooper, Monroe; four daughters, Miss Ola Cooper, Mrs. F. L. Greaves, Sr., Mrs. Dent Brown, all of Rayville; and Mrs. Wesley Taylor, of Omaha, Neb.; 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Pallbearers were James Craig, William Gaines, Charles Griffis, Froman Ellerbe, Lee Edward Ineichen, Joe Eneichen. H. G. Jarnigan and Dr. George C. Purvis. Honorary pallbearers were Dr. T. M. Sayre, Dr. G. C. Hubbard, Dr. Harrison Jordan, Mr. W. D. Taylor, Mr. C .W. Gaines, Mr. David P. Burk, Sr, Mayor Loy C. Cloninger, Mr. O. H. Bynum, Sr, and Mr. R. L. Bell, Sr. There was a large ‘ attendance of relatives and friends from out-of-town as well as a large number of relatives and friends from this parish in attendance at the funeral services Sunday.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
01 May 1965, Sat  •  Page 1

Sheriff Mark A. Cooper (1916-1924)

Mark A. “Buddy Mark” Cooper, who was sheriff of Richland Parish from 1916 to 1924.

As described by his grandson…

“My father, W. A. Cooper, who was 14 when his father was elected sheriff, and 22 when he left office, told me that during a smallpox outbreak that hit the Clear Lake area pretty hard, Buddy Mark was one of the only people who would venture out there. He would ride his mule, carrying mail and medicine along with his 1905 Remington automatic shotgun, which I now own. He was a man of few words but respected by all those who knew him.”

Mike Cooper (grandson) via Facebook

Leave a Reply