Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Aragorn Storm Miller

COOPER, LEROY WASHINGTON (1822–1900). Leroy Washington Cooper, lawyer, judge, state senator, and representative, was born in Gwinnett County, Georgia, on October 16, 1822, the son of Lewis and Anna Cooper. Cooper was raised in relative poverty in rural Georgia. He read law in his spare time however, and he was able to gain admission to the bar at Monroe County, Georgia, on March 8, 1845. In March 1846 Leroy Cooper married Rhonda Ann Brazier in Monroe County, Georgia; this couple had two sons and two daughters. Cooper moved his family to Griffin, Spalding County, Georgia, and began to practice law. In November 1856 they settled in Crockett, Texas, and Leroy established himself as a lawyer specializing in criminal law.

Cooper was a slave owner but was oriented toward the Whig and Republican parties. During the Civil War, he served as a colonel and acting brigadier general in the Texas state militia. Cooper entered politics in February 1863, replacing John H. Burnett who had resigned as senator for District Eleven—consisting of Anderson, Houston, and Trinity counties—in the Ninth Texas Legislature. In 1870 Cooper returned to the legislature as representative for Houston County. During his term he served as chair of the House Committee on Counties and Boundaries. By virtue of this position he became the namesake for Cooper, Texas, county seat for Delta County which was formed from sections of Lamar and Hopkins counties in the summer of 1870. Cooper later served several terms as judge for the Ninth and Thirty-second districts. In 1876 Leroy Cooper was a member of the Texas delegation to the Republican National Convention in Cincinnati. Here he broke with his colleagues, and he cast his vote for Roscoe Conklin of New York rather than vote for the nomination of Rutherford Hayes. Leroy Washington Cooper died in Crockett on October 25, 1900, and was buried there at Glenwood Cemetery.


Armistead Albert Aldrich, The History of Houston County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1943). H. L. Bentley and Thomas Pilgrim. Texas Legal Directory for 1876–1877 (Austin: Democratic Statesman Office, 1877). Houston County (Texas) Cemeteries (Marceline, Missouri: Walsworth, 1987). James A. Mundie, Jr., with Bruce S. Allardice, Dean E. Letzring, and John H. Luckey, Texas Burial Sites of Civil War Notables (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill College Press, 2002).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Aragorn Storm Miller, "COOPER, LEROY WASHINGTON," accessed April 25, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on November 25, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox