Just as with any business, there is a history. Where it all started, how it started and how it became who they are today. Long before the first "Welcome to Cooper Music" ever chimed the ears of a piano buyer, the history of the Cooper Family began. For the next few months, I will share with you, every Friday a special blog, containing the history of the Cooper family and creation of Cooper Music. We hope that you enjoy reading as Cooper Music is brought to life with memories.
THE JOHNATHON COOPER
FAMILY IN BUFFALO NY 1892
Rejoining their culture of music, art, the spoken word and their Christdelphian faith with relatives and the Buffalo Welsh community for Johnathon and Selina was a pleasant homecoming. It wasn’t pleasing to have to adjust to their lower economic standing. The family found a place to live in an Indian mission house in the Buffalo 5th Ward on Buffum Street. Jonathon’s first Buffalo job, ironically, was unloading coal, by shovel, from freight cars in a coal yard, for the lowest available pay.
Eldest son William (11) searched and found employment in the Elbert Hubbard Book Bindery. Daughter Lilly (9) and son John (6), as Scholars, pulled weeds part time in neighbor Strickler’s vegetable farm. Their mother, Selina, found occasional work as an herb doctor and midwife.
The Book Bindery, a pennies trolley ride from Buffum St. to East Aurora, NY, where older brother Will worked, attracted the younger Coopers. Roycroft was an art community grown out of the success of the Book Bindery. There were skilled artisans, encouraged to train local villagers to work and learn in the shops. The community organized enriching activities such as concerts, festivals. and art classes. This encouraged the Coopers, reminding them of the esteddfod in Wales. Young John developed talent in art and drawing. His artwork was in Children’s Art, on display at the 1900 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo NY. Examples of his artwork remain today as family treasure.
Later John’s creative talent would be essential in promoting the Cooper Music Co. Johnathon continued to seek meaningful employment. His work as a carpenter in Buffalo was sporadic due to the up and down local economy. He had been told of a new town being developed. named New Kensington, PA. Relatives there spoke of houses being built by the hundreds.