A Look Inside The History Of Cooper Music – VI

Just as with any business, there is a history. Where it all started, how it started and how it pianobecame 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. 



In 1906 morning duties at Cooper Music for eager young, 18 year old, John Cooper included store cleaning, furnace tending and washing windows in preparation for each day. His father Johnathon and older brother Will would arrive later to greet the piano and phonograph customers who selected the higher priced items.

Early each morning by 1908, young John would arrive to perform his daily assignment, opening the growing young music store. Then John would wait on customers, through the day, who needed violin strings, sheet music, guitar picks and other small miscellaneous items.  One day, surprisingly, an early morning customer was waiting at the door, asking to see the player pianos. Acting on his own initiative, before founder Johnathon or brother Will had arrived, young John enthusiastically demonstrated the Gulbransen easy play piano, the best player piano in the store. The customer said he would buy it. The buyer spoke, as he opened his bulging wallet, saying he was ready to pay cash. But, by offering to pay in full, the customer insisted upon delivery of the player piano that day.

John called Shaw Livery to rent a wagon and team of horses. He and the willing customer loaded the piano on the wagon and drove out a few miles to a mining town Renton PA. The piano was delivered, paid in full for $2400. A good start on the day! Dad Johnathon and older brother Will would be proud.

The next morning, after the store was ready, John picked up the Pittsburgh newspaper. Headline: RENTON BANK ROBBER CAPTURED. John was shocked. Who else but a bank robber, in the poor little mining town of Renton, could have paid $2400 cplayer pianoash for a piano? The handcuffed picture of John’s customer in the Post-Gazette confirmed John’s suspicion.

Cooper Music founder Johnathon felt duty bound to report the sale to the U.S. Treasury G-men in Pittsburgh. They interrogated John. Question: How did John know that the piano was paid for with stolen Bank cash from the holdup?  John truthfully answered, he didn’t know, he only guessed. The frustrated G-men asked Coopers to remain on call and they would get back to them. The Coopers waited but never heard another word from the Treasury Agents.  



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