A Narrative History of The People of Iowa


ALLYN R. COOPER.  The president of the Cooper Manufacturing Company, Allyn R. Cooper, of Marshalltown, is one of the men who has built up a large and prominent enterprise from comparatively small beginnings. Starting with practically only a local trade, through his energy and ability and the excellence of workmanship that characterizes all of the output, he had developed a company the products of which find an extensive and ready market in automotive equipment in all parts of the world.

Mr. Cooper was born at Sturgis, South Dakota, November 5, 1883, and is a son of Miles M. and Mary P. (Ranft) Cooper.  His paternal grandfather, who came from New England and died in Oklahoma, was a grandson of Capt. Robert Cooper, who served with New England troops during the Revolutionary war under the leadership of the doughy Gen. Nathaniel Greene.  The maternal grandfather of Mr. Cooper, Jacob Ranft, was born in Germany,  and as a young man was a lieutenant in the Prussian Guards.  He came to the United States prior to the war between the states, and held the rank of captain during that struggle as a member of the Army of the Potomac, serving under Generals McClellan, Meade, Grant and Sherman.

Miles M. Cooper was born at Holton, Ripley County, Indiana, in October, 1845, and was married at Mount Vernon, Indiana, to Miss Mary P. Ranft, who was born at Xenia, Ohio, in 1853.  He was a farmer by vocation, and in 1876 went to the Black Hills of Dakota, where he has since been engaged in agricultural operations, making a specialty of cattle raising.  He has become one of the substantial men of his community, and wields some influence in public affairs, although not a candidate for office.  Mrs. Cooper also survives, at the age of seventy-six years.  They were the parents of eight children, six sons and two daughters, all of whom are residing in the Black Hills with the exception of Allyn R.; H. M., who lives at Marshalltown; and Edna Cooper Crabtree, a resident of Oregon.  Harold M. Cooper, of this family, entered the Officers Training Camp in Wisconsin late in the World war, but was not called into active overseas because of the signing of the armistice.

Allyn R. Cooper attended the high school at Sturgis, South Dakota, for three years, following which he spent three and one-half years at Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa, and graduated with the class of 1910, receiving the degree of Electrical Engineer.  During his vacation periods he worked for the Dunham Company, and was factory manager of that company from 1908, although still attending college.  At college he became a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering fraternity and the Kappa Sigma fraternity.  Upon the completion of his collegiate education Mr. Cooper remained in the employ of the Dunham Company for five years, and then organized the Cooper Manufacturing Company, of which he has been president from the start, his brother, Harold M. Cooper, serving as secretary and treasurer.  This company manufactures automotive equipment, and its excellent products are sold all over the world, sixty skilled mechanics being employed at the commodious and modern plant at 411 South First Avenue, Marshalltown.  Mr. Cooper is one of the best known and most authoritative men in his line in the business, and is a valued member of the Automotive Equipment Association of Chicago, Illinois.  He is a Knight Templar, Scottish Rite Mason and Shriner and a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and belongs to the Casa Del Mar Beach Club of Santa Monica, California, and the Elmwood Country Club of Marshalltown.  As a member of the local Chamber of Commerce he cooperates with other good citizens in the furtherance of progressive and constructive civic movements.  He has taken a great interest in the Boy Scout movement, an din 1924 organized the Central Iowa Council at Marshalltown, of which he was the head for two years.

On June 5, 1906, at Sturgis, South Dakota, Mr. Cooper was united in marriage with Miss Mabel B. Gardner, who was born in 1884, at Sturgis, a daughter of Frank W. Gardner, a farmer and pioneer settler of the Black Hills, where he had pioneered in 1876.  To Mr. and Mrs. Cooper there have been born three children:  Mabel B., born at Marshalltown, in 1909, now the wife of Charles A. Doermann, of Chicago, Illinois; Glen G. born in 1911, a graduate of Marshalltown High School and Worcester Academy, who is an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scout movement, was champion at the junior trap shoot of the State of Iowa at the age of thirteen, junior champion at the age of fourteen at Del Monte, California, and runner-up in the Del Monte Men's Handicap, Central Iowa Golf champion in 1930; and Marilyn R. born in 1918, who is attending school.  The attractive modern home of Mr. Cooper and his family is situated at 509 Highland Drive, Marshalltown.


~ source: A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, ETC., by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc. Chicago and New York. 1931
~ transcribe by Debbie Clough Gerischer for the Great War