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Edgar Arthur & Adeline (Seymour) Cooley Family
Prominent family of Bay City during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
  • By Marvin Kusmierz (January 2003)
  • "I would like to extend special acknowledgement and thanks to Sylvia (Seymour) Akin for the important materials she contributed to the history of the Cooley family."

    I first came upon Edgar Cooley in researching the history of the Industrial Works (former Industrial Brownhoist.) that was established on March 4, 1873. Edgar is mentioned among a select group of investors that purchased the MacDowell Foundry Company from which sprang up the Industrial Works. Other investors included George Kimball, James Clements, Ebenezer Wells, Esra Seaman and Phillip Bach. Edger's name appeared in many other history references as well. So, with the help of Sylvia Akins, a descendant of the Seymour family, I was able to gather enough data to present the Cooley family's history.

    Adeline "Ada" Louisa (Seymour) (1854-1886)
    (Photograph by Harman Verner, 914 N. Water Street, Bay City, MI.)
    Edgar A. Cooley (1852-??)
    (Photograph by Scholten Nos. 920 & 922 Olive Street, Cor. 10th Street, St. Louis, MO.)

    Edgar Cooley:

    Edgar was the son of Thomas McIntyre and Mary Elizabeth (Horton) Cooley of Adrian, Michigan.

    Thomas Cooley

    His known siblings were: Eugene of Lansing, MI; Fanny Angell; Charles, a professor at the University of Michigan; Thomas, medical department at University of Michigan; and Mary Cooley.

    Edgar's father was a Michigan Supreme Court Justice (1857-1885). As a member of the the Michigan bar, he published many papers of significance and in 1857 he compiled the general statues of Michigan.

    Specifics about Edgar's early years are unknown at this time.

    Adeline Louisa Seymour:

    Addie was born in Ithaca, New York to Theron and Adaline (Cole) Seymour on September 17, 1854. Her father was a direct descendant of Richard and Mercy (Ruscoe) Seymour.. Richard has the distinction of being one the early settlers of Hartford, Connecticut. Her mother's ancestors Azor Cole and Capt. Josiah Locker were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Addie was the youngest of seven children. Preceding her in birth were Cornelia E., Feb 1, 1837, who married Edward C. Turner; Ellen Agusta, born Nov. 2, 1840, died Apr. 17, 1847; George Pratt, born Jun. 10, 1845, Flint, MI, died Sep. 26, 1941 in Ferguson, MO.; Clara Rowland, born Oct. 31, 1848, died Oct. 17, 1854, Ithac, NY; William Jay, born Oct. 26, 1850, died Jun. 1, 1854. Adeline was only 33 years old when she died on Feb. 1, 1888.

    Their Marriage.

    Edgar and Addie were married in Flint, Genesee County, Michigan on December 14, 1876. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Marcus Lane, pastor of the St. Paul church. Witnesses to the marriage were F. W. Judd and H. C. Spencer.

    Adeline's mother married twice after Theron's death, the last being to E.C. McQuigg, and is when she moved from Ithaca, N.Y. to Flint.

    Above (L-R):
    Unknown girl, elderly lady may be Egar's mother Mary (Horton) Cooley, Walter and Mary H.
    (Photograph by Harman Verner, 4th st. & Washington Ave., Bay City.)

    Addie and children.

    Research on Edgar turned up only one significant account of him in the book, "Historic Michigan, Vol. II," edited by George E. Butterfield. In addition to Edgar, his prominent father Thomas is also mention and so is his son, Walter. The following information is from pages 182 and 183 of this book:

    Edgar was most likely born in Adrian, Michigan as the book mentions he moved to Ann Arbor as a younster with his parents.

    He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1872 at the age of twenty.

    He came to Bay City shortly thereafter, where he became a partner in the law firm of (Isaac) Marston, (Hershel H.) Hatch and Cooley. Issac Marston left the law firm to take a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court in 1875, and the firm's name reverted to "Hatch & Cooley." (See internet links in right-column).

    Edgar's next law partnership of Cooley and Hewitt endured for 10 years.

    Edgar was active in local politics, became President of the Bay County Bar Association and worked as an attorney for the Michigan Central railroad for many years.

    Old city directories on micro-flim provided the following data:

    1873-74: Edgar is boarding at Campbell House (Marston, Hatch & Cooley).

    1875-76: Edgar is boarding at S.N. Henion (Hatch & Cooley).

    1881-82: Edgar is residing at 508 VanBuren, between 7th & 8th streets (Smith Manor is now on this property.).

    Walter J.Cooley, son:

    Further information from this book regarding Edgar's son, Walter:

    Walter was born on November 2, 1878. He attended local elementary schools, but went to high school in Ann Arbor. There is no explanation of why -- but, with his mother passing at the age of 33, he may have been sent to lived with his grandparents during this period.

    He returned to Bay City where he found employment with the E.J. Vance Box Co.

    Two years later he took a position with the J.W. McGrow Co., at the chicory millsand remained threre one year.

    New he was hired by the Michigan Sugar Co., which gave up to become a fireman on the Michigan Central railroad.

    His next job he held for 20 years with the Bradstreet Co..

    Subsequently, he held positions with the Roller Foundry and the Cooley Casting Co., of which he was the head officer.

    At the time of this book was written (about 1924), Walter was manager of the Loetz Foundry Co. and president of the Garber Machine Co..

    Also, mentioned is his community service as an alderman and supervisor, member of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club.

    Walter married in September, 1905 to Mary Fenton daughter of Henry and Isabella Fenton. The marriage was performed by Rev. Thomas S. Anderson, of Auburn. Witnesses to their marriage were Mrs. Isabella Fenton and Chester(?) Fenton. Walter is listed as a manager of a coal mine, of which there was one located near Auburn. Family records mention they had a son.

    Mary Horton (Cooley) Eddy
    Mary Horton (Cooley) Eddy
    (Photo courtesy of
    Mary's grand-daugher,
    Charlotte Lamp.)

    Mary Horton, Daughter:

    Mary born in September, 1880, was the oldest daughter of Edgar and Addie. She married James G. Eddy, Sr. on April 28, 1904. James parents were James Franklin and Charlotte (Whittemore) Eddy. James, along with his brothers, ran the Eddy Investment Company in Bay City which they inherited from their father. The company was later moved to Seattle, WA and is where Mary and James spent most of the lives. They had three daughters and one son: Adeline Seymore, Charlotte Wittemore, Many Ann Cooley and James Garfield, Jr.

    The date of Mary's photo is unknown. However, what is known is that it was taken to mark the occasion of her being named the "Belle of Bay City."

    Anna L., Second Daughter:

    Anna was born in September, 1883, and was married Ocotober 26, 1908, to Robert Ryan. The ceremoney was performed by Rev. Amos Watkins. Witnesses to the marriage were Anna's father, Edgard A. and Alice Brown. The groom, was born in 1879, in Penn Township, Cass, Michigan, and was the son John W. and Mary E. (Dougherty) Ryan.

    Vaughn, Second Son:

    Their last child, Vaughn, was born on Nov 10, 1883. No addition information was found on him. Anna and Vaughn apparently were twins considering their birth dates.

    Edgar's Second Marriage:

    After Adeline's death 1888, Edgar met and married Louisa Fitzhugh, daughter of Frank and Annie Fitzhugh, of Bay City. The marriage took place on October 13, 1890, at the Trinity Church, with the service being performed by pastor F. W. McLean. Witnesses for the wedding were Frank Fitzhugh of Bay City and W. A. Vaughan from Knoxville.

    Edgar was close friends with Daniel H. Fitzhugh, Jr., a brother to Frank Fitzhugh, Edgar's father-in-law, The two regularly enjoyed fishing and hunting. (see Daniel's history page for more about this relationship).

    This marriage was short lived as Louisa died a six months later, on March 28, 1891.


    Please contact us if you can add to this history on Cooley family.

    Cooley Related Pages

    Locomotive Crane

    Industrial Works, history
    Mich. Central RR Depot
    Trinity Episcopal Church
    Eddy Sr., James G.
    Fenton, Henry
    Fitzhugh, Daniel H. Jr.
    Fitzhugh Family History
    Jewell, Leonard
    People Referenced
    Adkins, Sylvia
    Anderson, Thomas Rev.
    Bach, Phillip
    Brown, Alice
    Butterfield, George E.
    Clements, James
    Cole, Azor
    Cole, Adaline (m-inlaw)
    - Anna (dau.)
    - Charles (bro.)
    - Edgar A.(subject)
    - Eugene (bro.)
    - Fanny A. (sis.)
    - Mary (sis.)
    - Thomas (bro.)
    - Thomas M.(father)
    - Vaughn (son)
    - Walter (son)
    Dougherty, Mary E.
    - Adeline (gg-dau.)
    - Charlotte W (gg-dau.)
    - James F. (gg-son)
    - James G. Sr.
    - Mary A. (gg-dau.)
    Fenton, Chester(?)
    Fenton, Henry
    Fenton, Isabelle Mrs.
    Fenton, Mary (d-inlaw)
    Fitzhugh, Annie Mrs.
    Fitzhugh, Daniel H., Jr.
    Fitzhugh, Frank
    Fitzhugh, Louisa (2-wife)
    Hatch, Hershel H.
    Horton, Mary E.(mother)
    Judd, F.W.
    Kimball, George
    Lamp, Charlotte
    Lane, Marcus Rev.
    Locker, Josiah Capt.
    Marston, Isaac
    McQuigg, E.C.
    Ruscoe, Mercy
    Ryan, John W.
    Ryan, Robert (s-inlaw)
    Seaman, Esra
    - Adeline L. (1-wife)
    - Clara R. (s-inlaw)
    - Cornelia E. (s-inlaw)
    - Ellen A. (s-inlaw)
    - George P.
    - James G. Jr.
    - Richard
    - Theron (f-inlaw)
    - William J.(b-inlaw)
    Spencer, H.C.
    Turner, Edward C.
    Vaughn, W.A.
    Verner, Herman
    Watkins, Amos Rev.
    Wells, Ebenezer
    Whittemore, Charlotte
    Subjects Referenced
    Adrian, MI
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Auburn, MI
    Bay City Chamber of Commerce
    Bay City, MI
    Bay County Bar Assoc.
    Belle of Bay City
    Bradstreet Co.
    Campbell House
    Chickor mills
    Cooley Casting Co.
    Eddy Investment Co.
    E.J. Vance Box Co.
    Ferguson, MO
    Flint, MI
    Garber Machine Co.
    Hartford, CT
    Industrial Brownhoist
    Industrial Works
    Ithaca, NY
    J.W. McGraw Co.
    Lansing, MI
    Loetz Foundry Co.
    MacDown Foundry Co.
    Michigan bar
    Michigan Central RR
    Michigan Sugar co.
    Michigan Supreme Court
    Penn Twp., Cass, MI
    Revolutionary War
    Rotary Club
    Seattle, WA
    Smith Manor
    Univ. of Michigan
    Historical References
    1880 Michigan Census:
    Edgar A. Cooley, self, male, white, age 30, born MI, lawyer
    Addie L. Cooley, wife, femaile, white, age 24, born NY, keeping house.
    Walter J. Cooley, son, single, male, white, age 1, born MI,
    A. Keown, other, single, female, white, age 26, born Ireland, servant
    The Michigan Argonaut, Vo.6.(1887)
    Mrs. E.A. Cooley, of Bay City, daugther-in-law of Judge Cooley, died suddendly Feb. 1. She attended church the preceeding Sunday evening in her usual health.
    Michigan Marriages
    Oct. 13, 1890 - Edgar A. Cooley, age 38 married Lousia Fitzhugh, age 26; daughter of Frank & Annie (Dorsey) Fitzhugh of Bay City, Mich.; service performed by F.W. McLean, of Trinity Church; witnesses were Frank Fizhugh (Bay City, Mich.) & W.A. Vaughan (Knoxville, Tenn.).
    Article Sources & Credits
    Family genealogy & photos provided by Sylvia (Seymour) Akins.
    Mary Horton (Cooley) Eddy photo courtesy of Charlotte Lamp.
    Historic Michigan, Vol. II - History of Bay County, George E. Butterfield (book was published in 1928 by National Historic Assoc., Dayton, OH. Letter in prefice of book is dated 1924.)
    City directories and old newspaper articles.
    Internet Resources
    [Thomas M. Cooley]
    Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society.
    [Thomas M. Cooley Law School]
    Located in Lansing, MI. - Named after Edgar's father.
    [Bentley Historical Library]
    Acknowledgement of Charles Cooley, Edgar's brother.
    [Isaac Marston]
    Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society.
    Univ. of Michigan (1912)
    Class of 72
    Edgar A. Cooley
    After graduation received a diploma from the Law Department of the University and settled in Bay City, Mich. Became a member of the law firm of Hatch & Horr; later Mr. Horr went to Congress and the firm became known as Hatch & Cooley, which is one of the strongest firms in Michigan. Mr. Cooley inherits many of the legal qualities of his distinquished father. His council is sought by the best clientage of that part of the state. Am advised that he is retrained by practically every large corporation of Bay City. His name is connected with many important cases in Michigan Supreme Court. Religiously he is an Episcopalian; politically a Republican. Health is good. He married Adelaide Seymour, of Flint, Michigan, December, 1876, who died in 1888. Was married to Louise Fitzhugh, of Bay City, Michigan, in November 1890. His children are Walter S., 224; Mary H, 21; Anna L., 17 and Vaughn, 14 years of age. Address, 217 Fifth Avenue, Bay City, Mich.

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