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Cooper, Robert James (1830–1910)

Again it becomes our duty to record the 'passing away ' of another old Milton identity — this time in the person of Robert James Cooper, late resident for some years of Burrill Lake. The late Robert Cooper would have reached his 80th year had he lived till next Monday, 26th inst. He was the eldest son of the late Robert Cooper the younger. A brother, William Oscar Cooper, survives him and resides on the old homestead at Currawang, Lake George. His three sisters. Mrs W. R. Kendall, Mrs. J. Jewell Rutter, and Mrs. Wm. Brown, of Norfolk, England, predeceased him many years since. The late deceased leaves the wife, daughter, and two sons to mourn their loss. Robert Cooper was educated at the Sydney Grammar School under the care of the well-known head teacher, Mr. Cape, and had for his form companions several of the celebrities of N.S.W. who afterwards obtained distinction in State affairs and at the Bar. Leaving school he was taken to England by his late step-father, Mr. Thomas Chapman, J.P., and apprenticed to the great Engineering firm, Hawkes, Crawshaw and Company, at Newcastle-on-Tyne. In 1854 he returned to N.S.W. and was for some time engaged at P. N. Russell's engineering works, Sydney, and under the late Capt. Rountree at Mort's Dry Dock, then in its infancy. Then owing to circumstances of difference of English and N. S.W. climate he began to look for fortune in gold fields, at which he was one of the unsuccessful searchers. In 1862 he came to Ulladulla and commenced his studies for the position of Surveyor. Passed with honors and became a Licensed Surveyor under Torrens Act. For some years he practised his profession with success, both financially and otherwise. On the death of his step-father he became possessed of a nice estate at Tarago, near Goulburn, and was in a comfortable position financially, purchased 'The Hutt,' Milton, and made there a very snug and comfortable home. Unsuccessful speculations gradually but surely made inroads upon his accumulations, and as years rolled on his well-earned means dwindled away and left him stranded when the infirmities of old age over-took him. The late Robert Cooper was a great reader, kind, genial disposition, and ever ready to do a good turn to his neighbor. He was for many years a very sincere searcher after truth; took a warm interest in municipal affairs, for many years as an alderman of the Ulladulla ward, and always took a lively interest in State politics. He was an advanced Liberal, and it may be added with truth, that for 40 years he had many friends and no enemies in this district. The only jar in his long life was the unhappy law suit in the Ewin estate.

When the day of toil is done,
When the race of life is run,
Father, grant thy wearied one
Rest and peace for evermore.

We extend to the bereaved widow and family our sincere sympathy and condolence.

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Citation details

'Cooper, Robert James (1830–1910)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/cooper-robert-james-28815/text36213, accessed 12 December 2019.

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