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Earliest Members of the Century Association

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Edward Cooper

Mayor of New York City

Centurion, 1857–1905

Born 26 October 1824 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 25 February 1905 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Proposed by William Kemble

Elected 7 February 1857 at age thirty-two

Archivist’s Note: Brother-in-law of Abram S. Hewitt; uncle of Edward R. Hewitt and Peter Cooper Hewitt

Seconder of:

Supporter of:

Century Memorial

Edward Cooper joined The Century in 1857—a notable year in its annals, when it moved into its new home, now remembered as the “old house” in Fifteenth Street, and added to its membership a group of especially able men, Mr. Carter, Mr. Hewitt, Mr. William Allen Butler, Dr. Lieber, to mention but a few among those who have passed away. Mr. Cooper was the son of Peter Cooper, and succeeded to his business as well as to the care of that signally beneficent work the Cooper Institute, and in both was associated with Mr. Hewitt. In public affairs he took an energetic and honorable, though often modest, part. He was a convinced Democrat, but his first active service in politics was in support of Mayor Tiemann to succeed Fernando Wood; during the Mayor’s term he organized the first efficient street-cleaning department in the history of the city. In 1878 he was elected Mayor by a combination with the opposition, and did excellent work, especially in the matter of the Police Department. He managed the campaign of Mr. Cleveland for Governor in 1881, and supported him with vigor in 1884 and 1888 for the Presidency. His latest active labor in politics was on the side of sound money in 1896, though age and ill-health entitled him to repose. He was an efficient member of the Committee of Seventy which brought about the downfall and partial punishment of the Tweed Ring, and he suggested to Mr. Tilden the examination of the bank accounts of the members of the Ring which contributed so largely to their exposure. He was also a member of the commission to study the government of cities, and was the only one to oppose restriction of the suffrage recommended for certain financial offices. He was very much devoted to organized social life, and the list of the clubs and societies to which he belonged embraces nearly all of especial note in the city, ranging from the Union Club, of which he was President at the time of his death, to the American Institute of Mining Engineers. Of a generous and sympathetic nature, an active mind and varied interests, he was everywhere received in cordial companionship.

Edward Cary
1906 Century Association Yearbook