Courtesy Emily Fowler Public Library
Cooper Creek Community
by Mrs. W. A. Beeman
The Cooper Creek community located 3 1/2 miles northeast of Denton, on the old Mingo road and 1/2 mile north of highway 24, derived its name from the creek where the first schoolhouse was located. This is just across the creek from the site of the W. J. Pilgrim home.
There was a spring that supplied water for the school when it was built. It was a small one-room building and all denominations also worshipped in it. In this one-room school house the first Methodist church was organized in 1878 by Rev. Lovejoy and Rev. James Farris, Rev. Lovejoy being the first pastor.
Rev. Farris settled on the place now owned by Ollen Morgan before the Civil War. Charlie Farris, a grandson, still lives in the neighborhood. Thomas Skaggs first settled on the place now owned by Grady Brow. Before the Civil War, T. J. Skaggs purchased 150 acres from Thomas Skaggs in 1878. This land is now owned by Miss Josephine Skaggs, a daughter. She was born and reared on this place. A sister, Mrs. Maud May, owns and lives on a place joining her sister. She was also born and reared there. Mrs. May and Miss Skaggs acquired all of their education at the Cooper Creek Schoolhouse. Hard Carter gave the land where the present schoolhouse stands and also land for the cemetery. According to Mr. Charlie Price, the first grave in the cemetery was that of a bachelor by the name of Cole.
Charlie Price, Mrs. Maud May, Miss Skaggs and Charlie Farris are among the few old settlers living in Cooper Creek community now, having lived there all of their lives. Other old settlers were Uncle Dan Meredith, Mrs. Josie Carter, Mrs. Mary Argo, J. R. Templeton, Uncle Bill Evans, Taylor Lanham, Mrs. Winston and Tom Collins, father of Bill Collins, whose family now owns and lives on the Collins place.
Mrs. Henrietta Price, mother of Charlie Price, was also an early settler. The Price family settled on the Collins place in 1861, where Charlie Price was born in 1877 and where he spent his early days. He now lives near the old Trinity Church having moved only once during his lifetime. Mrs. Henrietta Price was a charter member of the Baptist church in the community. Other charter members were Mrs. W. L. Cagle, Mr. and Mrs. L. F. Collins.
Taylor Lanham and Dunk Harris secured the money by subscription that purchased a lot in 1901 where the Methodist Church now stands. It was built in 1946-47 and was dedicated in 1947, with Rev. Walter Sullens as pastor. Some of the early pastors were Rev. Clifton, Rev. Shuffler, Rev. Fincher and Rev. Webb. In 1902, Rev. Webb enrolled 100 members.
The Baptist denomination worshipped in the old church building taking alternate Sundays with the Methodist, until they built their present building in 1916 on the lot given by Mr. Tom Collins. This lot was given to the church with the understanding that it belonged to the church as long as there was a church there, but if the church were ever disbanded, the land would go back to the Collins heirs. Some of the early pastors of the Baptist church were Rev. Barrow, Rev. Sauls, Rev. Burton, Rev. B. F. Sizemore and Rev. Joe Amos, father of Mrs. Harvey Chapman, who still lives in the neighborhood. 16
The first record of conference held at Cooper Creek Baptist Church was in 1902, but the church was organized in 1887 in a small building in Elm bottom, now covered by the waters of Lake Dallas. Mr. M. L. Barr was the first Sunday School Superintendent and Mr. Ira Cox, choir director. Brother Fitzgerald of Denton was pastor at the time when the church enrollment was 100.
Note by Alma Lain Chambers (Mrs. W. B.) The records of the Cooper Creek Methodist Church may be found in the files of the First Methodist Church, Sanger, Texas. It was in the Denton Circuit, later the Bolivar Circuit and finally the Sanger Circuit. The books were brought from Bolivar when the churches were consolidated in early 1950s.