The Phipps or Cooprider Place

Ida-Rose Langford Hall, in her book The Progenitors and Descendants of Fielding Langford, 1970, refers on p. 82 to a Laura A. Phipps. (A digitized copy of this book appears in Family Search.) Laura A. Phipps married Uriah Cooprider, according to that source, on 21 April 1872. Uriah Cooprider is said to have been born 1 December 1848.

The same book refers to this Uriah Cooprider as one of the children of Henry Cooprider, born 1815 in Clay County, Indiana, and his wife Melinda Lankford. Melinda Lankford, according to the same source, was born in 1817 in Pulaski County, Kentucky.

This same book also refers to a Langford/Lankford connection to the Fountain family of England and later Virginia, with Fontaine being referred to as a variant spelling. We have dealt at length in earlier posts with the direct involvement of John Fips or Phips of Lunenburg and later Charlotte Counties, Virginia with Peter Fontaine, the surveyor, and with Tandy Walker.

The book also refers to uses of the Walker name among the Langford or Lankford family. The author wondered, at one point in the text, about an individual named Walker Langford, and asked whether the name could have been derived from Thomas Walker. Thomas Walker is described in the text as an early Virginia land speculator who “opened up many” lands in Western Virginia, although it’s noted that any such connection is “pure speculation.”

The issue of land speculation has been raised in past posts as a possible explanation for the unusual behavior of Phipps or Fips or Phips, etc. individuals who occasionally had land deals in one location while being directly referred to legal documents as living in a completely different location. Surveying seems to frequently enter into it, and the Peter Fontaine associated with John Phips or Fips was a prominent surveyor, as we’ve discussed in the past. Tandy Walker appears to have been also involved in land deals elsewhere.

To return to the marriage of Laura Phipps to Uriah Cooprider, as mentioned above, again her mother in law is said to have been born in Pulaski County, Kentucky. Past posts have dealt with the involvement of persons who appear to have been descendants of John Fips or Phips of Lunenburg and Charlotte Counties, Virginia in Pulaski County, Kentucky. (See here, for instance, as well as here.)

In addition, Uriah Cooprider, who Laura Phipps married, is said to have been born in Clay County, Indiana. This is where some Phips or Phipps individuals showed up in the first half of the 19th (1800s) century who appeared to be related to persons of that name in Ashe County, North Carolina. One of them, Mathew Phips, was clearly a son of Jesse Phips of adjacent Owen County, Indiana who came into this area of Indiana from Ashe County, Indiana around 1833. Mathew owned a store in Clay County while his farm was in Owen County.

Not only that, but Blanchard’s monumental reference work on Clay and Owen Counties in Indiana (Charles Blanchard, ed., Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana: Historical and Biographical, Chicago: F.A. Battey & Co., 1884) states the following on p. 24, in the Clay County section of the book. (Digitized copies of the book appear in Internet Archive and Google Books.) This appears under the “Geology” subheading, in a discussion of coal resources in the county (emphasis has been added):

The deposit of cannel coal is but limited, as at present known. The only point at which it has developed and is now operated is on THE PHIPPS OR COOPRIDER PLACE, within a mile of Clay City.

Various geology reports refer to coal at the Phipps or Cooprider place.

Blanchard also refers to Eli Cooprider, apparently the one mentioned elsewhere by Blanchard as having sold coal late in the century from the Phipps or Cooprider place, as a son of Henry and Belinda (Lankford) Cooprider. This couple would appear to be the Henry and Melinda, not Belinda, referred to in the Langford book. In fact, later on in his book, Blanchard again refers to Henry and his wife and there refers to her as Melinda.

One of the Coopriders, Elias Cooprider (born 1810), gave a speech in 1884 in which he described “Mother Long.” This was discussed in a previous post. He appeared to have perhaps been confusing two different Long women, but appeared to be primarily, at least, referring to the Widow Long referred to by Edward Bonney in his book Banditti of the Prairie, digitized copies of which appear in Internet Archive.

Edward Bonney was the detective who infiltrated the Long-Phips outlaw gang in the Upper Mississippi Valley. The gang operated as a network in Clay, Owen, and Lawrence Counties of Indiana, in addition to various other locations throughout much of the Midwest, in the 1840s. Posing as an outlaw gang member, Bonney spent the night in the home of John Meshack Phips, son of the Jesse Phips referred to above. Also present in the house was Widow Long, John’s mother in law, the Mother Long described by Cooprider.


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