Do you have birth and death dates or an obituary for George Eliot Cooley?


I found evidence that George Eliot Cooley resigned from Grand Rapids in 1906, rather than in 1907 --

Grand Rapids Press, page 6

Publication Date: September 1, 1906

Published as: The Evening Press.

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Headline: With Much Regret Resignation of the Rev. George Eliot Cooley Was Accepted. Meeting of All

Article Type: News/Opinion

According to the news report, Cooley's resignation letter of August 20, 1906 stated his departure was due to "ill health and nervous collapse" and that a change of location would "lend vigor" if he were ever to preach again.

I found evidence in the New York Times and New York Tribune that George Eliot Cooley offered free public lectures after 1906 and until 1911, but saw no obituary.  This biographical dictionary, published in 1914, has an entry for Winnifred Harper Cooley and lists her address at 609 W. 127th Street in NYC.  If her husband was still living at that time, it may have also been his address, and might help you confirm whether the death certificate you found is a match.    

Here at Andover-Harvard Theological Library, we have a card file that indexes obituaries in Universalist publications.   If Cooley died a Universalist minister, I would expect his death to be noted in the Universalist LeaderUniversalist Yearbook, I would expect to find a card in our file.   Unfortunately, there was nothing under his name. 

To learn if Cooley remained an active Universalist minister following his 1906 resignation, I looked at the Universalist Yearbook.   He is listed in 1906 and then is missing from future rosters.   It appears that he left the ministry, though I don’t have any documentary evidence beyond his disappearance from the roster.

I have also checked his minister file in our archives, and it contains no additional information about George Eliot Cooley. Ironically, it contains 1950s correspondence from someone who is also trying to find out his death date!

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