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 --

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.

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 Leader and/or Universalist Yearbook.  I would also 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 "inactive minister file" in our archive.  Ironically, it contains 1950s correspondence from someone who was also trying to find out his death date.

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