Cooper House -
off SH 29, 1.5 mi. E of Georgetown
The Jesse and Sara Cooper House (1912) is an American Four Square form with Prairie School influences facing south on a high bluff approximately 1.8 miles east of downtown Georgetown on Highway 29. Covered in a tripped roof of asphalt composition shingles, the 2story wood frame house rests on stone piers. The principal elevation is noted by groupings of three 1/1 windows on both the first and second stories, and a single wooden door with transom in the center of the first floor. A shed roof porch extends from the house and wraps around the south and west elevations. The porch is supported by square stone pillars and stone balustrade. A porte cochere with similar stone supports extends from the southeast corner. The house is surrounded by low scale shrubbery and several large live oak trees. Two 1-story additions extend from the north elevation and appear to be the only compromises to the original building. A detached 1 story building is approximately 30 feet from the northeast corner of the house and is Noncontributing. The Jesse and Sara Cooper House (1912) faces south on a high bluff approximately 1.8 miles east of downtown Georgetown on Highway 29. Set back from the highway, the house commands a view of the surrounding countryside and of Georgetown. large live oak trees denote the rear yard and west yard while deciduous trees are aligned on the eastern side of the house.
The 2-story wood frame Cooper House is covered by a large tripped roof of asphalt shingles. A small roof ornament denotes the peak of the tripped roof while an interior brick chimney rises along the east elevation and ends in a corbeled cap. Box eaves enclose the roof making clean transition lines between the roof and weather-board siding. The house rests on stone piers.
The principal facade (south) is highlighted with 1/1 wooden double-hung windows set in groups of three. These groupings are on both the first and second stories almost directly above each other. A single wooden door with glass transom marks the entry directly in the center of the first floor. The most notable architectural on this facade is the shed roof porch which sweeps down on the south and west elevations to rest on full height stone piers capped in cast concrete. The piers are connected by a solid stone balustrade also capped with a band of cast concrete. A wooden porch floor ties the piers to the house and leads to three wide concrete steps flanked by stone stoops with concrete caps. The porch also continues on the east elevation to form a porte cochere supported by stone piers. Two 1-story additions extend from the north elevation and break up the original four-square form. A gravel driveway comes under the porte cochere and leads to the rear of the house. A 1-story gable roof building lies at the northeast corner of the property ens is Noncontributing.
The property is in excellent condition and retains its integrity.
BIBLIOGRAPHY (see historic context statement).
PREVIOUS DOCUMENTATION ON FILE (NPS): N/A
PRIMARY LOCATION OF ADDITIONAL DATA: State historic preservation office (Texas Historical Commission)
The Jesse and Sara Cooper House is one of the few Four Square forms with Prairie School influences in the Georgetown area. Constructed in 1912, the American Four Square and Prairie School were popular influences on domestic architecture in the early decades of the 20th century. A large sweeping front porch and four square interior plan mark the significant architectural features of the house. Its high level of integrity and prominent location make this example particular good and important in Georgetown's architectural development. The Cooper House is eligible under Criterion C in the area of Architecture at the local level of significance. It is associated with the multiple listing: Historic Resources of Georgetown, Texas.
Jesse Cooper, a native of Tennessee, came to Williamson County in 1876 settling the following year in Georgetown. Cooper and local businessman Gus Ivey then founded the local newspaper, Williamson County Sun. In 1890 he became one of several organizers of the First National Bank of Georgetown. Cooper served as bank president, vice-president, board member, and chairman of the board. In the late 19th century, Cooper also co-founded the Georgetown Oil Mill to provide a local service for area cotton growers. The First National Bank and Georgetown Oil Mill are discussed in the historic context for the multiple listing.
In 1912 Jesse Cooper contracted with Charles S. Belford of Belford Lumber Company to construct a dwelling on property east of town. Originally owned by George and Lucy Wilbarger, the property lay outside the city at the time but provided a commanding view of Georgetown. The Belford Company records indicate that the house costs included $2,062.09 (merchandise), $13,440.05 (labor), and $590,90 (masonry). Jesse and Sara Cooper (his second wife) lived in the house until their deaths in 1944 and 1935, respectively. Robert W. and Ida Cooper (son and daughter-in-law) then occupied the house until 1947 when it was sold to Gordon and Lois Nave. In recent years the house has served as a bed and breakfast. The house was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission in 1988. The Cooper House is associated with one of Georgetown's leading families of the late 19th and early 20th century. It also is one of the best examples of a Four Square with Prairie School influences in the community and is similar to the Cooper Sansom, Marsh F. Smith, and S. A. Easly houses (all National Register 1985). The house was ranked as a "High Priority" in the comprehensive survey of 1984-85.