By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you’re having a great Thanksgiving.
As you saw last week we’ve made some changes on this page. The purpose is for Jack Gurner Sr. to create more interest in the railroad museum with his biweekly “Out of the Depot” column. It is hoped that by learning more about our railroad heritage, future generations can carry on the tradition.
I will be concentrating more on person-to-person interviews with people of interest. Over the years most of my profiles have been from research and personal recollections. By interviewing people I can get personal accounts from those who are still with us. The interviews with Chester Joyner and Dudley Kelley were some of the most popular ones I ever did and I’m looking forward to the new challenge.
With two weeks to prepare I can go more in depth so that it will seem as if they were talking directly to you. Although I have several potential interviews, this week will have to be a regular column.
I’ve waited too long to do this profile of a man I admired as long as I can remember. Dr. Samuel Em-erson Cooper was born in South Carolina and came to Water Valley in 1894, when he went in business with his two brothers. He worked for a time in the Spencer Drug Store and then went to Nashville to study medicine. He graduated in 1897, returned to Water Valley and was associated with Dr. Mayfield until the latter died. He did post graduate study in New York and returned to Water Valley and practiced for the next 50 years.
His first wife died young leaving one daughter. He later married Miss Annie Hervey. Dr. Cooper as-sumed an abrupt manner to disguise his compassion. He was always impeccably dressed in a three piece suit with a diamond tie pin, even if he was making a call at midnight.
Once they had called him for Papa Badley and he was late getting there and Papa apologized for getting him out at night. Dr. Cooper, in his terse manner, said, “Lige, my car runs as good at night as it does in daytime.”
He always had a late model car which he drove until his health was bad and then he hired a driver and still made house calls. He was my family’s doctor as long as he was able, and I’m honored to have known this remarkable individual.
My email address is email@example.com or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101 and again, happy Thanksgiving.