Lillian Cooper

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What we know

Lillian Cooper née McQuigg
1887 - 1916
Came with her family when her father Sandy sought work in the quarry after his claims failed. Married Troy Cooper and went out to the Dakotas to farm. Died after giving birth to her fourth stillborn baby.


In those summer quilting evenings,
the Widow Jenson always
talked about her wonder of
a husband—Never get the old bird
started about Sven
was the motto of
the Ladies Aid from '03 on.

Lillian listened, lion eyes
big on the widow’s doughy
breast that evidenced the murmurs
of all the little things Sven did—

Then she took a husband out1
to homestead in the Dakotas,
sneaking glances around her
unending tasks at the creek
mud-line of trees; the sod house
and he the only thing
breaking the grass horizon.

The frost between them finally
ate more than the Mormon crickets2
and their table grew wider than the plain.





Jones-Eddy, Julie.Homesteading Women: an Oral History of Colorado:
. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992.

Portal caption and links

Image of a short-handled harvesting sickle.

Mollie Mateson
Edith Gaylor
Enid Grimes

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