AMERICA THE GREAT MELTING POT
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Born: 27/June/1820 Wayne Co, North Carolina
Married: 24/Dec/1848 Holmes Co, Mississippi
Died: 1886 Seguin, Guadalupe Co., Texas
Richard John, born in NC, moved to Tennessee with his parents and aunts and uncles in 1823 when he was 3. He was the oldest of 9 children. He lived in Tennessee until about 1839 when the family moved to Mississippi. He married Mary Ann there in 1848. He was about 28; she 16. His father died in Mississippi in the late 1840's and Richard, his wife, infant son and mother moved to Seguin by 1853 or 1854. According to family tradition, he owned a grist mill and may also have been a pharmacist. It is said that on his periodic business trips to New Orleans, he returned to Seguin with medical supplies.
The Rev. John M Wilson Jr., Presbyterian minister in Seguin from 1856 to 1881, submitted articles to the Texas Almanac. His first article on the used of the mesquite tree for tanning includes a letter from Richard John Coorpender corroborating his opinion. He writes, "I am happy to be able to state that my experience in the use of the mesquit as a tanning agent confirms in the fullest degree all that Mr. Wilson has written as to its qualities, and even more. I will remark that I was connected as a partner with Dr. Park for two years in the tannery. When he left, I carried it on myself for a year, and only abandoned it from the difficulty of procuring skilled labor."
We have found very little written history of what went on in the lives of Richard John and Mary Anne Coorpender. From census and deed records we can surmise that they went from being quite wealthy to being quite poor. In the 1860 census R. J. lists his wealth at $3,500 Real Estate and $15,800 personal wealth and in the 1870 census at $2,415 Real Estate and $1,500 personal wealth. By 1867 he was unable to pay $2,226 to M M Coorpender that he borrowed from her in 1859 and 1860 and he is forced to sign a deed of trust. Deed records continue to show that he and his son Junius pile up debt to pay for their farming operations from 1872 to 1875 and that almost of of the land that they own is sold to either receive or pay off that debt. There are no further transactions up to 1881. R. J. died around 1889 leaving no will and Mary Anne died in 1907 also leaving no will.
His sister, Julia Duggan, died in March of 1929 leaving no living children
and no will. In 1933 her estate was probated and Carrie Coorpender Young
was called to give an affidavit as to the heirs of John Richard Coorpender.
See below. Copies courtesy of Alexa McCrea at
This document proves that Richard John Coorpender is the sister of Julia Coorpender Duggan. And the death certificate for Julia Coorpender Duggan proves that their mother was Matilda Fenner.