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Cooper, Allen R. (ca. 1933-1999) | Lake Forest College Archives and Special Collections

Name: Cooper, Allen R. (ca. 1933-1999)

Historical Note:

The late Allen R. Cooper--who died in 1999 at the age of sixty-six (Chicago Tribune, July 14, 1999)--wrote his 1974 Roosevelt University English Dept. Master's Thesis on Col. Wood's Museum and its theater in Chicago, 1864-1884.  This work is 630 pages long, in large part due to the exhaustive research work that allowed Cooper to document the theatrical productions of Col. Wood's Museum's playhouse from 1864 to 1871 (Chicago Fire) and intermittently after that, including 1884.  His text describes the Museum's operations and differentiates that playhouse, with its stock company, from other theaters of the day in Chicago: McVickers, etc., that relied on the visiting star system or touring companies.

Mr. Cooper was born in Chicago and attended Sullivan High School there.  In the early 1950s he served in the U. S. Army in Wurzburg, Germany (American Sector).  He was a 1955 graudate of Northwestern University, where he obtained his teaching certificate, and taught at Kelvyn Park High School, on Chicago's northwest side, for thirty years.  His passion for post-Civil War Chicago history led him in several collecting directions, but was focused on Col. Wood's Museum and its theater company.

His spouse, Cecilia Moran Cooper of Westmont, IL, survives him (in August of 2013) and has donated to Special Collections many Jevni & Almini prints along with memorabilia, research files, and more. Mrs. Cooper taught mathematics at Harper College and elsewhere in the area, having begun her career at Mundelein College, Chicago, and shared her spouse's interest in Chicago cultural history.


"Allen R. Cooper," Chicago Tribune (July 14, 1999), http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1999-07-14/news/9907140247_1_mr-cooper-teaching-post-chicago as accessed August 9, 2013.

Cooper, Allen R.  Colonel Wood's Museum: A Study in the Development of the Early Chicago Stage. Master's Thesis, Department of English, Roosevelt Univesity (Chicago: Roosevelt Unviersity, 1974), 630pp.

Cooper, Cecilia (Mrs. Allen R.), conversations with, including on August 7, 2013, at Westmont, IL..

Note Author: Arthur H. Miller, Archivist, LF College library, amiller@lakeforeset.edu

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