CVSR Renames Vintage Railcar “George Washington Cooper”

CVSR Renames Vintage Railcar “George Washington Cooper”

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is renaming vintage coach car no. 165 as the “George Washington Cooper”. Coach car no. 165 was previously named the “Salem Inn”. Doug Cooper, former President & CEO of CVSR, is renaming the car to honor his great-great-grandfather, George Washington Cooper.

George Washington Cooper – shown here with his wife Catherine, was born in New Jersey March 5, 1833, moved to Ohio and married Catherine Monfort August 22, 1857. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the Union Army on July 23, 1861, Company F, 25th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, leaving his wife and 3-year old daughter, Sarah, and 1-year old son, James, to serve his country.

Major engagements included the battles of First Bull Run, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He extended his 3-year enlistment for the duration, being mustered out as “veteran” in 1866. After the civil War he returned home to Ohio and he and Catherine raised their family and were part of the steady growth and increasing prosperity of Cleveland and northeastern Ohio communities.

His progeny include: Son James served as carpenter with Westinghouse Electric and built homes in the Clark Avenue area of Cleveland; Grandson Frank Herbert was a technician with The White Motor Company, at which great great grandson Herbert Terry also worked after a stint with Ford; Grandson Andrew Leslie was a patternmaker with American Shipbuilding Company, Whiskey Island yards, and Westinghouse also; Great-grandson Herbert Leslie worked for Western Electric Company, as did great-grandson Robert Wilson, a Department Chief, and great-great-granddaughter Sally Cooper Larson, a systems analyst; Great-grandson Wesley Paul was a clerk in the time office of Cleveland Twist Drill Company and retired as Chief Executive Officer after a career of almost a half-century with Cleveland Twist Drill and its successor, Acme-Cleveland Corporation; Great-granddaughter Lucille Cooper Barthelman, with her husband Bob, ran Olympic Recreation and Polar Bar at Kamms Corners; Great-great granddaughters Barbara Lois Cooper White is in accounting at Baldwin Wallace University, and Nancy May Cooper does acquisitions for Rocky River Public Library; and Great-great-grandson Doug served as CVSR’s President & CEO from July 2001 to October 2006. 

Coach car no. 165 was built for Pennsylvania Railroad as part of a fleet of 21 roomette sleeping cars. It was rebuilt in 1963 as a 76-seat coach. In 1991 it was rebuilt again by Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) to its current 80-seat configuration. In 2000, it was owned by Akron Metro and leased to Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Ownership was transferred from Akron Metro to CVSR as an in-kind contribution on October 29, 2013. Learn more on “Our Fleet” page.

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Lynee Bixler