Myers Y. Cooper
Photograph of Myers Y. Cooper, a Cincinnati businessman who served as governor of Ohio from 1929 to 1931.
Myers Young Cooper was the fifty-first governor of Ohio.
Cooper was born on November 25, 1873, in St. Louisville, Ohio. He attended public schools in Licking County and attended the National Normal University for two years, but he did not graduate. In 1896, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he began a real estate business. Cooper developed a number of housing subdivisions. He offered homes on credit to people who could not pay the full price immediately and sold more than two thousand homes in this way. Cooper also became involved in number of other businesses. He established the Hyde Park Lumber Company, the Hyde Park Savings Bank, and the Norward National Bank. He remained the chief executive officer of these three businesses until his death. Cooper also served as president of the Ohio Fair Managers Association and as president of the Ohio Council of Churches.
Cooper played an active role in the Ohio Republican Party during the 1910s and the 1920s and held a number of party positions. Cooper did not seek political office until 1926, when he ran for the Ohio governor's seat. He lost to the incumbent, Alvin Victor Donahey. In 1928, Donahey did not seek reelection, and Cooper easily won election as governor over the Democratic Party's candidate, Martin Luther Davey.
When Cooper took office in 1929, the Republican Party controlled the Ohio legislature. As a result of this Republican dominance, Cooper's two years as governor was uneventful politically. He was able to implement most of his proposals with little opposition from the legislature. During Cooper's administration, the state began new soil conservation programs, passed laws to safeguard investors' funds, and reduced personal and real property taxes. During Cooper's Administration, the Martha Kinney Cooper Ohioana Library was created. Intending to create a library to solely house the works of Ohioans, Cooper's wife solicited donations of books from authors who were from the state of Ohio. Initially, Ohio's First Lady housed the collection in the solarium of the Governor's Mansion. In 1935, the library moved to the State Library in Columbus.
Cooper ran for reelection in 1930. With the coming of the Great Depression, many Ohioans blamed the governor for not assisting them more. Cooper lost the election to George White. After losing the election in 1930, Cooper returned to his business and civic interests in Cincinnati. He died on December 6, 1958.
- Cayton, Andrew. Ohio: The History of a People. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press, 2002.
- The Governors of Ohio. Columbus: The Ohio History Connection, 1954