Daniel William Cooper

Founder Daniel William Cooper, MIAMI (OHIO) 1857, born near Frederickstown, Ohio, was 25 years old at the time of the founding of Sigma Chi. He is credited with contributing much to the moral and spiritual foundations of the Fraternity. The confidence of his fellow Founders led to his election as the first Consul of the Alpha Chapter.

Of him, Founder Benjamin Piatt Runkle, MIAMI (OHIO) 1857, recalled, “To him more than to any other man is due the birth and early growth of the kindly and generous spirit of Sigma Chi. It is hard to account for his dominant spirit, and his influence in that little band. He was a man of God, honest, upright and pure. In his intercourse with the rest of us he was gentle and considerate. He never reproved; he never lectured. By common consent he was the head of the chapter, and no one thought of displacing him. His quarters were the resort of each one of us when in trouble, and there we found sympathy and convincing, unselfish advice. Different from every one of us, he walked among us honored, loved, looked up to with perfect confidence. He taught us that the badge was not to be looked upon as common. Many an hour did I pass in his room, and every minute was a benediction. Brother Cooper, in those days, though rich in spirit was poor in worldly goods, and his life and work contain a priceless lesson for those of us who think that the end of life is the attainment of material riches and worldly power.”

Following graduation, Cooper attended seminary and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. He held several pastorships in Ohio and engaged in special missionary service. In retirement, he lived for some years in the South, returning to Ohio where he spent his last years with his son, James G. Cooper, OHIO WESLEYAN 1902.

He was the last of the seven Founders to pass into the Chapter Eternal, doing so in 1920 at age 90. He is buried at Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

Cooper wore his original Sigma Phi badge until his death; it is now pinned on the newly installed Grand Consul at each Grand Chapter, and the Grand Consul is then given a replica to wear during his term.