Corydon E. Cooley
Interview with Ina Osborne and Ethelyn Fay Daugherty
Interviewed by Joyce McBride
September 22, 2005
Ina Osborne: He said. (The Freight Rolled by James R. Jennings) "This was the last word in elegance with its spaciousness and its stairway adorned with mahogany. It had a wonderful banister!"
Ethelyn Fay Daugherty: Is that the Cooley Ranch? Yes!
IO: Yes! "It became the third and last rest and forage station for the troops, and military brass looked upon it as a favorite wayside stop." There was, there was and probably is still somewhere a guest book that was seen and was signed by the people who stopped off at Cooley Ranch. And that had important people in government, governors, and politicians and judges and everyone under the sun signed in as guests at Cooley's Ranch.
Joyce McBride: How many bedrooms did it have?
EFD: We don't know because Don Cooley remodeled it. And he created a big ballroom like place. But oh, I would guess there were at least five, but that's just a pure guess. But it. . .
IO: We don't know the original floor plan.
EFD: With all the people that it housed on a regular basis, it had to have had at least five and maybe more.
JM: You had all your children, your children living there. Then you would, no doubt have a guest room. I know that in this book, I think it is in this one (The Freight Rolled) it talks about outside, there were two buildings that were light blue in color, do you remember these?
IO: There were other houses there.
EFD: There were all kinds of other houses there at Cooley's.
JM: It has, "the troops would stay," not in the house, but . . .
EFD: Yeah, there was a barracks.
IO: There was a barracks.
JM: And then there was a cookhouse and the kitchen. There wasn't a kitchen inside.
IO: There was a kitchen inside when we knew the house.
EFD: I think there was a kitchen in the house to begin with.
JM: Maybe that was for the troops then.
IO: Because my dad talked, yeah it may have been. My dad talked about Grandpa Cooley himself would prepare for breakfast the night before to feed the family and the guests. And he said that he would set the table; have it all laid out ready for breakfast in the morning. That he would chop up the leftover meat and potatoes for hash and would cook the hash in the morning, and that would be the standard breakfast. I remember him telling me lots of things, because my dad lived at Cooley Ranch. He was born there and he lived there. And they had other houses for the, mostly the daughters and their husbands lived at Cooley's Ranch. I've got a picture that shows two or three of the houses in relation to the big house. And he had talked about what it was like to live at Cooley's Ranch and the things that Grandpa Cooley did. And one of the things that he did was he kept bees. They had a big corral about a quarter mile away from the house and he had beehives there. And he kept bees, and dad would watch him as a boy. He'd hang up sugar water for the bees to make the honey, to help them make more honey. And then he'd take the honey and use it. And that was one of his hobbies that he raised the bees.
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