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Bartow County Historical Markers

Mark Anthony Cooper’s Iron Works

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: Mark Anthony Cooper’s Iron Works
  • Location: Located on the Old River Road off US 41 in Emerson


These ruins of an old iron furnace built by Moses Stroup are all that remain of Cooper’s Iron Works, developed by Mark Anthony Cooper, pioneer industrialist, politician, and farmer. Cooper was born in 1800 near Powelton, Ga. Graduating from S.C. College (now the University of S.C.) in 1819, he was admitted to the bar in 1821 and opened a law office in Eatonton. A member of the Ga. Legislature in 1855, he later served in the 26th Congress, filled a vacancy in the 27th, and was reelected to the 28th. Resigning to run for Governor in 1843, Cooper was defeated by George W. Crawford and retired from politics. Cooper bought an interest in the furnace then owned by Stroup, and in 1847 he and Leroy M. Wiley bought Stroup out. Cooper’s plants, including a nail factory, rolling-mill, and flour mill, were destroyed by Sherman’s army. Cooper and Strop were incorporators of the Etowah Railroad, completed to the rolling-mill in 1858. A yard engine of this road, the “Yonah”, was involved in the famous chase of the “General” in April, 1862. Cooper, the first president of the Ga. Agricultural Society, a trustee of Mercer University, the University of Ga., and the Cherokee Baptist College, died in 1885 at his home, “Glen Holly”.