On this day in 1844, future Duluthian Jerome Eugene Cooley was born in Allegheny, New York. A true Yankee, Cooley’s great-great-grandfather came from England to Massachusetts in 1690. At twenty-one Cooley moved to Minneapolis and entered the lumber business; three years later he relocated to Hinkley to run a saw mill. He married Miss Ella M. Burrows in 1870 and then moved 35 miles north of Hinkley and established a new mill and a townsite along the path of the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad. He and others hoped the town would be named for him, but it was instead named for George Barnum, the railroad’s paymaster. In 1873 he moved to Duluth, a town he had visited two years earlier for an Independence Day celebration. Before he even lived in Duluth he was doing business here, partnered with George LaVaque in the Cooley-Lavaque Fishery, which was absorbed by A. Booth in 1886. Very civic minded, Cooley was elected village treasurer in 1871, served as Duluth city assessor for seven years, and sat on the State Board of Equalization for twenty-one years. He was a very active mason and a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Old Settler’s Association, and the St. Louis County Historical Society. Indeed, Cooley was respected as an amateur historian and even referred to himself “Duluth’s Historian,” and in 1925 published Recollections of Early Days in Duluth. It is a fascinating read, and it is indeed his recollections: everything is from his memory, including the retelling of tales told to him by others. The facts he presents are often in doubt, but he paints a vivid picture of Duluth as a rough-and-tumble frontier town. His tale of Duluth’s first election involves fraud on a grand scale, with townspeople supposedly bribing local Ojibwe with drink in an effort to get out the vote. Zenith City will be offering his recollections online as soon as we digitize them.