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Harlan Ward Cooley papers

Call Number: MS 1277

Scope and Contents

The Harlan Ward Cooley Papers consist of various materials concerning Harlan W. Cooley's years at Yale and his Yale classmates Irving Fisher, William Lyon Phelps, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and Henry L. Stimson. There is a small amount of correspondence from Cooley's family and classmates, biographical sketches of Cooley, including one written by his daughter, Julia (Cooley) Altrocchi, the text of an address by Cooley to Yale alumni, and an essay on Yale traditions. Also in the Papers are a few pieces of memorabilia relating to the Yale Record, and a selection of photographs of Cooley, his family, and his classmates.


  • 1879-1971


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Julia Cooley Altrocchi in 1971.


0.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Letters, photographs, manuscripts, and clippings of Harlan Ward Cooley, primarily relating to Yale and his classmates in the class of 1888. Also included is a biographical sketch of Cooley by his daughter, Julia Cooley Altrocchi.

Biographical / Historical

Harlan Ward Cooley, B.A. 1888.

Born January 29, 1866, in Washington, D.C.

Died June 21, 1938, in Harbert, Mich.

Father, Judge Dennis Nelson Cooley of Dubuque, Iowa; former Commissioner of Indian Affairs; trustee Cornell College, Iowa; son of Benjamin and Polly (Taylor) Cooley of Lisbon, N.H. Mother, Clara (Aldrich) Cooley; daughter of Niles and Mary (Estey) Aldrich of Windham, Vt. Yale relatives include: Walter C. Douglas, '10S., and Harlan A. Becker '14 (nephews).

Phillips-Andover. High oration appointment Junior year; oration appointment and Townsend Premium Senior year; editor Yale Daily News Senior year; secretary and treasurer Intercollegiate Tennis Assocation Junior year; member Junior Promenade Committee and Yale Assembly; treasurer University Club Junior year and on board of governors Senior year; president Andover Club; member Hé Boulé, Psi Upsilon, Skull and Bones, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Attended Yale School of Law 1888-89; studied law in office of John N. Jewett and at Chicago College of Law 1889-90; admitted to Illinois bar 1890; clerk in office of Leslie Carter and in office of F. J. Loesch, Chicago, 1890-91; practiced law independently in Chicago 1891-1937; president Dell Rapids (S.Dak.) Elevator Company 1892-1902; vice-president First National Bank of Dell Rapids 1892-1902; teacher John Marshall Law School 1900-01; resident vice-president and general counsel American Fidelity Company of Montpelier, Vt., 1914 until about 1925; president Windsor Park Bank, Chicago, 1914-23; partner Hutchinson & Cooley, Chicago, general agents American Indemnity Mutual Liability Insurance Company, Iowa Automobile Mutual Insurance Company, and Iowa Mutual Liability Insurance Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1917-25; district agent New Jersey Fidelity & Plate Glass Insurance Company 1924-29; independent broker in surety bonds and insurance, Chicago, 1929-33; president Andover Alumni Association of Chicago 1918-19; secretary-treasurer Chicago Yale Association 1894; assistant sergeant-at-arms Republican National Convention, Chicago, 1908; member executive committee Civil Service Reform League 1899, Sons of the American Revolution (director), Chicago Bar Association, Chicago Law Club, Chicago Dramatic Society (president 1914-16), and St. James Methodist Episcopal Church, Chicago.

Married September 22, 1892, in Seymour Conn., Helen Wooster (B.A. Vassar 1886), daughter of Letsome Terrell Wooster (trustee Wesleyan University 1892-1902) and Julia (Smith) Wooster. Children: Julia (B.A. Vassar 1914), the wife of Rudolph Altrocchi (B.A. Harvard 1908, M.A. 1909, Ph.D. 1914), and Harlan Wooster, '21.

Death due to coronary thrombosis. Buried in Linwood Cemetary, Dubuque, Iowa. Survived by wife, children, two grandchildren, and a sister, Minnie C. Douglas (Vassar 1880-81), the wife of John Douglas of New York City.

(Taken from Yale University Obituary Record, 1937-1940).

Guide to the Harlan Ward Cooley Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
July 1981
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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