An Old Gent and the Wheels of Progress


| November/December 1974



Double mills

John E. Goslee

Sharptown, Maryland 21861

It will soon be fall of the year and already, due to the dry summer, the corn looks like it is ready to harvest. That is this new fancy-dangled kind they call Hybrid corn.

No, you don't see any other kind but this Hybrid yellow corn, that is, unless you come and visit with a friend of mine who has just turned eighty years old this past May 31st. This old Christian gent is no other than Mr. Sherman Cooper who is well known on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware.

The reason you can see something other than yellow corn is because Mr. Cooper is running one of the very few water-powered Grist Mills in the country today. He raises his own white corn and makes the best corn meal and hominy there is to be found.

Now this old gent is a hard worker who puts in eight to ten hours every day. His only help is an old colored man who is past seventy and has been a deaf mute all his life. Mr. Cooper took him in to raise before he was eighteen years old. He has been a blessing to Mr. Cooper more than once in his help on the farm and the mill.

Mr. Cooper and his father were steam sawmill men for many years. There is hardly a make of steam engine ever made from Stationary to Traction engine that he hasn't run at sometime. He claims to be the world's best fireman. (Of course he can spin a fast yarn when he has competition.)