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Cooper Cabin

Stylized Cooper Cabin Mural

Cooper Cabin is one of the few remaining settlement-era log structures in Butler County. When young Samuel Cooper arrived here in the early 1800s, he was one of many settlers from eastern Pennsylvania who migrated to the backcountry in search of land.

The Cooper log home itself is unusually large and well-constructed for a “starter home” of the period. Typically, pioneer cabins measured approximately 14’x16’ and were constructed by stacking unpeeled, unhewed logs directly on the ground rather than a stone foundation. Logs were joined at the corners by simple bowl-shaped “saddle notches” and rarely stacked higher than one story, with loft space created by addition of a thatch or shake roof. By contrast, Samuel Cooper’s log home is a large, two-story structure constructed of squared logs placed on a stone foundation and joined at the corners by shaped notches. This suggests that either Cooper had help and/or resources to build his first shelter, or that the surviving structure replaced a more primitive temporary shelter.

Samuel and his wife Rebecca had eight children. Eldest son John inherited the log home in 1844, and the property stayed in the Cooper family straight through to Paul Muder, the last descendant to be born in the cabin. He and his wife gifted his family’s homestead to the Butler County Historical Society in 1976.

The most well-known occupant of the cabin was John Cooper’s youngest daughter, Nancy Jane. Born in the cabin in 1861, “Aunt Nancy” lived there until her death in January 1963 at 101 years of age. For perspective, when Nancy was born, Abraham Lincoln was President and the Civil War had not yet happened. When she died, John F. Kennedy was in the White House and U.S. troops were in southeast Asia. There has never been running water in the cabin, and electricity wasn’t installed until 1959, when Nancy was nearly 100!


Mural Details


Bruce Grieg


NexTier Bank


226 N Main St, Butler, PA

Cooper Cabin
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