Cooper, the county seat of Delta County, is at the junction of State highways 24 and 154, some twenty-four miles southwest of Paris in the south central portion of the county. It was founded in 1870 and named for L. W. Cooper of Houston, one of the sponsors of the bill to organize the county in 1870. A post office was established there in 1871, and the town was incorporated with aldermanic government in 1881. Cooper quickly emerged as the market center for the new county and by 1885 reported 300 residents. The construction of the Texas Midland Railroad further spurred the town's growth. In 1896 Cooper comprised 1,000 residents, two churches, and a school, as well as a bank, a shoemaker, a hotel, a grocery store, a wagonmaker, two blacksmith shops, two feed mills, two steam cotton gins and corn mills, two weekly newspapers (the Delta Courier and the People's Cause), three drugstores, and seven general stores. Cooper continued to grow rapidly during the early 1900s. Its population reached a reported high of 2,563 by 1925, thereafter remaining fairly stable. It declined slightly during the 1930s, grew during the 1950s, and declined again in the 1980s. In 1970 Cooper reported sixty businesses, including seed-cleaning plants and some thirty-eight dairies. The city's population was 2,349 in the early 1950s and 2,258 in 1970. Cooper in the early 1990s was a commercial and shipping center for the surrounding agricultural region. In 1991 the incorporated town reported seventy businesses and a population of 2,197. In 2000 the population was 2,150.