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1892:
Samuel T. Cooper passed away at the age of 68. It was a great shock to the people of St. Joseph, Michigan and beyond. The St. Joseph Herald newspaper wrote, "...his pleasant voice, his familiar figure would be heard and seen no more with us on earth." The death of their father moved the Cooper brothers in profound ways.

1892:
Older brother, Henry S. Cooper, left the company for a position with the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. Willis and Charles Cooper remained in the line of work they knew best and took leadership positions with the Chicago-Rockford Hosiery Company in Illinois.

1892:
The Chicago-Rockford Hosiery Company continued to grow and moved to the larger mill across the northern border in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kenosha was ideally situated between the burgeoning markets of Chicago and Milwaukee and the Chicago-Rockford Hosiery Company wanted to be there to satisfy consumers' need for comfort.

1895:
Willis Cooper quickly made his mark at Chicago-Rockford Hosiery Company and was made General Manager with broad influence over manufacturing and sales. He also acquired an ownership share. Willis installed younger brother Charles, who had grown up around spinning and knitting, as General Superintendent in the plant.

1896:
As the Chicago-Rockford Hosiery Company grew, the Coopers acquired significant stock in the company. True to Samuel Cooper's original commitment, the Coopers insisted on the finest quality cotton and long-fiber wool for their products.

1897:
The Chicago-Rockford Hosiery Company adopted the brand Black Cat, which became recognized across the country for first-class stockings and hosiery for men, women and children.

1898:
Willis and Charles Cooper continued to increase their financial share of the Chicago-Rockford Hosiery Company, and they moved the company into an ambitious new direction: Men's Underwear.


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