Cooper was born in London in 1826 and arrived in South Australia in 1853. He was appointed private secretary to the governor, Sir Henry Edward Fox Young. In 1860 he moved to the Waterworks Department becoming assistant accountant, then valuator in 1873, a position he held for almost thirty years. The Observer noted that:
Mr. Cooper was most painstaking and conscientious in the fulfilment of his public duties, and by the fairness to property holders and his courteous manner gained the confidence and esteem of his fellow-colonists.
He lived there until about 1885 when he leased it to Dr Niesche for a number of years. During Cooper's occupation, in about 1881, the property was significantly altered and enlarged. The building well illustrates a typical development of the 1860s. It has an early appearance, with raised gable ends, a parapet to the single storey section and restrained detailing. The unshaded facade and the simple surrounds to windows are distinctive components of the structure which is typically constructed of bluestone rubble with stuccoed enrichment and red-brick trim.
The integrity of the two storey section of the building is high. The front fence has been altered although the piers are probably original. The single storey addition to the east has been extensively rebuilt.