The original Cooper School was built sometime between 1836 and 1841 on a farm owned by Gilbert Cooper at the corner of present-day Ann Arbor Trail and Middlebelt Road. The Coopers were Nankin Township pioneers who owned a sawmill on the Rouge River. Cooper School became Fractional No. 1 of Nankin and Livonia in 1849. In 1865 the district built a one-room schoolhouse on land leased from Cooper's son Loren. It was replaced in 1938 with a three-room brick structure. Over the years the school expanded to seventeen rooms and was annexed to the Livonia Public Schools in 1957. A fourth school was built in 1966. By this time, Cooper School's origins and the Cooper family had been forgotten. In 1987, as a Michigan sesquicentennial project, Cooper teachers and parents researched the school's history and discovered its pioneer namesakes.