Hiram W. Coppernall was born in Greece, New York, around 1847, the son of William G. Coppernall (1817-1898) and his wife Clarinda. He had two sisters, Ellen and Libby, and a brother, Riley. On January 6, 1864, he enlisted as a corporal in Company H of the 24th New York Cavalry Regiment, with which he served until 1865. His father was a wagoner with the 140th New York Infantry Regiment. Hiram Coppernall mustered out as a sergeant and moved with his family to Huntington, Indiana, where he worked as a store clerk. He and his first wife, Mattie (ca. 1848-1877), had one daughter, Mabel ("Alice") (1873-1966). After Mattie's death, Hiram married Laura V. Currie on June 10, 1880; they moved to Duluth, Minnesota, where he committed suicide in December 1885.