November 17, 2005

Louis Edwin Coffee (1875-1947)

Louis Edwin Coffee was born Aug. 17, 1875 in Hempstead Co., AR. He was the first child of John Fielding and Fannie Thompson Coffee. Louis died July 14, 1947 at the Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino Co., CA, and was buried on July 18, 1947 at the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Los Angeles Co., CA.

Following other relatives who moved there, Louis relocated from Arkansas to Erath Co., TX in 1900. He resided in that county near his sister, Lucia Edna (Mrs Wm. Lafayette Stewart) and her family for awhile before moving on to Harris Co., TX in 1910 where he worked on the railroad.

He did not marry until he was nearly 40 years old. Although a marriage record has not been found, he and Lula Belle Nichols were likely married in Thurber, Erath Co. about 1914. Their first child, Orval Preston Coffee was born there on Aug. 7, 1915.

In 1920 they were in Eastland Co., TX where Louis worked for an oil company. It is not yet clear if they moved to Eastland before or after their second child, Everette M. (Jack) Coffee was born in 1918.

The family has been difficult to keep up with. They apparently moved from Texas to California before 1930. The census for that year found them in Los Angeles Co., but not married to each other. Louis was employed by the county engineering department in the street maintenance division. He reported in the census that he was a "construction laborer in concrete."

In the census that year, Louis also reported himself as a "widower." He and Lula had divorced by then, and probably before 1924 when she is thought to have given birth to a daughter by her second husband, Floyd Henry Cook.

Lula may have given birth to a daughter, Betty Floydada (Toots) Cook. The 1930 LA Co. census shows her with Mr. Cook, age 38,a 6-yr old daughter, and the two Coffee children. In the census, Mr. Cook indicated that he married first at age 23, so it is likely that Betty was his child by a previous wife. It may also be a good bet that he did not marry at age 15. Lula later divorced Mr. Cook and subsequently married a Mr. Pennington. However, I have not found any substantive information.

Orval died in Crescent City, Del Norte Co., CA on Jan. 24, 1989. His obituary, which appeared in The Curry Coastal Pilot, published in Brookings Co., OR, a town about 25 miles north of Crescent City, reported that his body was cremated. He was survived by his brother, Everett of Anaheim, CA, and two nieces, Donna Yarkovsky of Ocala, FL, and Christine Tyler of Olathe, CO.

Everette died Jan. 19, 2004 at age 86 in Anaheim. His small obituary indicated that he left a wife, Virginia, daughters Deborah Kerns, and Marsha Bugg, and a son Kyle Follars.

Louis is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery, Pleasant View section, lot 136. Other names in the plot with him are Cook and Pennington.

Louis was my first cousin, twice removed. Anyone related to, or knowing more about him is invited to contact me.

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