August 29, 2006

Asbury Madison Coffey

A sbury Madison Coffey was a son of Eli and Hannah Allen Coffey. He was born Jan. 25, 1804 in Wilkes Co., NC and died in Knob Noster, Johnson Co., MO on Nov. 28, 1897. He was married on Jul. 22, 1828 to Mary G. Bradford, a niece of Sarah Bradford who married Rice Coffey, a brother to Eli.

In 1814, when Asbury was about 10 years old, Eli moved his family to Wayne Co., KY where Asbury grew to manhood. He was graduated from Center College in Danville, KY in 1826 and moved to McMinn Co., TN where he taught school. It was here where he married Mary, a former pupil.

He and Mary lived in McMinn Co. until 1842 when the family moved to Pettis Co., MO. While still in McMinn Co. he was treasurer of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. In MO, Asbury was elected to the legislature from Pettis Co., and in 1851 he was named Indian Agent by Pres. Fillmore. He lived among the Peories in Kansas until 1855 when he became a member of the first Terrirotial Legislature of Kansas.

Called the "Bogus Legislature," the body was primarily pro-slavery. Asbury was instrumental in forming the Kansas Militia on Aug. 31, 1855. He was a Major General in the Southern Division of the Militia and a leader in Kansas' pro-slavery movement.

In 1856 Asbury led a force of some 300 men on the camp of
abolishionist John Brown in an effort to rescue one of his men who had been captured by Brown. After determining that the man had already been released, Coffey withdrew through Osawatomie, KS where his men are said to have "committed gross depredations on the property of the citizens of that place." Gov. Shannon however did not place blame on Coffey.

The Coffey family moved in 1859 to Knob Noster, MO where Asbury farmed. But by 1873 he was back into politics and had been elected president of the Missouri State Grange (see He also served for many years on the local school board.

Two of his children were Oregon pioneers: Rachel, who in 1871 married Robert H. Walker, and Henry settled in Washington Co., OR.

Other children were:

Rufus L., born abt 1831, married Martha Ann Fowler on Oct. 23, 1851 in Pettis Co., MO. They had at least two children, Alexander B., born 1854 and Robert, born 1856. Rufus died Dec. 25, 1860, and Martha probably died around the same time. Their two children are found in Boone Co., MO in 1870 living with Ann Fowler, probably their maternal grandmother. By 1880 Robert had taken a wife, and the unmarried Alexander was living with them in Boone Co.

Alexander B., born abt 1832. I have read that he died in North Carolina while serving with Confederate forces.

Ellen B., born abt 1836, married John C. Corrum in Johnson Co., MO. they had at least five children: Mary, Alfred, Harry, John and Nellie. In 1860 they were in Johnson Co., MO.

Mary, born Jan., 1837. She never married, and remained with her parents until about 1900 when she joined Rachel and her family in Washington Co., OR.

Tipton H., born Feb. 18, 1846, died Dec. 19, 1860

Henry B., born Jul 8, 1848 [twin to Rachel], died Nov. 1934

Rachel Frances, born Jul 8, 1848, married Robert H. Walker on May 24, 1871. Rachel was mother of at least four children: Archibald, born Dec. 1872; Mary L., born Jul. 1875; Laura, born Sep. 1877; and William E., born Feb. 1880.

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