June 28, 2007

Milton Wolford and Amanda Virginia Lewis Coffey

The following appeared in The Lone Grove Ledger, Lone Grove, OK on Jun. 26, 1985, and was authored by Sue Miller:

Milton Wolford "Mint" Coffey and Amanda Virginia Coffey were married in 1869 at Colbert Station, south of what is now Durant, and moved to the Lone Grove area shortly afterward, although their descendants have been unable to establish the exact date.

It is believed by family members that all of their eleven children - William,Taylor, Ivy, Myrtle, Merrit, Ernest, Mary, Anderson, Salathial, Walter and Gertrude - were born after the couple moved to this area.

Research done by the family indicates that Mint and Amanda settled two miles south of (now) Highway 70 on (now) Brock Road. In 1903, Amanda, who was a Chickasaw Indian, was allotted their homestead, which has never left the family.

Three of the many Coffey cousins - Leona Coffey Sanders, Cleo Coffey Jones, both of Lone Grove, and Stella Lee Coffey Stogsdill, Duncan, - shared memories of their grandparents recently.

Mint Coffey was a farmer and rancher and is remembered by his granddaughters as a handsome man. Amanda is recalled as a very small, extremely clean woman, and an excellent cook.

Mint died in 1922 at the age of 76, and Amanda was 73 at the time of her death in 1924. Both are buried in the Lone Grove Cemetery, as are most of their 11 children. None of their children are living and all are buried in Carter County.

William Lee Coffey married Lillie Cannon. He was a farmer-rancher, as were his two sons, Dorris O. and Joyce, who owned and operated ranches in Carter and Love County. They also had one daughter Lillian Idell.

Dorris was married to Wail Wilkerson.

Lillian and her husband, T. J. Kennedy, make their home in Norman, where he retired as a division manager for General Motors.

Taylor Otis "Odie" Coffey never married. He was a deputy U.S. Marshal in Lone Grove for many years.

Ivy Coffey was a farmer in this area for some time before he moved to Duncan, where he later served as a city commissioner.

He and his first wife, Stella Masterson had three children, Stella Lee, Finis, and Eulis.
Stella died when Stella Lee was just hours old, and Stella Lee lived with her grandmother, until Amanda's death when Stella Lee was 14.

StellaLee and her husband Gilbert Stogsdill now make their home in Duncan.

Finis also lives in Duncan. Eulis died in 1923 at the age of 18.

Ivy Joseph and his second wife, Nellie, had one daughter, Ivy, who is a retired feature writer for the Daily Oklahoman.

Myrtle Gayle Coffey married Wood Herndon, who was a farmer-rancher. They had three sons, Milton, Ono, and Clyde.

Milton, a farmer-rancher near Ardmore, married Carmen Byrd.

Otto, who ran a store in Ardmore, was married to Betty Davis.

Clyde was a rancher in Wyoming.

Merritt Price "Doc" Coffey married Willie Ann Byrd. They had one daughter, Virginia Catherine, who died as a youth.

Doc was a pecan producer in the Lone Grove area, and we well-known for developing a process to graft paper shell pecans.

Ernest Wilson "Ern" Coffey and his wife, Ninnie Cannon, had one daughter, Cleo Ernestine. Cleo was married to Ray Richards, and later to Warren Jones.

Ern was a farmer, and later worked for the county and state in a supervisory position. He and the [sic] Jones also operated a mercantile store in Lone Grove at the time the highway was built through town. The store was located on the corner that is now home to Lone Grove Hardware, recalls Cleo.

Anderson Wolford "Wolf" Coffey also ran a mercantile in Lone Grove for many years, that was located on what is now the northwest corner of Newport Road and Highway 70, where Holt's Grocery stands.

It is interesting that his grandson, John Sanders, now owns a similar modern-day store in Lone Grove.

Wolf was married to Louella Carroll. They had six children, Jewell, Leo W., Ivy Jerome, Leona, Kathleen and James Glenn.

Jewell was married to Clarence O. Bigbie, a Baptist preacher, who preached in Long Grove and Southern Oklahoma, and later was chaplain at the state penitentiary in McAlister.

Leo and Irene Coffey and Ivy Jerome and Georgia Lou Coffey operated a Freight bus in this area for many years.

Leona and Newt Sanders live south of Lone Grove, and Newt manages Sanders' A & M Feeds here.  They are planning to build a home on the property where Mint and Amanda Coffee [sic] made their home and raised their children. The property has been named "The Wolf Coffey Ranch," bearing the name of both Leona's father and grandfather.

Kathleen Walker is a retired beautician and lives in Lone Grove.

James Glenn and Angie Coffey live in Phoenix, where he is a realtor.

Cleo and Leona recalled the stores operated by their fathers during the depression.

The Coffey-Jones Mercantile boasted a filling station, clothing, dry goods, and groceries,. Cleo said. Leona remembered her father selling pickles and crackers from barrels, thread and ribbon, and groceries.

When the highway came through Lone Grove, he expanded the store to feed the men who were building the road. Papa made chili and stew and sold beef he had raised. He also served ham and eggs to the workers," Leona stated.

When Wolf died in 1927, Louella sold the store to Marion Fowler.

It was about this time that Ern Coffey bought a circus wagon from the Ringling Brothers Circus and converted it to a chuck wagon, Cleo said.

Ern took Wolf's sons, Leo and Ivy, with him, and the three followed the highway construction, living and cooking in the wagon, and feeding the construction workers.

Salathial "Sale" Coffey married Selma Baker. He was a pecan producer, a butcher, and an oil landman, and, for awhile, a deputy U.S. Marshal. They made their home in the Lone Grove area.

Sale and Selma had one daughter, Bernice, who married Dale Montgomery. They make their home in Lone Grove, where Dale is a dairyman and carpenter.

Walter Jerome Coffey was a deputy sheriff under Buck Garrett. He told family members that the famous lawman deputized him when he was 18. Walter "always" had a gun on him, the family remembers.

A niece, Patty Coker, remembers Walter and Sale as being fun-loving. She recalls when she was small, that the two came to visit the family and "cooked little biscuits on a toy stove" for her and her sisters.

Patty said that every Christmas, Santa Claus in his red and white suit would come to visit their house loaded down with toys for the girls. As she grew older, Patty recognized the shoes worn by "Santa" as those of her Uncle Walter.

Gertrude Coffey, the youngest child of Mint and Amanda, died as an infant.

Update 2/15/2013

Salathial or Salathiel, known as Sale, was born on Dec. 6, 1889 in the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory.  He was married first to Ida L. Elvira Yell on Feb. 23, 1908 in Ardmore, Carter Co., OK.  Ida was born c1889 in TN and died before 1910 in Carter Co.  I do not know of any children.

His second wife was Selma Estelle Baber, born in GA in 1889, died in Carter Co. in 1923.  They were married in Carter Co. on May 7, 1914. and had at least three children, only one of which survived.  The son Billy Milton died an infant in 1923.  Lucille died in 1916.  Bernice was born in 1917 and was still alive at age 12 and living with her widower father in 1930.  Sale has not been found in the 1940 census.

Sale's WWI draft registration card is extremely difficult to read.  It does seem to report on line 10, Race, that he was Indian.  Or perhaps, it merely reports that he was born in Indian Terr.  What do you see?

In the 1920 census he was enumerated as "Indian;" his wife as "white."  Bernice was also recorded as "Indian."  In earlier and subsequent census records he was recorded as "white."  His siblings as well as his parents were always enumerated as being "white."

Sale died on Feb. 17, 1957 in Carter Co. and was buried there with Selma at the Lone Grove Cemetery.

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