October 20, 2007

Boone Coffey

I recently received a clipping from the Apr. 14, 1995 edition of the Watauga Democrat, published in Boone, Watauga Co., NC. Lead to the article was "Remembering Boone Coffey: Kermit Storie Recalls Days With Famed Hunter".

Boone Coffey was the son of Solomon Coffey and his wife Lucy. Solomon was born about 1811 in North Carolina. Lucy was born around the same year in North Carolina. They appeared in the 1870 census of Blue Ridge Twp., Watauga Co. as a family of seven. Children at home that year were Louisa, age 28; Sarah, age 26; Lisa, age 24; Boon [sic], age 21; Jones, age 18; and Lewis, age 16.

I was unable to find Boone in the 1880 or 1910 census, and find him next in the 1920 Blue Ridge Twp. census. He was 68 years old then, unmarried, and headed a family that included only his unmarried sisters: Sarah, age 71 and Eliza, age 70.

In 1930, at age 81, he was still unmarried and living alone in the Blue Ridge. North Carolina death records show that Boone died on May 23, 1932 in Watauga Co.

According to the memory of Kermit Storie, Boone was a "...hunter and that is what he did - hunted all his life." Kermit gave his own birth year as 1918 and said that he was about 14 years old when Boone died. During those years that Kermit was growing up he often looked after Boone and his sisters who lived in the Aho community.

Their home was a "large wood-frame house" that sat on 301 acres. "We never did know how Boone was able to accumulate all that land," Storie related. "It was quite unusual for a black man to own property in those days, and very unusual for a black man to be a major landowner..." According to Storie, Boone and his sisters lived on one end of the house, leaving the other half available to guests of any color.

Kermit and his wife were guests of Boone and his sisters on his wedding night.

After Boone died, his property was split up among a number of buyers, some of it to developers. One of the developements referred to in the article is the Greystone IV.

Undoubtedly, Solomon and his family were slaves at one time. The article indicates that Boone's sisters had been slaves. Because Boone was born in c1849 he too was likely held in bondage along with the remainder of his siblings.

I would like to think that the family's large land holdings came from a benefactor, perhaps their former "master."

Contact me at the e-mail address below for more information.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:59 PM

    I HAVE BEEN INTRIQUED WITH THE STORY OF THE COFFEYS. I HAVE TALKED WITH PEOPLE WHO REMEMBER HIM AND OTHERS WHO HEARD STORIES OF HIM. I HAVE TRACED MOST OF HIS FAMILY AND FINALLY LOST THE TRAIL OF ONE BROTHER IN WASHINGTON STATE. THIS BROTHER AND ONE SISTER WERE FOUND IN KANSAS. I AM CURIOUS ABOUT BOONE'S LAND, WHICH WAS GIVEN TO THE CHILDREN FROM THEIR FATHER SOLOMON,ACCORDING TO DEEDS FROM THE REGISTER OF DEEDS. ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE COFFEYS WOULD BE APPRECIATED. SANDY HAGLER

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  2. Sandy, the info contained in the blog is all that I have on this Boone Coffey. Hopefully, someone with more info about him and his family will contact you shortly.

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