September 8, 2008

Peter Virgil (Squire) Coffey

Peter was a son of Charles B. and Theodora* Everette Coffey.  He was born Jun, 15, 1849 in Nelson Co., Va and died May 21, 1937 in Stuarts Draft, Augusta Co., VA.  He married Betty Catherine Kennedy Dec. 24, 1879 in Amherst Co*.  She was born Jul., 1857 in VA and died there on Jun. 17, 1930.

His obituary:

STUARTS DRAFT, May 28-, -- Peter V. Coffey, peacefully passed to his  heavenly home, at his residence at Stuarts Draft at one a. m. Friday,  May 21, 1937, after an illness of about a month.  He was born in Nelson  county June 15, 1849, of Scottish descent, his father having been Charles Coffey and his mother Ophelia Coffey (nee Everet). He moved to Augusta county when a young man and spent the rest of his long and useful life in, and in the vicinity of Stuarts Draft where he engaged in farming,  lumbering, etc. For the last twenty years of his life he was justice of the peace and was known as "Squire Coffey."

Mr. Coffey was united in marriage to Miss Bettie Catherine Kennedy, of  Augusta county, Dec. 24, 1879. To this marriage were born four daughters and five sons. His wife, who passed away June 17, 1930, and a son and two daughters preceded him in death.  Children survive: J. E.  and J. L., of Mint Spring; the Rev. H. S., pastor of Granbery Memorial  M. E. church, South, Covington; Mrs. M. E. Elliott, Staunton; Russel E., Bluefield, W. Va., and Mrs. Roy Black, Stuarts Draft, who tenderly cared for him after the death of Mrs. Coffey.

 Mr. Coffey united with the Baptist church in early life, but many years  ago transferred his membership to the M. E. church, South, in which he was  an efficient and faithful member and held an official relation for many  years, having been a delegate frequently to the annual and district  conferences and was a member of the board of stewards of Calvary church  at the time of his death.  He was interested in the work of his adopted church until his death, often inquiring about the progress of the work  through his pastor and others.  He spoke of death as one who was preparing  for a pleasant journey. Death did not hold any terrors to him. He had  implicit faith in God for the forgiveness of sin through the atonement of  Jesus Christ.  He loved his church and the ministry of his church; always  was ready to speak a good word about the former pastors of his church.  He dearly loved his children and was held in the highest esteem and devotion  by his children and his grandchildren, of which he had a number.  Mr.  Coffey had been a prominent figure in his community for many years, in his  church, in business, in clean politics, and in everything that was for the  betterment of humanity.

His funeral service was conducted from Calvary church Sunday, May 23,  at three p. m. by his pastor, the Rev. A. Van Devander, assisted by Dr.  E. L. Woolf, pastor of the Harrisonburg M. E. church, South; the Rev. H. W.  Craver, pastor of Greenville M. E. church, South, and the Rev. T. H.  Campbell, pastor of Stuarts Draft Baptist church.  His body was tenderly  laid at rest in the cemetery adjoining Calvary church.  It is said by some  that his funeral was attended by the largest concourse of people that ever assembled at Calvary church. Less than half of the people could get in the  church.

At his own request the stewards of Calvary church were the active  pallbearers:  J. T. Almarode, Alden D. Rader, A. G. Painter, C. L. Dodge,  I. F. Fitzgerald, H. L. Henkel, W. Y. Boyd, E. M. Conner, and Layton  Thacker.

The following hymns were sung: "The Solid Rock," "Home of the Soul,"  as a solo and "How Firm a Foundation."  His pastor chose as his theme,  "God's Harvest Home;" text, "Thou shalt come to thy grave in full age,  like as a shock of corn cometh in his season," Job 5:26.
Except for the 1880 census, I can account for Peter and/or his family from his date of birth through his death.  The couple settled in Augusta Co., and remained there for their lifetime.

According to some genealogy reports, and census records, Peter and Betty had nine children:

1 - John Emmett, born May 9, 1877, died Nov. 5, 1942.

His obituary:

John Emmett Coffey, sixty-five, died at eleven o’clock Thursday morning following a three hours illness. Mr. Coffey had gone to his work at the State highway camp near Greenville and suffered a stroke shortly after arriving. He was taken to the home of his daughter, Mrs. W. C. Yowell, where he died. Mr. Coffey was born in Augusta county May 9, 1877 and was the son of Peter V. and Betty Kennedy Coffey. He spent his entire life in the county, and for thirteen years was connected with the County Highway department, after which he went with the State Highway department. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Melissa Coffey; two daughter, Miss Inez Elizabeth Coffey, of Stuarts Draft; Mrs. W. C. Yowell, of Greenville; one son, Rudolph W. Coffey at home; six grandchildren; two sisters, Mrs. M. E. Elliott, of Staunton, Mrs. R. H. Black, of Stuarts Draft; two brothers, Russell E. Coffey, of Bluefield, W. Va., and the Rev. Dr. Harry S. Coffey, of Danville, Va.

Funeral Saturday.

The funeral will be held Saturday afternoon at three o’clock from the Mint Spring Methodist church of which he was a member, conducted by the pastor, the Rev. Z. V. Johnson. Burial will be in Calvary church cemetery. Active pallbearers will be W. P. Jennings, L. A. Campbell, Roy Glenn, P. G. Nuchols, Wallace Rosen, Charles Tyree, William Chandler, Walter Carrier, Ernest Coiner, and W. H. Agnor. Honorary pallbearers will be Russell Swisher, Roy Kesterson, Lewis Arehart, Mr. Proffitt, William Ramsey, W. L. Helmick, Wallace Hayes, Herman Coyner, W. H. Roadcap, Bedford Curry, A. Miller, Stuart Benson, Frank Glenn, Dr. W. C. Roller, E. J. Eavers and Mr. Cummings.
2 - James Leonard, born Nov. 11, 1879, died Jul. 14, 1941.  He married Bertie May Shue on Dec. 24, 1900 in Augusta Co., She was born May, 1881 to John W. and Elizabeth S. Alvis Shue.

His obituary:


James Leonard Coffey died Monday afternoon at five o'clock at his home in Mint Spring after being ill since Saturday night.

He was born at Stuarts Draft, on Nov. 11, 1879, and was a son of the late P. V. Coffey and Mrs. Betty Catherine Coffey. He has made his home at Mint Spring for many years where he was an active merchant and farmer. He was a man of sterling character and was held in the highest esteem by all who knew him, taking an active part in all community affairs and lending a helping hand to anyone who wished his advice or help in any way.

He has been a member of Mint Springs Methodist church for thirty five years. During his active membership he served in many capacities, including steward, superintendent of the Sunday school for many years, and a teacher of Ladies' Bible class.

He is survived by wife, Mrs. Bertie May Coffey, three daughters; Mrs. B. H. Hudson of Orange, Mrs. H. S. Strawn of Gary, Ind., and Mrs. J. Ray Strawn of Birmingham, Ala.; three sons: Paul H. Coffey of Roanoke, James A. Coffey of Palmyra, and Richmond Lee Coffey of Mint Spring; two sisters; Mrs. M. E. Elliott of Staunton, and Mrs. Roy Black of Stuarts Draft; three brothers, J. Emmett Coffey of Mint Spring, Dr. H. S. Coffey of Roanoke, and R. E. Coffey of Bluefield, W. Va. Three grandchildren also survive.

The funeral will be held Wed-nesday afternoon at two o'clock from Mint Spring Methodist church. The Rev. Z. V. Johnson, pastor, will officiate.

Place of internment will be announced later.

3 - Bessie Brown, born Jan. 1, 1882.  Bessie was either married or deceased by the 1900 census.  I have found no other information about her.

4 - Nannie B., born Sep., 1886.  She appeared in the 1900 census, but was gone by 1910.

5 - Harry Scott, born Dec. 6, 1889. He was with his parents in 1900 and 1910, but was married by 1920.

Harry registered for the draft in Rockbridge Co. VA on Jun. 5, 1917.  He was described as tall and slender with brown eyes and dark brown hair.  He was age 28 yrs., born Dec., 6, 1889 in Stuarts Draft, VA.  He was a minister in the Fairfield circuit, was married, and lived with his wife in Fairfield.
6 - Annie Bell, born c1890.  She did not appear in 1900, or subsequent census records.

7 - Russell E., born Mar. 13, 1891, died Aug. 12, 1975.  Russell married Ada C. Holtz, a daughter of David Lee and Minnie L. Holtz.  Ada was born on Jul. 12, 1892 in VA and died Aug. 8, 1959 in Mercer Co., WV.  Russell died Aug. 12, 1975 in Mercer Co.  Both are buried in the Maple Park Cemetery in Bluefield, Merecer Co.  They had at least three children:  Helen, born c1911; Russell Lee, born c1916; and Marjorie Elizabeth, born Oct. 5, 1923, died Mar. 27, 2006.

Her obituary:

Obituary, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV, Mar. 30, 2006

 Miss Marjorie Elizabeth Coffey

ROANOKE, Va. — Miss Marjorie Elizabeth Coffey, 82, formerly of 3009 Bluefield Ave., Bluefield, died Monday, March 27, 2006 in a Roanoke nursing home.

Born Oct. 5, 1923 in Bluefield, she was a daughter of the late Russell E. and Ada C. Holtz Coffey. Miss Coffey was a member of the St. Mary's Episcopal Church of Bluefield, Va. and a graduate of Bluefield College. She was formerly employed at Bluefield Optical as an office manager.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother: Russell Lee Coffey, and sister: Helen Bone.

Survivors include a niece; Nancy Arwood of Kentucky and several cousins.

Graveside services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1, 2006 from the Maple Park Cemetery located in Bluefield with the Rev. Russ Hatfield officiating.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations if desired, may be made to the Mercer County Humane Society, 1003 Shelter Rd., Princeton, WV 24740.

Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages may do so by visiting

Mercer Funeral Home and Crematory of Bluefield is serving the Marjorie Coffey family.
8 - Mary Sue, born Dec., 1892.  She did not appear in the 1900 or subsequent census records.

9 - Ruby Lee, born Jun. 23, 1895, died Jul. 6, 1991.  Ruby married Roy Hamilton Black c1916 in VA.  They had at least two children:  Inez, born c1916 and Sherwood, born Jul., 1926.  Ruby and her family were in the household with Peter and Betty at the time of the 1930 census.

Her obituary:

Mrs. Ruby Lee (Coffey) Black 96, widow of Roy Hamilton Black, and formerly  of Churchville Ave., died at 10:20 p.m. Saturday (July 6, 1991) in the  Liberty House Nursing Home,
Waynesboro after a three month illness.  She was born on June 21, 1895, in Augusta County, a daughter of the late  Peter V. and Betty (Kennedy) Coffey.  Mrs. Black was retired from the Leggett Department Stores with 17 years  service.  She was the oldest active member of Calvary United Methodist Church,  Stuarts Draft, and was a member of the Staunton Senior Citizens.   
Mrs. Black's husband preceded her in death on March 16,1951.    Survivors include a son, H. Sherwood Black, of Stuarts Draft; a  daughter, Ms. Margaret A. Black, of Staunton; 5 grandchildren; 8 great- grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews. Mrs. Black was the last  surviving member of her immediate family.
A service will be conducted at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Calvary United  Methodist Church by the Rev. Dr. Roy O. Creech and Rev. Kenneth B. Frank.  Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Active pallbearers will be Bruce Frank, Dr. J.W. Forbes III, Walton  Henkel, Jack Crummett, Ralph Weaver and Jack Clem.  Honorary pallbearers will be Bobby Clark, Doug Hanger, Eddie Eavers,  Earl Fitzgerald, John Wood, Bob Puffenbarger, B.G. Fitzgerald Jr., Elliott  Boyd, Billy Dameron, Dr. Dennis Hatter and Don Crosier.
The family will receive friends this evening from 7 until 8 p.m. in the  Henry Funeral Home and other times at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs.  Linda Harris, 55 George St., Staunton or the home of H. Sherwood Black,  Rt. 1, Stuarts Draft.  It is suggested that those desiring may make memorial donations to  Calvary United Methodist Church P.O. Box 95, Stuarts Draft, Va. 24477.
Leave a comment or, contact me at the above e-mail address to add to or correct any of this information.

*Amherst Co. marriage records shows the bride's name to be Theodora as opposed to Ophelia in his obituary. [Chas B. Coffey & Theocler (an s is written above the r) Everett; witness Ittai Everitt; security: Andrew J. Everett; Jno Everett.  Based on the birth year of their first child, the marriage record may give an incorrect date!]

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