December 10, 2010

William Perry Coffey (1857-1926)

Update, May 1, 2012

Victor Lee Coffey and his wife Margaret were in the restaurant business for a number of years in Denver, CO.  In 1947 they sold the restaurant and retired.  They continued to dabble in buying and selling property and water stock through the early to mid-1950's.

On their income tax returns for those years, Victor and Margaret claimed the profits from those sales as Capital Gain income.  The IRS ruled that the property had been held for sale as a matter of "ordinary course of trade" and required the couple to pay taxes on the profit at Ordinary Income rates.

The couple filed a refund claim, which was refused and they followed up with a suit against the U.S. Government, which they also lost.*

In paragraph 9 of the document found at Justia we find the maiden name of Victor's wife when we learn that her brother, Thomas Nevin, a Denver attorney, had originated the suit as party to sale of the property in question.

*333 F.2d 945: Victor Lee Coffey, Sr., and Margaret H. Coffey, Appellants, v. United States of America, Appellee United States Court of Appears Tenth Circuit.

I have previously written about William Perry here, and later, his daughter, Rose Etta.

He continues to puzzle me however.  There is a headstone for him and his wife, Mary Ellen Wemple Coffey at Ocean View Cemetery, Eureka, Humboldt Co., CA.  On it, William's birth year is 1857 and his death year is 1926.

William has not been found in any census after 1900 when he and Mary Ellen were found in Coffeyville, Montgomery Co., KS.  In 1910, while still in Montgomery Co., Mary Ellen reported that she was a widow and the head of the household.  By the 1920 census she was in Eureka and again reported on the record that she was a widow and the head of household.

So, what happened to William?  Did he die in Kansas or Missouri and later reburied in CA?  Perhaps the stone is a memorial!?  It does appear to be a relatively new stone with only very slight weathering appearing in the photo.

Somewhat of another mystery in this family - at least to me - is the son Victor Lee "Dick" Coffey.  He was born in Indian Territory, Rogers Co., OK in 1893 and, is said to have married a lady by the name of Jessie Mable Roberts sometime before 1917.  On June 5 of that year he registered for the draft in Humboldt Co. and reported that he was married with two children.

In Jan., 1920 he was still in Eureka but living with his mother.  His son, Gail*, born Aug. 3, 1915 in Humboldt Co., was living with his grandmother Martha Robertson in Humboldt Co.  The child's father was born in KS and the mother in CA.

In 1930, Victor was in Denver, CO with his wife Margaret.  The couple had been married for nine years.  This wife was born in CO and her parents in "Free Ireland."  In fact, Victor's father was reported as having been born in "Free Ireland."  Correct Victor Coffey or, census error?  There was a child in the family, Victor Lee, Jr., born in 1922, Saline Co., KS.

*Others have reported this child as female, but it was enumerated as "male" and "grandson" in the census.  He is also thought to have died in Humboldt Co. in 1927.

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