October 4, 2011

Jefferson (Jeff) and Margie M. King Coffey

Jefferson was born on Jan. 24, 1866 in Scott Co., TN to Joseph and Beth Ada (Bethada?) Strunk Coffey.  He died in Whitley Co., KY on Jul. 7, 1899.  Joseph was a son of James and Sarah "Sally" Sumpter Coffey and Beth Ada was the daughter of William and Charlotta Sellers Strunk.  Ada was born Feb. 28, 1835 in KY - perhaps Pulaski Co., where she and Joseph were married on Dec. 8, 1853.  Both Joseph and Ada died in Oneida, Scott Co., TN; he on Jun. 4, 1882, she on Jun. 3, 1920 and were buried there in the Coffey cemetery.* 

Margie M. King was born Mar. 25, 1870 in KY and died there in McCreary Co. on Aug. 16, 1921.  A marriage date for her and Jefferson has not been found.  They were however, likely married in McCreary Co. in early 1889.  Their first child was born there in Mar., 1890.  Margie was a daughter of Burrell (var.) and Margie M. Foster King.  Burrell was born Feb. 11, 1826 in KY and died in McCreary Co. on Jan. 26, 1917.  Margie was born May 26, 1835 in KY and died there on Oct. 16, 1884.  Both are buried in the Burrell King Family Cemetery at Pine Knot in McCreary Co.

Following the death of Margie, and of Joseph Coffey, Burrell married Beth Ada on May 17, 1885 in Scott Co.  She is however, buried with Joseph in Oneida while Burrell is buried with Margie at his family cemetery in Pine Knot.  Her death certificate reads "Mrs. Ada Coffey or (King)" and her headstone reads "Ada Coffey."  There are no known children born to Burrell and Ada.

Children of Jefferson "Jeff" Coffey and Margie M. King

The first child was William Oscar Coffey, born Mar. 6, 1890 at Pine Knot, died Feb. 18, 1955 in McCreary Co.  His wife was Martha Angeline Trammell (var.), born Oct. 10, 1884 in KY and died there on Jul. 7, 1962.

Their children were:
Ada Bell, born Jul. 4, 1912 in McCreary Co., died Aug. 31, 1995 in Oneida, Scott Co.  Ada's spouse was William Clark, born Sep. 23, 1915, died Mar. 23, 1989.  Both are buried at the Smith Cemetery in Stearns, McCreary Co.

Edith Mae, born May 25, 1917 in McCreary Co., died there on Dec. 28, 1961.  Her spouse was Roscoe Bowling, born Jun. 6, 1916 and died Dec. 18, 1997.  They too are buried at the Smith Cemetery.

Their last child (as I know them) was Margie Marie, born Aug. 30, 1921, died Jul. 4, 2002 in KY.  She married George Arnold Taylor, born Mar. 31, 1921 in McCreary Co., died in Pulaski Co. on Mar. 2, 2003.  They share the Smith Cemetery.
Cole is believed to be on left
The second child born to Jefferson and Margie was Charles Coleman "Cole" Coffey, born Dec. 10, 1891 in TN - probably Scott Co. - and died May 10, 1920 in McCreary Co.  On his WW1 draft registration card, Coleman was described as being of medium height and build with blue eyes and red hair.  He was a veteran of "The Great War," having served as a Private in the 112 AM, Tn., 37th Div.  I believe the 112th AM was an ammo supply unit that trained at Camp Sheridan in Montgomery Co., AL with the Ohio National Guard's 37th Infantry Division.

Cole is said to have "drank excessively" after he came back home and soon found himself in trouble with one George Staley.  Having heard that George was out to kill him, Cole went to the man's home where he shot and killed George.  He was released when the court decided that it was "self defense."  Some time later, on May 14, 1920, Cole was accused of peddling whiskey and arrested by Oliver Slaven, a deputy sheriff in Somerset, KY.  Cole was able to escape and later that same day was discovered hiding in a nearby home where Slaven, while attempting to again arrest him, was shot and killed.  A few days later, with officers approaching his hideout, Cole fired a bullet into his own head and died instantly.  He was buried at the King Cemetery in Pine Knot.

An article in the Somerset Herald on May 10, 1920 reads:
(Special to the Herald) Somerset, Ky., May 10-- The town of Stearns, near Somerset, was thrown in turmoil this afternoon when Cole Coffey, a miner, shot to death Deputy Sheriff Oliver Slavens, who was attempting to arrest him and a companion named West and afterwards killed himself by shooting through the head with the same revolver with which he had killed the deputy sheriff. Coffey had been accused of having some whisky and when Slavens went to the place where he and West were stopping, Coffey opened fire on Slavens, shooting at him three times, three of the shots taking effect, from which Slavens died a few hours later. When the sheriff went to the home of Coffey to arrest him for the crime Coffey placed a revolver to his head and blew his brains out.
Other children of Jeff and Margie were Ada, born Nov., 1893 in TN; Gertrude M., born 1895 in McCreary Co., died there in 1899; and Fanny, born 1897 in McCreary Co., died there in 1898.  Both Gertrude and Fanny are buried at the King Cemetery.  The disposition of Ada is unknown to me.


*This cemetery is north of the intersection of US27 (Depot St.) via W. 3d Ave. to Stanley St. Geo-coordinates are Lat. 36 deg., 29 min., 43.02 sec.; Lon. 84 deg., 30 min., 46.01 sec.
After Jeff died, Margie remained a widow for sometime before finally marrying Jess Crabtree of McCreary Co.
Photo and other information about Cole is courtesy of William Jones.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:56 PM

    I have found an article in an old newspaper that makes me wonder if Jefferson Coffey was one and the same as the Jeff Coffey mentioned in the article as the death dates correspond.

    Owingsville Outlook. (Owingsville, Ky.) May 21, 1903

    Given a Life Sentence

    Williamsburg Ky., May 16 – Wm. Strunk aged 23 was given a life sentence for the murder of Jeff Coffey at a blind tiger In the western part of this county In 1899 over five cents won in a crap game. Strunk escaped to Texas but was brought back last January.

    Also Charles Coleman Coffey is thought to be the father of twins of the widow Annie Ross' and is listed as living with her in the 1920 census shortly before his demise.
    1920 McCreary #75-75
    Ross - Annie - head - age 38 - wd - KYKYKY - Cook - Boarding House
    Ross - Floyd - son - age 18 - S - KYKYKY - Laborer - Coal Mines
    Ross - Carrie - dau - age 16 - S- KYKYKY
    Ross - Paul - son - age 1 1/12 - KYKYKY
    Coffey - Cole - age 28 - KYKYKY

    The photo of Cole Coffey and brother Oscar that is posted on this page was found among the pictures of the late Mary "Att" Moses Strunk mother of Annie Ross, in "Att" Strunks hand writing on the back it stated ("Cold" Coffey and brother, Annie's twins father)

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