March 19, 2011

Early Map of the North Fork of the Tye River - Nelson Co., VA

 I've been told that the images look OK on screen but do not print very well.  Drop me an e-mail if you would like the original map and key.

"This map is meant to show where many of the old homeplaces, churches, schools, mills and store were located along Rt. 687 from Nash to Zink's Mill Road near Montebello, VA around the late 1800's to early 1900's.  This seven mile stretch is knows as the North Fork (or prong) of the Tye River.  On July 28, Lura Steele, Phillip Greene, Billy Coffey and myself (Lynn Coffey) made the trip up the river.  Lura's mother, Burgess Coffey, and Annie Carr, both now deceased, put together this information many year ago and gave it to Lura to record.  We assume most of it is correct but cannot be 100% certain on all points.  We have given mileage to each point shown by number because many of the buildings no longer exist.  It is as accurate as we could make it, considering how long ago these places were here.  A brief history of the people & places accompanies the map.  'Homeplaces' are still standing - 'Homesites' are not." [Lynn Coffey]

Map Key No. 1
Map Key No. 2

Map Key No. 3

March 10, 2011

Wiley Franklin & Susan A. Banner Sherwood

Wiley Franklin Sherwood was a son of Rev. James Justice Lafayette and Sarah Ann Young Sherwood, born Oct. 3, 1870 in Grayson Co., VA, died Sep. 14, 1944 in Boone, Watauga Co., NC.  He is buried at Cove Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Sherwood, Watauga Co., NC.

Rev. Sherwood was born Nov. 7, 1843 in Smyth Co., VA and died Oct. 26, 1917 in Cove Creek Twp., Watauga Co., NC.  He married Sarah Ann Young, date unknown, but probably 1869-70 time frame.  Sarah was also born in VA, c1847 and died Oct. 10, 1917 in Morganton, Burke Co., NC.  Rev. Sherwood is buried at Adams Cemetery in Vilas, Watauga Co., and Sarah was removed for burial to Shouns, Johnson Co., TN.

Wiley married Susan A. Banner on Sep. 15, 1891 in Watauga Co.  She was the daughter of Newton and Sophronia Mast Banner, and was born Feb. 8, 1871 in Watauga Co., died Mar. 14, 1949 at Cove Creek and was also buried at Cove Creek Cemetery.

Sophronia Mast & Newton Banner¹
Newton Banner is alleged to have accompanied a brother to TN to enlist in the CSA but was refused enlistment because he was too small.  The Union Army accepted him after being challenged to fight his way in against a bigger man.  After the war, he met with his brother to begin the long walk back home.  Somewhere along the way the brother died, Newton took his boots and wore them while carrying his brother's body back to NC.²

Newton died Dec. 18, 1941 in Cove Creek and was buried at the Banner Elk Cemetery.  Sophronia was the daughter of Joseph H. and Clarissa P. Mast.  Her death date and burial site is not known to me.  I have not found a military record for Newton.

There were at least eight and probably 10 children born to Wiley and Susan, all apparently in Boone:

James Marshall, born Jul. 17, 1892, died Nov. 26, 1975 in Boone
Annie Virginia, born Jan. 7, 1895
Grace Bryan, born Jan 18, 1897
Sophronia Blanche, born Mar., 1899
John Banner, born Sep. 28, 1905, died Aug. 3, 1966 at Boone
Sue Irene, born Mar. 20, 1908, died Apr. 21, 1972 at Blowing Rock
Mattie Lane, born Dec. 25, 1912
Ruth Elizabeth, born Dec. 12, 1915.

There is an obvious gap of 4+ years between Sophronia and John.  Perhaps there were two additional children who did not live to be enumerated in the 1910 census.

Sue Irene is the Coffey interest.  She married Thomas Herndon Coffey, Jr. on Jun. 20, 1928 in Cove Creek.  Thomas was a son of Thomas, Sr. and his wife Annie Marilda Pendley.  Sue died Apr. 21, 1972 at Blowing Rock and was buried there at White Springs Cemetery.  I do not have a death date for Thomas, Jr.

Annie Marilda was the daughter of William Patterson and Lou Ellen Moore Pendley.  She was born May 17, 1873 in the Globe, Caldwell Co., and died at Blowing Rock on Jul. 24, 1959.  Thomas, Sr. was born Mar. 21, 1867 in Watauga Co. to Cornelius Jones and Martha Jane Gragg Coffey.  He died Mar. 16, 1946 in Boone.  They were married Nov. 19, 1900 in Watauga Co. Thomas, Sr. and Annie are buried at White Springs.

¹Photo from Boone NC
²Nannie Greene, Compiler, Community and Change in the North Carolina Mountains: Oral Histories and Profiles of People from Western Watauga County, Catherine Stokes Sheppard Sarah Jean Joslin, Compilers (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2006), Page 172.

March 9, 2011

McDonald & Bertha Ella Anderson Coffey

McDonald [var. as Donald M., Mack Donald, and Don] was a son of Walter Gwyn and Julia Hayes Coffey.  He was born on Mar. 13, 1904 in Watauga Co. and died there on May 5, 1984.  He was married c1926 to Bertha, a daughter of Roy Jennings and Rebecca Earp Anderson.

Roy and Rebecca were married Jan. 7, 1917 in Watauga Co. and Bertha was born on Aug. 2, 1910 in that county.  It is not clear to me that she was McDonald's daughter, but her Oct. 23, 1980 Watauga Co. death record¹ names Roy as her father and Rebecca Earp as her mother.  Bertha's siblings were Edith, born 1917; Lewis, born c1919 and Lettie, born c1922, all in Watauga Co.

Memorial Card
Don and Bertha are not found in the 1930 census, but North Carolina birth records show the couple had at least three children:  Rhodney R., born 1927; Clayton Devar, born 1928 and Dayton Council, born Jun. 23, 1931, died Feb. 1, 1983 in Greensboro, Guilford Co., NC.

Both Don and Bertha are buried at the Danner Cemetery in Vilas, Watauga Co., NC.

¹Name: Bertha Ella Anderson Coffey Gender: Female Burial Date: 26 Oct 1980 Burial Place: Watauga County, N.C. Death Date: 23 Oct 1980 Death Place: Blowing Rock, Watauga, North Carolina Age: 70 Birth Date: 02 Aug 1910 Birthplace: Watauga Co., N.C. Occupation: Hosuewife Race: Marital Status: Married Spouse's Name: Don M. Coffey Father's Name: Roy Jennings Anderson Father's Birthplace: Mother's Name: Rebecca Earp Mother's Birthplace: Indexing Project (Batch) Number: B02383-8 System Origin: North Carolina-EASy Source Film Number: 1984633 Reference Number: v 39B cn39892

March 8, 2011

Robert Lawrence "Bob" Coffey

Relatively speaking, this is a "modern" family.  However, it did take a bit of concentration on my part to finally figure out that he had two wives, each named Lula!

Robert was born in Caldwell Co., NC in 1897 to Jesse Finley and Mary Elizabeth Craig Coffey.  He married Lula Shell on Aug. 30, 1913 in Lenoir, the daughter of Robert and Laura Sigmon Shell. 

Lula Shell Coffey gave birth to three children: 

Laura Mozelle, born Jun. 8, 1914, died of tuberculosis and unmarried on Jul. 22, 1938.  Laura is buried at the Union Church Cemetery in Lenoir.

Second child was Finley Tuttle, born in 1915 and died Dec. 23, 1979 in Lenoir.  He married Jewel Genett Andrews, a daughter of John Finley and Lucy Bean Andrews in Caldwell Co. in 1953.  Jewel was born in 1923 and died Jan. 1, 2006 in Caldwell Co.  She is buried at Belleview Cemetery in Lenoir and, I suspect Finley is also buried there.

The last child born to Lula Shell Coffey was Charles Woodrow, born Oct. 26, 1917 and died of tuberculosis on Mar. 10, 1919 in Lenoir.  He and his mother died very close together, perhaps on the same day but, although a death certificate for Charles has been found, none has been found for Lula.

Three years after the death of Lula Shell Coffey, "Bob" Coffey married Lula Lovina Hart, a daughter of Calvin Jones and Amanda Emmaline Wise Hart.  The wedding took place on Mar. 11, 1922 in Caldwell Co.  Lula Lovina Hart was born c1905 and died Apr. 5, 1978 in Caldwell Co.  I do not know where either of them are buried.

Bob and Lula Hart Coffey had at least 10 children, all born in Caldwell Co.:
Frances, born Mar. 3, 1923, died Jun. 21, 2010 in Hickory, Catawba Co., NC.  She married  Foke Lenoir Hartley, born Apr. 2, 1922 in Patterson Twp., Caldwell Co., a son of George Sidney Hartley and Callie Bentley.  Foke died Oct. 19, 1988 in Valdese, Burke Co., NC.  Their children were Doyle Sidney; Mavis Ann; and Thelma Susan, all of which are now deceased.

Mable Ruth, born Jun. 6, 1924, died Oct. 26, 1989 in Lenoir.  She married George James Prestwood, born c1918 in Caldwell Co.  Her obituary reads:
Mabel Ruth Coffey Prestwood, 65, of 310 Reform St. SW, Lenoir, died Thursday, Oct. 26, 1989, at Caldwell County Hospice.
She was born June 6, 1924, in Caldwell County, a daughter of Robert Lee Coffey of Lenoir and the late Lula Hart Coffey.

She was a homemaker.

In addition to her father, Mrs. Prestwood is survived by her husband, George James Prestwood of Charlotte; three sons, Gordon James Prestwood and Ralph Edward Prestwood, both of Lenoir, and David Lee Prestwood of San Diego, Calif.; three daughters, Georgia Ann Harris of Aiken, S.C., Shirley Jean Hitt of Statesville and Mary Jane Lebuff of Homa [sic], La.; two brothers, Lawrence Coffey of Waynesville, Mo., and Daniel Coffey of Wilmington; five sisters, Frances Hartley, Sarah Stone and Florence Prestwood, all of Lenoir, Mrs. Clyde (Alice) Smith of Morganton, and Mrs. Paul (Grace) Spears of Phoenix, Ariz.; 17 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

The service and interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Caldwell County Hospice.

Greer-McElveen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
James O., born 1926, died 1926

Lemuel Hart, born Jun. 13, 1927, died Jun. 26, 1976.  Lem married Dorthy Mae McMillan on Jun. 30, 1949 in Caldwell Co.  She was born May 16, 1931 in Caldwell Co. to John Franklin and Amelia Ann Bishop McMillan.  Dorothy died Sep. 17, 2001 in Lenoir.  His obituary reads:
Obituary, Lenoir News-Topic, Monday, June 28, 1976

Lemuel Hart Coffey, 49, 210 Clearfield Drive, died Saturday evening in a Veteran's Administration hospital after an extended illness.

He was born June 13, 1927 in Caldwell County, son of Robert Lawrence and Lula Hart Coffey of Lenoir.

Coffey was employed at Kincaid Furniture Co.

Survivors, in addition to his parents, include his widow, Mrs. Dorthy Mae McMillian Coffey of the home; four sons, Terry Robert Coffey, Paul Gregory Coffey, Scott Bradley Coffey, all of Lenoir, and Jerry Franklin Coffey of El Paso, Tex.; three brothers, Finley Coffey of Collettsville, Larance Coffey of Missouri, and Dan Coffey of Wilmington; six sisters, Mrs. Alan (Sarah) Stone of North Wilkesboro, Mrs. Forke (Frances) Hartley of Baton, Mrs. Clyde (Alice) Smith of Morganton, Mrs. Paul (Grace) Spears of Phoenix, Ariz., and Mrs. George (Ruth) Prestwood and Mrs. Richard (Florence) Prestwood born of Lenoir.

The funeral was to be conducted at 2 p.m. today at Lakeview Baptist Church by Rev. Michael Barlowe and Rev. Dean Harold.

Burial was to follow in Blue Ridge Memorial Park.

Pendry's Lenoir Funeral Home was in charge of Arrangements.
After Lem's death, Dorothy married Reynold Lee "Sarge" Setzer in 1976.  Sarge was born Jun. 29, 1930 in Caldwell Co. to Walter C. and Amanda Walsh Setzer.  He died Feb. 6, 2007 in Caldwell.  His obituary reads:
Obituary, News-Topic, Lenoir, Caldwell Co., NC, Feb. 8, 2007

Reynold Setzer

Reynold Lee "Sarge" Setzer died Feb. 6, 2007, at Lenoir Health Care after a lengthy period of declining health.

Sarge was born June 29, 1930, in Caldwell County to W.C. and Amanda Walsh Setzer. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Dorothy McMillan Setzer; and a brother, Forest A. Setzer; and three infant brothers.

Survivors include his step-sons, Terry Coffey and wife Vicki of Lenoir, Jerry Coffey and wife Donna of Gray, Tenn., Scott Coffey and wife Linda of Asheville and Paul Coffey of Concord. He also is survived by five grandchildren, Suzanne Moore, Michael Coffey, Autumn Coffey, Nick Coffey and Yvonne Coffey, and two great grandchildren, Mason and Jessie Moore; a brother, Cecil B. Setzer and wife Mae; a sister-in-law, Bea Setzer; and a niece and nephew.

Sarge was assigned to the U.S. Army 2nd Infantry and completed 25 years of distinguished service, including the Korean Conflict and two tours in the Vietnam Conflict. He was later transferred to the First Armored Division and retired with honors in 1975. Master Sergeant Setzer received several commendations including the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, National Defense Medal, The Army Commendation, The United Nations Medal and The Occupational Medal in Japan.

Sarge was a long-time member of First Advent Christian Church in Lenoir where he was a member of the senior men's Sunday school class. He was a collector of military books and extensive in his knowledge of military history. He attended Lenoir High School.

At his request, there will be no public funeral services. Memorials may be made to the First Advent Christian Church Music Program, P.O. Box 1714, Lenoir, NC 28645.
Dorothy's obituary:
Dorothy Mae McMillan Setzer, 70, of Camelot Court, Lenoir, died Monday, Sept. 17, 2001, at Caldwell County Hospice.

She was born May 16, 1931 in Caldwell County to the late John Franklin McMillan and Amelia Ann Bishop McMillan.  She was also preceded in death by her fi[r]st husband, Lemuel H. Coffey; and three brothers, Bill, Clifton and Paul McMillan.

She was a homemaker and a member of the First Advent Christian Church.

Survivors include her husband, Raymond Setzer of Lenoir, four sons, Terry R. Coffey of Lenoir, Jerry F. Coffey of Kannapolis, Paul G. Coffey of Hudson and Scott B. Coffey of Fletcher; one brother, the Rev. Eugene McMillan of Stuart, Va.; and five grandchildren.

A private memorial service will be held.

Memorial contributions may be made to Caldwell County Hospice, 902 Kirkwood St., Lenoir, N.C. 28645

Pendry's Lenoir Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Bob and Lula's next child was Lawrence Craig Coffey, born Feb. 18, 1929, died May. 25, 2005 in Crocker, Pulaski Co., MO.  His wife was Maggie Lee "Peggy" Benefield.  No other information.

Following Lawrence was Florence Elizabeth, born 1932.  No further information.

Alice Hart, born 1935, married Clyde William Smith.  No further information.

Their last three children were:  Daniel Luke, born 1937; Grace Levina, born 1940 and Sarah Nell, born 1945.  No further information on them.

March 7, 2011

Robert J. Coffey - Medal of Honor Winner

Robert J. Coffey was born in the city of St. Johns, N.B., on December 15, 1842.  When he was but just eight years old his parents moved to Montpelier, Vt., since which time has has been a resident of that state.

Battle of Big Bethel¹
April 26, 1861, when he was not quite nineteen years of age, he enlisted as private in Company K, 1st Regiment Vermont Infantry (New England Guards), for a term of three months, and with this organization participated in the battle of Big Bethel, Va., June 10, 1861.

When this term of service had expired he reenlisted in Company K, 4th Vermont Infantry, as private, and was promoted to sergeant.

He refers with pride to the fact that he was never sick or absent from his company except on duty, until badly wounded and disabled from further service while on picket duty near Centreville, Va., October 16, 1863.

He was engaged in all the battles of the Penisular Campaign under General George B. McClellan, and was at South Mountain, Antietam, Maryland, Fredericksburg, Bank' Ford, Gettysburg and Funkstown, and was mustered out of service on September 30, 1864, at Brattleboro, Vt., with about one hundred and fifty other original members who had left the State three years before, when the regiment numbered one thousand and forty-eight - officers and men.

Mr. Coffey thus modestly states the service for which he won his medal of honor:

It was a Bank's Ford, Va., May 3, 1862,² when the company were skirmishing, and I captured two officers and five privates, bringing them back to the regiment and delivering them to the provost guard.
 Mr. Coffey has been a prominent member of the G.A.R.  He was Commander of Brooks Post, No. 13, at Montpelier, two years.  He was junior vice commander of the department of the State in 1878 and 1879, under Past Department Commander Joseph H. Goulding, chief mustering officer of the department in 1884 and 1885.  Several of the Vermont posts were organized by him, and he was a delegate to the national encampment at Minneapolis in 1884.  He is at present an aid-de-camp [sic] on the staff of D. L. Morgan, Department Commander of Vermont.

He has also been closely identified with the National Guard of Vermont, and his labors in placing it on a permanent "war footing"  have been of good avail in that direction.  He receives his military title of "Major" from his connection with the guard.  In 1887 Mr. Coffey organized Company H, Capitol Guards of Montpelier, of the 1st Regiment of the National Guards of Vermont.  June 13 he was elected the pioneer captain of the company, and after serving three years resigned.  In 1880 he succeeded Capt. L. I. Smith of Burlington as promost marshall, with the rank of captain, and in 1887 was promoted to brigade provost marshall with the rank of major on the staff of General William L. Greenleaf, a position he still honorably occupies.

When the Vermont Soldiers' Home was unanimously chosen by the board of managers as superintendent of the institution, which position he at present fills, giving most perfect satisfaction not only to the trustees, but to the inmates of that institution.

¹Battle of Big Bethel, Jun. 10, 1861, Alfred R. Waud, 1828-1891, artist, held by the Library of Congress
²Actually Bank's Ford in Spotsylvania Co., VA (aka Salem Church) was fought May 3-4, 1863 as part of the Chancellorsville Campaign (Apr-May 1863).  It resulted in a Confederate victory.
Source: The Story of American Heroism, J. W. Jones, Springfield, OH, 1897

March 6, 2011

Robert William & Nora A. Odell Coffey

Nora Odell Coffey Death Cert.
Robert, a son of Ervin and Elsie Cannon Coffey, was born in Burke Co., NC Apr. 10, 1868 and died before 1910.  He married Nora A. Odell c1893 and fathered three daughters between Dec., 1894 and 1904.  The girls were: Louise, Gladys and Hattie (Probably Harriet).  From 1910 thru 1930 Nora* lived in Morganton as a widow and died there on Apr. 26, 1952. Her death certificate reveals that her parents were Alfred Odell and Hattie Beach.

Harriet L Beach Odell Death Cert.
Through that same period, her widowed mother Harriet Louise "Hattie" Beach Odell**, also a widow, lived with her.  Hattie died Mar. 10, 1932 in Morganton.  Her death certificates reveals that her father's name was Alfred Beach and that he mother was Mary Coffey.  Alfred and Mary lived in Morganton in 1860 and their birth dates are estimated to be 1813 and 1816 respectively.  Their children then were:  James; Elmira, Leona and Harriet.

So far, so good...but!  There is a Burke Co., NC marriage record for William J. Odell to Harriet L. A. Beach with a bond date of May 10, 1868.

Nora's daughter, Hattie Coffey Connelly of Morganton was named as the informant on her mother's death certificate.  It appears that Hattie Connelly while attempting to handle the grief caused by the loss of her mother, mistakenly named her maternal grandfather as Alfred.

What I need to now know is who was Mary Coffey who married Alfred Beach?

*After her husband's death, Nora worked as a "laundress" and later as a "doffer" to support herself and her daughters.  Nora's mother was a seamstress and later, her daughter Gladys was a school teacher while still living at home.  Apparently, all strong women who did what it required for them to live.  A "doffer" removed empty spindles or bobbins from machines in a cotton or textile factory and replaced them with full ones.
**In 1870 Hattie Odell lived with her brother James Beach, the Morganton jailer.  Hattie's husband was not in the household at that census and, I have not found them in 1880.  In 1890, Hattie appeared in the Veteran's census in Morganton but, for whatever reason, her name is over struck!  It shows however, that she was the widow of William J. Odell who was a private in Co. A, 5th OH Cav.  He enlisted on Jun. 1, 1861 and was discharged Apr. 29, 1865, after serving for 3 years, 10 months and 28 days.  So, was he already deceased in 1870?

March 5, 2011

Margaret Elizabeth Bessie Coffey

There seems to have been two with the same name, both born around the same time in the same place and, both called Bessie!

If you have an Edward Coffey Project CD or DVD, please note the following addition and correction:

The first Margaret Elizabeth Coffey

She was born to Thomas Clingman Coffey and his wife Margaret Coffey.  Thomas was a son of Smith W. & Charity Elizabeth Redmond Coffey; Margaret, a daughter of William Coffey, Jr. and his wife Margaret Robbins.  Smith and William were first cousins, once removed as well as second cousins, once removed (common ancestors were John Coffey and Jane Graves).

This Margaret was born Aug. 14, 1897 in Caldwell Co., and died Feb. 1, 1956 in Lenoir.  She married James Franklin Coffey on Aug. 30, 1916 in Yadkin Valley.  James was a son of Elijah M. and Caroline Amanda "Carrie" Dobbins Coffey.  Thomas Clingman and Elijah were third cousins, once removed.

I know of two children:  Wallace E., born Aug. 11, 1917, died Sep 1, 1992; and Millard Lafayette, born Apr. 2, 1922, died Oct. 25, 1976.
The second Margaret Elizabeth Coffey
She was a sister to James Franklin Coffey.  There is some confusion about her given name:  Some say Margaretta while others say Margaret.  I have it as Margaretta because that's the way it appears in the Caldwell Co. birth register, Vol. 6, Page 266.

She was born Aug. 29, 1894 in Buffalo Cove, Caldwell Co. and married Millard Porter Campbell on Sep. 24, 1916* in Yadkin Valley.  Millard was born Jul. 14, 1894 in Caldwell Co., died of influenza and pneumonia on Jan. 12, 1919 in Lenoir and was buried at Buffalo Cove.  His parents were George W. and Dorcas Elizabeth Beach Campbell.

Margaretta very likely remarried sometime later but so far, I have not found a second marriage record.

Please contact me if you know where the Buffalo Cove and/or the Lewis Cemeteries are located.

*Groom's Name: Millard Campbell Groom's Birth Date: 1893 Groom's Birthplace: Groom's Age: 23 Bride's Name: Bessie Coffey Bride's Birth Date: 1894 Bride's Birthplace: Bride's Age: 22 Marriage Date: 24 Sep 1916 Marriage Place: Yadkin Valley Groom's Father's Name: George Campbell Groom's Mother's Name: Elizabeth Campbell Bride's Father's Name: Elijah Coffey Bride's Mother's Name: Carrie Coffey Groom's Race: White Groom's Marital Status: Groom's Previous Wife's Name: Bride's Race: White Bride's Marital Status: Bride's Previous Husband's Name: Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M74476-1 System Origin: North Carolina-EASy Source Film Number: 590350 Reference Number: Cn 175. North Carolina Marriages, 1759-1979 , digital images, FamilySearch.Org (

March 3, 2011

Samuel Lusk & America Coffey

Samuel Lusk, born Oct. 15, 1800 in Buncombe Co., NC married America Coffey on Mar. 21, 1822 in Warren Co., TN.  America was born Jul. 26, 1801 in Wayne Co., KY to Ambrose and Mildred "Millie" Moore Coffey.  This Ambrose was the son of the Rev. James Coffey and his wife Elizabeth Cleveland.  America was also a sister to Holland Coffey, one of the early Red River traders.

Samuel Lusk, soldier and politician, was born on December 15 , 1800, in Buncombe Co., North Carolina. He was raised and educated in Tennessee. He married America Coffee, the sister of Gen. John Holland and Thomas Coffee, in 1823 and moved to Alabama. Lusk immigrated to Texas about 1835 and settled near Washington-on-the-Brazos. In 1836 he joined Sam Houston's forces but did not participate at the battle of San Jacinto because he had been detailed to protect the women and children. Lusk was a member of the convention of the Republic of Texas that ratified annexation. He served as county clerk in Washington County from 1848 to 1858. He was among the earliest settlers of Brenham, Washington Co., Texas and served as its mayor in 1858-1859. Lusk died in Brenham, Washington Co., Texas on December 1, 1861, in a yellow fever epidemic, and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery there. His daughter, Malinda C. Lusk, married Dewitt C. Giddings, and his son, Patrick H. Lusk, drew a white bean in the Black Bean Episode and so survived the Mier expedition. He was released through the intervention of his uncle's friend Andrew Jackson.*
Malinda C. Lusk, the seventh of nine known children born to Samuel and America was born May 16, 1836 in Independence, Washington Co., TX and died on Jun. 19, 1869 at Brenham, also in Washington Co.  She married Dewitt Clinton Giddings of Susquehanna Co., PA in 1860 at Brenahm.  Dewitt was born Jul. 18, 1827 and died Aug. 19, 1903 in Brenham.  Dewitt is known to be buried at Prairie Lea Cemetery in Brenham; Malinda is probably there as well.

Dewitt Clinton Giddings**, Democratic politician and early Texas businessman, the youngest of eight children of James and Lucy (Demming) Giddings, was born on July 18, 1827, in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. His father, a farmer, had been a sea captain. Giddings financed his education as a civil engineer in New York by teaching school part-time. In 1847 he was employed as a railroad engineer, and in 1850 he began legal studies in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. In 1852 he joined his brother Jabez D. Giddings in Brenham, Texas. In 1853 Dewitt Giddings was admitted to the Texas bar, received license to practice before the state district and supreme courts, and became his brother's junior partner in Brenham.

Giddings specialized in civil and probate cases and developed a lucrative legal practice and statewide reputation in state and federal courts before the Civil War. In 1859 he was construction superintendent of the Washington County Railroad. The Giddings brothers arranged a county school-fund loan and contributed financially to make possible completion of the railroad in 1860. In 1862, despite Unionist sentiment, D. C. Giddings enlisted as a private in the Confederate Twenty-first Texas Cavalry (First Texas Lancers). He was elected captain and then lieutenant colonel. In absence of Col. William Carter, Giddings was actual commander of this regiment during the war. He was briefly captured and exchanged in 1862. He participated in Arkansas and Louisiana campaigns and John S. Marmaduke's Missouri raid.

In 1867 Giddings aided yellow fever victims in Brenham; the same year, he was elected foreman of Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, which, despite its name, was organized to resist the actions of Union troops. Giddings was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1866. He served on the Resolutions Committee of the conservative state convention in 1868. As a Democrat, he won the 1871 special election for United States congressman from the Third Texas District, in part because of his efforts to gain broad ethnic support. After Republican governor Edmund J. Davis certified the reelection of his opponent, William T. Clark, Giddings won his appeal to the United States House of Representatives, which unanimously seated him in 1872 (see GIDDINGS-CLARK ELECTION CONTEST). He was the first Southern Democrat to enter Congress during Reconstruction. He was reelected to the Forty-third Congress and as an advocate of silver defeated independent candidate George Washington Jones to serve in the Forty-fifth Congress (1877-79).

After the Civil War Giddings and his brother J. D. became land agents and owners of holdings throughout Texas. They founded the Giddings and Giddings bank at Brenham in 1866. Dewitt Giddings earned a large commission during Governor Richard Coke's term when he successively recovered $339,000 in proceeds from state-owned bonds sold in Europe during the war. After his brother's death, Giddings managed bank operations and in 1884 became sole owner of the Giddings bank. By 1874 he was a large stockholder in Texas Mutual Life Insurance of Galveston. He chartered the short-lived Brazos Valley, Brenham and Gulf Railway Company in 1888 to promote lower railroad rates. His activities focused on banking after 1875.

Giddings was a Texas presidential elector at large in 1876, a member of the Platforms and Resolutions Committee at Texas Democratic conventions in 1884, 1888, 1892, and 1894, and a Texas delegate to the national Democratic convention in 1884, 1888, and 1892. In 1886 he ran unsuccessfully against Lawrence Sullivan (Sul) Ross for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Giddings campaigned against a proposed state prohibition amendment and was chairman of the Anti-Prohibition State Convention in May 1887. As an opponent of Governor James S. Hogg's reelection, Giddings was chairman of the June 1892 state Democratic platform committee, coauthor of the committee's minority report opposing free silver at the Car-Stable Convention (August 1892), and member of the Turner Hall Convention platform committee. In August 1894 he supported the national Democratic party platform as chairman of the state Democratic platform committee. He was a delegate of the Texas Gold Democratic Conference to the Memphis Convention (1895) and delegate at large of Texas Gold Democrats to the Indianapolis Convention. He also served on the state Deep Water Convention Resolutions Committee to promote federal appropriations for a Gulf of Mexico port in 1888. In the 1880s he supported Populists within Washington County to destroy Republican domination of county politics. Giddings was the leading proponent of the establishment in Brenham of the state's first public schools.

In 1860 he married Malinda C. Lusk, the daughter of Samuel C. Lusk. They had five children. Mrs. Giddings died in 1869. Giddings died of heart disease in Brenham on August 19, 1903, and was buried in Prairie Lea cemetery.

GIDDINGS, De Witt Clinton, a Representative from Texas; born in Susquehanna County, Pa., July 18, 1827; pursued an academic course; studied law in Honesdale, Pa.; was admitted to the bar in Texas in 1852 and commenced practice in Brenham, Tex.; served in the Confederate Army throughout the Civil War; member of the State constitutional convention in 1866; successfully contested as a Democrat the election of William T. Clark to the Forty-second Congress; reelected to the Forty-third Congress and served from May 13, 1872, to March 3, 1875; again elected to the Forty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1877-March 3, 1879); engaged in the banking business in Brenham, Tex.; delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1884, 1888, and 1892; died in Brenham, Tex., on August 19, 1903; interment in Prairie Lea Cemetery.

  *Bibliography: Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans. Worth Stickley Ray, Austin Colony Pioneers. Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832-1845. Judy and Nath Winfield, Jr.,  Click here for information about the Black Bean Episode and the Mier Expedition.
**Bibliography: Frank Carter Adams, ed., Texas Democracy: A Centennial History of Politics and Personalities of the Democratic Party, 1836-1936 (4 vols., Austin: Democratic Historical Association, 1937). Alwyn Barr, Reconstruction to Reform: Texas Politics, 1876-1906 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971). John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Dewitt Clinton Giddings Papers, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. Houston Daily Post, August 20, 1903. Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Norman Kittrell, Governors Who Have Been and Other Public Men of Texas (Houston: Dealy-Adey-Elgin, 1921). C. T. Neu, "The Giddings-Clark Election Contest, 1871-1872," Bulletin of the East Texas State Teachers College 14 (June 1931). Robert W. Shook, "The Texas `Election Outrage' of 1886," East Texas Historical Journal 10 (1972).  See also The Handbook of Texas Online

Andrew Jackson Coffey 1833NC-1903MO - Update

Photo courtesy of Lloyd Coffey
Andrew J. Coffey*.  Ozark County, Mo., is well known for the richness of its soil, and among those industrious farmers who have assisted in making this section the rich agricultural district that it is may be mentioned Andrew J. Coffey, who was born in Ashe County, N. C., in 1833, of which State his parents, Cleveland and Susan (Hayes) Coffey, were also natives.

During the early boyhood of Andrew J. Coffey, he was taken by his parents to Hawkins County Tenn., and soon after to Granger [sic] County, where the mother died some fifty years ago.  Mr. Coffey remarried afterward and then returned to the Old North State, where he died about 1866, having been a farmer and mechanic throughout life.  He was a man of much industry, led an active and upright life, and in religion was a Missionary Baptist.  His father, Jesse Coffey, was an early settler of North Carolina and breathed his last in Burke County when Andrew J. was a small lad.  He was of Irish ancestry, a farmer by occupation, and was a minister of the Primitive Baptist Church.

The children born to Cleveland and Susan Coffey are as follows:  Andrew J.; William, who was a soldier of the Confederate Army and was killed at Mission Ridge; Thomas was a Federal soldier, but nothing has been heard of him since the war; Martha died young; Susan E. is the wife of Aaron McGinnis, of Ozark County, Mo.

The education and rearing which was given the average farmer's boy of his day was given to Andrew J. Coffey, and in 1849 he came to the conclusion that 'it is not good for a man to live alone' and led to the altar Louisa, daughter of Jeremiah Hutchinson.  She was born in East Tennessee, and died in Ozark County, Mo., in 1871, having become the mother of eight children:  Athela M., widow of Z. T. Marritt; Mary J., who died young; Thomas J., who died after reaching manhood; Susan J., who died in early womanhood; James T.; Andrew J., Jr.; Cleveland and William W. who died in infancy.

January 11, 1872, Mr. Coffey took for his second wife Rachel, daughter of William and Mary Ann Imes, who were Tennesseeans, in which State the father died, and from which the mother emigrated to Ozark Co., Mo., her death occurring in the region.

Mrs. Coffey was born in Tennessee and by Mr. Coffey has become the mother of the following children:  Joseph Ambrose, Louisa, Mahala, Avarilla, Robert (deceased). Charley, John A., Francis M., Etha, Melissa and Albert.

In November, 1854, Mr. Coffey arrived in Ozark County, Mo., the journey by wagon from Tennessee occupying twenty-six days.  He rented land for one year after his arrival here, then lived on Little North Fork until the opening of the war.  During the great struggle between the North and South his family lived in Douglas and Webster Counties.

Mr. Coffey served in the Home Guards until the fall of 1864, when he joined Col. John S. Phelps' regiment of six months' troops and was stationed at Rolla the most of the time.  At the end of his term of enlistment he served again in the Missouri State Militia, after which he was in the Sixth Provisional Regiment until the spring of 1864, when he was detailed home to raise a corps, and in the fall of that year joined the Forty-sixth Missouri Infantry as second lieutenant of Company I, and thereafter in Ozark County and at Springfield the most of the time.  He was a brave and faithful supporter of the Union cause, and after the war was made sheriff of Ozark County, and at the election of 1866 was elected to the office for two years and again in 1874.  In 1884 he was elected to the Legislature on the Democrat ticket and served on the Committees on Retrenchment and Reform, County Boundaries, etc.

Up to 1892 he had been a supporter of Democratic principals, but since that time ha has cast his lot with the Republican party.  His first presidential vote was cast for John Bell, in 1860.  Mr. Coffey is a member of the Robert Burns Lodge No. 496, of the A. F. & A. M., at Gainesville, and of the G. A. R.  He was left a widower February 21, 1892, his wife having been an earnest member of the General Baptist Church, as is he.  He has lived on his present farm since 1869, which comprises a fertile and well-tilled tract of 247 acres, about four miles below Gainesville.

Click on title link to read first blog about Andrew Jackson Coffey

*Missouri Historical Review, The State Historical Society, Columbia, MO,, Vol. LXXVII, Number 5, Apr., 1983, p206-7 [Retyped to include paragraphs, making reading somewhat better]

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