December 21, 2012

Albert and Sarah Goodnight Coffey

Albert was the second eldest son of the Rev. Reuben A. and Martha "Polly" Dowell Coffey, born Feb. 22, 1810 in Wilkes Co., NC.  Albert married Sarah Goodnight in Monroe Co., IN on Dec. 5, 1833.[1]  Sarah was born c1803 in Shelby Co., KY.

Albert died in Jan., 1837, just a few years into his marriage with Sarah, and leaving her with two young children to raise.  The first was Julia Ann, born in Aug., 1836 followed by Wesley W., born Dec. 13, 1837 in Owen Co., IN.  Sarah never remarried and died c1880 in Spencer, Owen Co., IN.  Daughter Julia married William R. Stogsdill in Owen Co. in 1856 and Sarah lived with them in Owen Co. for almost 30 years.

Sarah's son Wesley married Laura Joseph Howe in Owen Co. in 1865.[2]  Laura was the daughter of Amon Price and Harriet C. Thatcher Howe and was born in IN in 1843.  Together, they had three children, only one of which married and has descendants.  That was Bryon Howe, born in 1866, Owen Co., died 1945 in Los Angeles, CA.  He was their first born, followed by Hallie H. in 1874 and Albert Price in 1876.  Laura was the mother of four children but only three survived to become adults.[3]

Hallie and Albert never married and pretty much lived with their mother, or with each other, from birth to death in Los Angeles.  Albert died in 1936 at age 70, and Hallie died in 1969 at age 95.  I have not found their burial places.  In the 1941 city directory for Wilmar City in Los Angeles Co., Albert gave his occupation as "musician." Hallie reported her occupation as "stenographer."

Byron married Nellie Branham in Owen Co. in 1894.[2]  She was a daughter of Laroes and Susan Amanda Halbert Branham, born in Indiana in Sep., 1873.  She died on Jul. 4, 1962 in Los Angeles.

There were four children born to their marriage, all in Spencer, Owen Co.:

Thatcher Howe, born 1895, died 1956 in Los Angeles.  Thatcher married Lessa Leona Freeman in Riverside Co., CA in 1919.  She was the daughter of Fletcher and Margaret McClellan Freeman, born in Oct., 1899 in Iowa, died in Los Angeles in 1979.  I believe that Thatcher and Lessa had just one child, a daughter named Mary Jane, born in 1920.  She married John Batterso and they both lived with her parents in LA in 1940.

Thatcher's sister, Naomi Josephine was born in 1896 and died in LA County in 1970.  She was married to Karl Keeler in Marion Co., IN in 1916.[2]  They had at least two children, Lois Karlyn, born c1919 and Karl, Jr., born c1921.  Lois married a Mr. Teters and died in LA County in 1990.

Byron's third child was Cecile Louise, born 1897, died in LA County in 1946.  She married Joseph Adolph Iverson c1927, probably in CA.  He died in Chatsworth, LA County in 1986.  She died well before that, in 1946, LA County.  This may be the same Joseph who was buried at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth, LA Co.  His bio at Find-A-Grave reads:  "Son of Carl Johan and Augusta Matilda (Wagman) Iverson. Husband of Louise and Iva. Brother of Carl Jr and Aaron Iverson, Anna Foss and Sena Baker. Joe was the owner, along with brother Aaron, of the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, famed filming place of many American westerns of the 1930s through the 1960s, including The Lone Ranger series and numerous episodes of Bonanza."  I know of no children born to his union with Louise but, a website devoted to the ranch and some of the history, has a photo of Ed Iverson, reported there to be the one of "the owner," which could be Aaron's son..

Coffey Sprinkler
Click for larger view

The fourth child and second son was Jule Hubert, born in 1899, died in LA County in 1979. He married Harried Ellen Johnson c1925. She was born in Ramsey Co., MN in 1899 and was the mother of at least two children: Harry, born c1927 and Priscilla H., born c1931. Jule held numerous patents during his lifetime, including US 3088677 for the "Oscillating Arm Pop-Up Sprinkler," seen on many lawns across the US.  To be sure, others have made "improvements," but the basic concept remains Jule's.

He was a 1924 graduate of CalTech and died in Clarement, CA in 1979.  His daughter, Priscilla Coffey McKenna wrote to the alumni newsletter that "he was retired and had been living in Claremont, California....He lived a long and exceedingly useful life and we will miss him very much."[4]

Malcolm Carnegie McKenna
While searching for Jule's daughter Priscilla, I found that she married Malcolm Carnegie McKenna, son of Donald Carnegie and Bernice Caroline Waller McKenna.  The McKennas were a family of philanthropists; Donald being a Pennsylvania industrialist and the namesake of Clarement McKenna College in CA.  Malcolm and Priscilla were married in Claremont on Jun. 17, 1952.  He died on Mar. 3, 2008 in Boulder, CO.  Before his retirement, Malcolm was Frick curator of vertebrate paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History and professor emeritus of geological sciences at Columbia University.

[1]Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages through 1850, Indiana State Library online [], accessed Sep.,2005.
[2]Indiana Marriage Records Index, 1845-1920;.Index to Marriage Records Indiana: Indiana Works Progress Administration, 1938-1940.
[3]1900 Owen Co., IN census record
[4]Caltech News, June 1979, California Institute of Technology ( : viewed 21 December 2012), Vol 13, No. 4, Page 8, Obituaries.

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