May 23, 2012

George Archelaus Coffey, 1874 IL - 1949 OK

George Archelaus Coffey was a son of John A. McClernan and Mary R. Glascock Coffey.  John was born in Saline Co., IL in 1846 to Achilles and Jane Dean Coffey and died in Apr., 1893 at Washita Co., OK.  He and Mary were married on Aug. 15, 1869 in Saline Co.* These families descend from Edward and Ann Powell Coffey through their son John who married Jane Graves and, their son, Rev. James Coffey who married Elizabeth Cleveland.

George was born in Saline Co. on Jan. 13, 1874 and died Apr. 28, 1949 in OK.  He married Julia Gordon Lockhart on Aug. 11, 1895 in Erath Co., TX.  Julia was born Mar. 3, 1877 at Bluff Dale in Erath Co., and died on Oklahoma City on Nov. 25, 1961.  Both she and George are buried at Warner Memorial Cemetery in Muskogee Co., OK.

The biography for George tells us that he and Julia had four children:  John L., born in Mar., 1898 in TX; May L., born May 19, 1900 in OK and twin daughters, Georgia W. and Geordia W., born c1903 in OK.  May married John P. Nickens on Aug. 30, 1926 in Cleveland Co., OK and had at least two children, Georgia C., born c1928 and Mary R., born c1929.  May is also buried at Warner but the burial site for John has not been located.  In the 1930 census John and May were residents of Cleveland Co. where he was employed as a "decorator" for the Kress Co. and May was a public school teacher.  Marriage records for the other children of George and Julia have not been found.

George began his career as a school teacher in Erath Co. and was principal of schools in that county at Huckaby.  He was later a teacher at Alexander, TX and Walnut Springs, TX.  He went to Washita Co., OK Territory in 1899.  Later they would relocate to LoneWolf in Kiowa Co., OK and even later to Goodwell in Texas Co., OK.  In 1930 they were in Vann, Muskogee Co.

In 1911 George served as state senator in OK's third state legislature.  He later served in the 17th (1939), the same legislature in which Will Rogers was then serving.

The following is a rather long biography produced by John Bradfield Thoburn on pages 1413-1414 in his 4th volume, A Standard History of Oklahoma, published in 1916.  I have broken it up somewhat to make it a bit easier to read.**

"There is no profession to which men devote their energies more dignified in its ethics or more reasonably helpful to their fellow-men than that of education, the always advancing standards of which demand of its devotees constant study and a keen and comprehensive knowledge of a wealth of subjects. These demands, in turn, redound to the benefit of the community, for not infrequently the capable educator is chosen for positions in the law-making department of our government, where he is able, through his superior attainments, to contribute materially to his locality’s development and progress. Of the educators of Western Oklahoma who have won prominent positions in their calling and at the same time have served the communities capably in legislative office, one of the best known and most popular is George A. Coffey, ex-state senator and at present superintendent of schools of Carter, Beckham County. His labors as an educator have covered a period of more than twenty years, and his advancement in his profession has been steady and consistent. Few men have contributed in greater degree to the cause of education, and no man has a better record for straightforward, energetic effort as a public servant.
'Mr. Coffey was born in Saline County, Illinois, January 13, 1874, and is a son of Rev. J. M. and Mary R. (Glasscock) Coffey, and a descendant of Irish ancestors who came to America in Colonial days and settled in Virginia. His father was born in Saline County, Illinois, in 1846, and as a young man adopted the vocation of farmer, an occupation he has followed throughout his life, in connection with his labors as a minister of the Missionary Baptist Church. With the exception of a year spent in Kansas, he resided in Saline County, Illinois, until 1888, in that year removing with his family to Baylor County, Texas, and two years later going to Brown County, in the same state. There he made his home until April, 1893, when he took up a homestead in Washita County, Oklahoma, and after proving his claim disposed of his land and bought his present farm, also in Washita County. He is now living a retired life, being in comfortable financial circumstances. Mrs. Coffey, who survives at the age of sixty-seven years, is a native of Tennessee.
'Mr. Coffey of this review comes of a race of people noted for longevity, none of his ancestors, male or female, having died under the age of seventy-five, and some of them reaching the age of 112.
"George A. Coffey attended the country schools of Saline County, Illinois, until he was fourteen years of age and at that time went with his parents to Baylor County, Texas. He went to the high school at Seymour, and in 1890, when his parents went to Brown County, Texas, he entered Howard Payne College and finished the teachers’ training course in 1894. In the meantime he had already entered upon his educational career, having taught several terms in Oklahoma and Texas, and in 1894 began to devote his entire time to his chosen calling, as a teacher in Erath County. In the term of 1895-6 he was principal of schools at Huckaby, Erath County, Texas, and during the terms of 1896-7, 1897-8 and 1898-9 was teacher at Alexander, Texas, while in 1899, 1900, he was engaged in the same capacity at Walnut Springs, Texas. On December 25, 1899. Mr. Coffey came to Oklahoma and filed on a claim in Washita County, on which he began to live March 10, 1900, and continued to reside thereon for five years, finally proving up and selling it. During this time, in 1900-01, he had continued his professional labors as principal of schools at Gage, Oklahoma, continued as such in the term of 1901-2, and in 1902-3 was principal of the schools at Cordell, there organizing the first graded school in Washita County. In the terms of 1903-4 and 1904-5 he was superintendent of schools at Port, Oklahoma, in 1905-6 at Rocky, Oklahoma, in 1906-7 at Port again, and in 1907-8, 1908-9 and 1909-10 at Lone Wolf, Oklahoma. 
"During the time he resided at Lone Wolf, Mr. Coffey served as a member of the Oklahoma State Senate, to which body he was elected on the democratic ticket. His service therein was a notable one, he being chairman of the committees on Penal Institutions and Enrolling and Engrossing Bills, and a member of the committees on Public Service, Fees and Salaries, Education, Insurance, Mines and Manufacturing, Public Health and Military Affairs. He introduced and secured the passage of the bill for State Aid for Consolidated Schools, the first bill of its kind and now a law. He was one of the authors of and introduced into the Senate the bill which created the present State Board of Education, and of the bill that secured the large appropriation for the buildings at the Granite Reformatory. Mr. Coffey took a leading part in the fight against the Muskogee Fair Bill, and opposed a large appropriation for the governor’s inaugural ceremony. For a number of years Mr. Coffey has been a leading figure in all the prohibition campaigns, being a stump speaker of forcible address and convincing argument against the liquor traffic.
"In 1910-11 Mr. Coffey was superintendent of schools at Mountain Park and Retrot. Oklahoma, in 1911-12 at Spring Creek, in 1912-13 at Sentinel, and in 1913-14 at Spring Creek again, and in the fall of 1915 was called to the position of superintendent of schools at Carter, Oklahoma, with a corps of six teachers and a scholarship of 300 pupils. Mr. Coffey is a valued member of the Washita County Teachers Association and the Oklahoma Teachers Association. He has at various times been honored in a professional way, having served as a member of the Board of Examiners of Erath County, Texas, for four years, and of Washita County, Oklahoma, eight years. During the greater part of this time he has devoted the summer terms, when others are enjoying vacations, to faithful and energetic work in the summer normal schools. 
"A recent review of the life and labors of Superintendent Coffey said in part as follows: 'He is a man of versatile ability, being known for twenty-three years to the people of Southwestern Oklahoma in the various capacities of pioneer and progressive educator, fraternal and religious lecturer, prohibition speaker and school legislator. He has ever been in the front ranks of every fight for better government, better schools, morality and decency. His fearless stand for humanity and the right has made him a host of friends. In the school room, in the state senate, in his home, and among his neighbors and friends, he has ever been the same common, plain, unassuming man. The humblest citizen and smallest child in the county may approach him on the same plane of confidence and friendship and be assured of receiving the same consideration and courtesy that would be given to the highest educators and officials of the state with whom he has frequently associated. In his work he has enjoyed the friendship and respect of the ablest men of the state, yet he has spent his time for the uplift of the common people; and the overwhelming support that they have given to all his public aspirations gives proof that they fully appreciate his efforts in their behalf.'
"With his family, Mr. Coffey belongs to the Baptist Church. His fraternal connections are with Lone Wolf Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Sentinel, and the Rebekahs of the same; the Woodmen of the World, at Sentinel, and the Modern Woodmen of America at Lone Wolf.
"Superintendent Coffey was married in Erath County, Texas, in 1895, to Miss Julia Gordon Lockhart, daughter of the late Elder J. C. R. Lockhart, who for more than seventy-five years was a. Baptist preacher in Alabama and Texas. Four children have been born to this union: John L., who is a teacher in the public schools of Carter, under his father; Mary L., who is a member of the sophomore class, at Carter High School; Georgia, who is in the seventh grade of the public schools at Carter; and Geordia, twin of Georgia, also in seventh grade."

*, accessed Sep., 2005.
**Search Google Books for George A. Coffey

May 18, 2012

Theodore F. Coffey

Hiram Coffey was born c1916 in Indiana to John Waid and Mary "Polly" Harbert or Harbord Coffey.  He married Elvira Coe on Oct. 15, 1843 in Jeffersonville, Clark Co., IN.*  By 1860 they were residing in McLean Co., IL but apparently spent a number of years in Indiana before relocating; four of their nine children were born in that state.  By 1870 he and Elvira were back in IN and residing in Bloomington Twp., Monroe Co.

The couple had at least nine children:  Theodore, Henrietta, Mary, Loretta, Frances Josephine, Arabine (Allie); Amadin (Amy), Abraham Lincoln, and Clara.

Concentrating on Theodore for this blog, I found that he was born Aug. 10, 1844 in Salem Twp., Washington Co., IN and died on June 9, 1926 in Bloomington, McLean Co., IL.  He married Laura B. Freshwaters c1879, who was born on Oct. 10, 1860 in Apollo, Armstrong Co., PA and died April 21, 1928 in Bloomington.**

There were three children born to this union.  First was Euliss Elvira, born in Apr., 1880.  Mark A. was next, born in Dec., 1881 followed by Hallie L., a son, in Aug., 1889.  I have not yet followed these children to discover their marriages, death, etc.

In 1880 Theodore was clerking in a store in Bloomington but by 1900 he was employed as a traveling salesman.  His break came in 1903 when he received a patent for his "new and useful Needle-Threader."  US Patent No. 735,211 was issued to Theodore on Aug. 4, 1903.  The device was designed to thread either a hand or a sewing machine needle.  From that period until his death in 1926 Theodore continued to make and sell his invention.

Theodore died on Jun. 9, 1926 at home at 706 E. Mill St. in Bloomington and was buried at Hopewell Cemetery in Downs, McLean Co., IL.  Laura followed on Apr. 21, 1928 and is also buried at Hopewell.

*Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages through 1850, Indiana State Library online [], accessed Sep.,2005.
**"Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947," database, FamilySearch Historical Records from Illinois Department of Health. "Certificates of Death." Illinois Department of Health, Springfield, Illinois. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

May 8, 2012

John D. Coffey

John D. Coffey - the "D" may stand for David or Davis - was a son of Ananias and Jane Hindman Coffey. He was born Sep. 16, 1821* in KY and married Sarepta (var.) Chambers on Nov. 30, 1852.**  John is said to have died in 1859, but likely a bit earlier.  Sarepta married for a second time on Oct. 30, 1859 to Berry Coomer, born c1818 in Stokes Co., NC.  This couple remained in Adair Co. before moving to Cumberland Co. in 1900.

Sarepta and John D. had three children, all born in Adair Co.:

Coffey-Hurt Marriage Record #1
Coffey-Hurt Marriage Record #2
John W. was born Sep. 12, 1853, married Millie Hurt on Jan. 21, 1878 in Edmonton, Metcalfe Co., KY.  Millie was born Jan. 3, 1849 in KY and died in Cumberland Co. on Jun. 18, 1927.  John died on Aug. 1, 1935 in the Cole Camp Pct. of Cumberland Co.  Both are buried at White Hill Baptist Church Cemetery near Burkesville in Cumberland Co. The family appeared in the 1900 through the 1930 (John was then a widower) census but, I have been unable to find them in 1880.  I believe they had at least five children:  William D., born Apr., 1880, who remained unmarried and with his father until John died; James D., Jennie M., Winnie J., and Mary S.  I have not found any marriage records for the children.

Julia Coffey Marriage Record
Julia Ann, born Dec. 5, 1855, married George A. McKinney on Jan. 6, 1880 in Columbia Co.  George was born in KY in Aug., 1842.  Their children were George L., Leonard J., Sarepta P., and Lydia B.  There could also be more that I have not yet found.  They were in Columbia in 1880 and Gradyville in 1900, both places in Adair Co.

Third and last child was Lloyd M., born Mar. 21, 1857, died 1910 in Cumberland Co.  He married Julia A. Lacy c1883.  They had only one child that lived to adulthood; Ellis M., born c1895 in Cumberland Co.  Julia, born Apr., 1856 in KY, died on May 23, 1928 in that county.  Both she and Lloyd are buried at the West Fork Cemetery in Cumberland Co.

Sarah Chambers Coffey Coomer had several more children with Berry but I have not yet tracked them down.

Updates and corrections are appreciated.


*Coffey Cousins Newsletter, Vol. 44, Sep., 1991, Page 13 citing the the Coffey-Hindman Bible then in possession of Mrs. Clara Gowen; pub. 1790 in Edinburg by Mark and Charles Kerr, His Majesty's printers. Copied by James O. Gowen, Oct. 2, 1978

**Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records, Microfilm (1852-1919), roll #994037-994058, KY Department of Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, KY; Name: John D Coffey Age: 31 Est. Birth Year: abt 1821 Residence: Russell Spouse Name: Sarpety Chambers Spouse Age: 23 Est. Spouse Birth Year: abt 1829 Spouse Birth Location: Barren Marriage Date: 30 Nov 1852 Marriage Location: Adair County of Record: Adair

May 7, 2012

1940 Adair Co., KY Census

I have been scouring various Kentucky county census records for 1940. As a result, I am finding many - well, a few anyway - Coffey families that are not in my 1930 collection and not in my Edward Coffey Project file.

The following are a few that I could use some help identifying. They are all in Adair Co., ED 1-4. Census page numbers are included with each family.

Page 14-B: Jonah Coffey, age 40; wife Fannie, age 35, son Guss, age 18, daughter Evelyn, age 16, son Earl, age 14, daughter Lula Belle, age 11 and daughter Margaret Lee, age 5

Page 15-A: James R. Coffey, age 33, wife Lexa, age 34, daughter Anna May, age 9, son Charles T., age 8, and daughter Eliza A., age 5

Page 15-A: John W. Coffey, age 23, wife Dakota, age 19 and son Jones (?) D., age 1

Page 17-A: William Coffey, age 27 and wife Thelma, age 23

Page 21-B and 22-A: Samuel M. Coffey, age 39, his wife Ethel, age 41, son Joe P., age 17 and, son Everett, age 14

Page 22-A: Arthur Coffey, age 46, wife Mary, age 44, son Chester, age 23 and his wife Cartha, age 26.

May 3, 2012

Nathan E. Coffey

Nathan E. (Edward?) was born c1867 in Texas to Thomas Arvil and Hannah Henson Coffey.  On Jan. 17, 1889* he married Elizabeth "Betty" McNatt in Denton Co., the daughter of James W. and Amanda Jane "Mandy" Hammonds McNatt.  Betty was born on Feb. 17, 1869 in Benton Co., AR and died on Mar. 6, 1938 in Denton, Denton Co., TX.

She and Nathan apparently divorced, or perhaps Nathan died, before 1898.  Before that however, she gave birth to their only known child, Andrew Jackson Coffey in Aubrey, Denton Co. on Jun. 26, 1895.  Following that, Nathan disappeared into history, some genealogies reporting that he died in Indian Territory, OK, but offering no proof.

Betty married again on Aug. 26, 1898** in Denton Co. to Jeremiah Washington "Jerry" Looper.  Jerry was born on May 5, 1850 in Alabama and died Feb. 2, 1940 in Aubrey.

Prior to his marriage to Betty, Jerry had married Ellen Elizabeth "Lizzie" Kelley in Etowah Co., AL on Dec. 31, 1873***.  She was born c1859 in AL and died on May 31, 1895 in Denton Co.  In those 22 years, she gave birth to seven children:  Leonard; Dennis; Arlan Murray; Andrew J.; James W.; Bertie; and Hollie Rollin.

The only known child born to Jerry and Betty was Jerry Edward, on Aug. 16, 1899, died Apr. 8, 1971 in Denton Co.  Jerry married Vera Tennessee Coffey, a daughter of Asberry Aurelius and Louisa Elizabeth Owens Coffey, c1925 in TX.  Vera was born Jul. 9, 1905 in TX and probably in Denton Co., and died there on Aug. 28, 1986.  I know of two children, Doyce Edward, born 1926 and Kenneth Gerald, born 1930, both in Denton Co.

Jeremiah Washington "Jerry" Looper and his two wives are buried at the Belew Cemetery in Aubrey, Denton Co.  Several of his children with Elizabeth Kelly are also buried there:  Andrew J., Nov. 14, 1880 to Aug. 21, 1882; James W., born Oct. 29, 1882 died Jan. 1, 1893; and Hollie Rollin, Feb. 7, 1888, died Sep. 28, 1944. His child with Betty McNatt, Jerry Edward, died Apr. 8, 1971, and his wife Vera, died Aug. 28, 1986 in Denton are also buried at Belew.

Primarily, I am wondering if there was a divorce between Nathan and Betty McNatt and, if so, when.  Did he survive to remarry and have additional children?  When and where did he die and where is he buried?

*Texas Marriages, 1837-1973,
**Texas Marriages, 1814-1909 & 1966-2002, [Texas source:  Texas Marriages, 1851-1900]
***Early American Marriages: Alabama, 1800-1920, Dodd, Jordan R., Name: J W Looper Spouse: Ellen Kelly Marriage Date: 31 Dec 1873 County: Etowah State: Alabama Performed By Title: Minister of Gospel Performed by Name: J W Trotter Source information: Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research

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