Biography - Gustavus Coffeen

Gustavus F. COFFEEN, farmer, was born in Watertown, Jefferson Co.., N. Y., June 19, 1820, to Frederick and Elcena (HUBBARD) COFFEEN, he born in Schuyler, Oneida Co., N. Y., about 1795, a farmer by occupation, and at one time was a hotel keeper, and dying about 1860. His wife, Elcena, was born in Jefferson County, N. Y., in 1798, and died about 1876. She was the mother of six children, four of whom are now living, and of whom Gustavus is the oldest child living. His paternal grandfather, Henry COFFEEN, was the first settler in Watertown, N. Y., having penetrated from Lowville through the woods with his goods and family, drawn by an ox-team. He erected his hut on the ground just west of Iron Block. He was a very prominent merchant and speculator in land. Gustavus, the subject of this sketch, received a common school education in his native town, and spent his early childhood in assisting his father in his agricultural pursuits. At the age of eighteen years, he entered a hotel in Jefferson County with his father, where he remained about fifteen years, at the end of which time he turned his attention to railroading, which occupation he followed about two years in New York, and then came to Illinois, and continued in the same business about two years more, when he turned his attention to farming, and in the spring of 1855, purchased 1,140 acres of wild prairie land. He remained upon the same about eighteen months, and improved about one hundred acres. He then disposed of his property and purchased 160 acres of improved and forty acres of timber land in East Fork Township, where he has since carried on farming more or less extensively. Grows all the usual farm crops, and raising and dealing in stock. His farm now consists of 640 acres of choice farm and timber land. In 1862-63, he served a term in the House of Representatives from Montgomery and Christian Counties; has also served as Supervisor. He was married, November 9, 1846, to Miss Mary Adelia BELL, born in Herkimer County, N. Y., February 2, 1827. She is the mother of three children, viz., Frederick H., Mary, wife of John McLEAN, living in East Fork Township; Clotilda Bell, wife of Dr. J. T. HENDRIX, deceased. (See history.) Mrs. COFFEEN is connected with the Presbyterian Church.

Extracted 22 Nov 2016 by Norma Hass from 1882 History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois, Part 2 Biographical Department, page 292.

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