Clement Coffin, Judge (1795 - 1867)

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Martha's Vineyard
Death: Died
Occupation: Pioneer Farmer Judge Post Master
Managed by: David Coffin
Last Updated:
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About Clement Coffin, Judge

Coffin, Clements Founder of Coffin's Grove Twp, Delaware, County Iowa

Coffins Grove, in Delaware County Iowa, was opened up for settlement September 21, 1832 by the "Black Hawk Purchase" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hawk_Purchase Clement Coffin and his family moved to Delaware County in 1840 as the first white settlers in what would become know as Coffins Grove Township

A History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume I. Captain John F. Merry Supervising Editor. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914 http://iagenweb.org/delaware/history/1914/v1_XXIVCG.htm

Deceased; was born in Edgarton, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Aug. 25, 1706. He was the youngest child of Capt. Eddy Coffin, and of the sixth generation in descent from Tristram Coffin, who emigrated from the County of Devon, England, and settled in Massachusetts, in the town of Newberry, now called Newburyport. The first English record is of Sir Richard Coffin, one of the Knights who came with William the Conquerer from Normandy, France. The race has always been remarkable for mental and physical ability, vigor and longevity. Capt. Coffin removed his family to Williamsburg, Hampshire Co., Mass., in May, 1801, and died there in 1821. His son, Clement, was married April 16, 1817, in Williamsburg, to Miss Susan Williams, of the same place, a lady of superior ability, both natural and acquired. They had eight children, three died in early childhood;  the others were Elizabeth Williams, wife of Henry Baker, who died in 1859; Arabella Gere, wife of Joel Bailey; Susan Corisandee, wife of Leander Keyes; Jerome Watson, and Sarah Ann Vincent, wife of Ray B. Griffin. The family removed to Michigan in 1835, settling on the disputed tract of land afterward ceded to Ohio, in what is now Fulton County, then Williams. In 1840, they came to Iowa, and settled in the grove that bears his name, and where Judge Coffin died, July 25, 1867. He was a man independent in his purposes and judgments, naturally of a noble nature, keen perceptions, quick in thought and expression, kind feelings, however unfavorably  manifested in sudden expressions, still kind, as many a house of sickness and heart of sorrow can testify; a man with traits nobler if sharper than common, Punctuality, activity, energy and fidelity in the discharge of his duties marked his character. He was the first Judge of Probate of Delaware County; was one of the first Board of Trustees appointed by the Legislature for the Agricultural College at Ames. Without soliciting it, was appointed Postmaster by President Taylor and held it many years, sending in his resignation, when, by reason of advancing years, the duties became a burden. In Politics he was a Democrat.   History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People

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History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume I. Captain John F. Merry Supervising Editor. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914 page 285-288


Chapter XXIV


Coffin's Grove Township lies to the west, on the Buchanan County line, and on the north of it is Richland Township. To the east is Delaware Township and the southern line is demarked by Prairie Township. Congressional township 89, range 6, was separated from Delaware Township by the Commissioners' Court, February 7, 1855, and named Coffin's Grove, in honor of its first settler, Clement Coffin. The schoolhouse, one of the first to be built, was designated as the voting place for the first election. The land here is very fertile and some of the best farms in the state are noticed, monuments of the judgment of those who first selected the land, and evidences of thrift and splendid husbandry.

Prairie Creek, sometimes called Coffin's Grove Creek, begins in slough lands in the eastern part of Buchanan County and flows eastward through the southern portion of Coffin's Grove Township, to join the Maquoketa above Manchester. In section 28, the channel of Prairie Creek is cut through a timbered, rocky hill. The drainage is excellent and conditions are equally so for stock-raising.

During the year 1840 immigration to the Delaware settlements began to increase and among those who sought homes in the groves and prairies of this county was Clement Coffin, who made his headquarters at Eads' Grove while he explored the country. He afterwards permanently located in a beautiful grove in the south central part of the township, which afterwards was given his name and he became one of the leading and influential citizens of the county. A friend, in speaking of him, passed this eulogium upon Judge Coffin: "He was a genuine and true man to his friends, of great fidelity to his trust, entirely free from anything like hypocrisy. He made up his mind with deliberation and then expressed his opinion whether his hearers were pleased or not and we always knew where to find him. He was a millwright and carpenter, a dairyman and wagon maker, and a successful, energetic farmer. Mrs. Coffin knew how to draw around her wilderness home the wise and the good. She raised her family well and fitted them for the highest and best social positions." Judge Coffin was largely instrumental in the organization of the county and always took a lively interest in its affairs. Among other offices held by him was that of probate judge, being the second person in the county elected to that position. The first frame barn raised in the county was built by Clement Coffin and Henry Baker in Coffin's Grove, in the summer of 1849. On the 4th of July of that year Judge Coffin had a "barn raising," at which the people from all parts of the county, from Delhi, Plum Creek, Colony, South Fork and other localities gathered. The barn was raised in the forenoon and settlers dined and supped at the Coffin home. Judge Coffin died July 28, 1867.

In 1841 quite a number of additions were made to the settlement in this county. Among those who came this year were Charles Osborn, Hiram Minkler, Henry Baker, Horace Tubbs and others.

Henry Baker, as has been stated, settled here in 1841, locating on section 22. At the time there were but four families in the township. His wife was Elizabeth W. Coffin, whom he married in 1840. She was a daughter of Judge Clement Coffin. The young couple arrived in the early part of June and pur­chased eighty acres of Government land in Coffin's Grove township, where they built a temporary log cabin 12 by 12 feet. There were at the time but two families besides themselves within the limits of the township. Deer, elk and bear were frequently seen. Mr. Baker killed quite a number of deer and one bear and for the first few years was seldom without venison for table use. The Winnebago Indians were stationed north of him and frequently passed through the neighborhood on hunting expeditions, camping within thirty or forty rods of his house for four or five days at a time. They always evinced a. friendly disposition and with the exception of begging food or some trifling trinket never molested him. In the fall of 1841 he erected a story and a hall-hewed log house 16 by 20 feet in dimensions, which he occupied for a number of years. In 1845 he purchased 200 acres of land and in like manner continued to purchase until he at one time owned over seven hundred acres. In 1856 he erected a handsome brick residence and a large frame barn a few years before that time.

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Clement Coffin, Judge's Timeline

1795
August 25, 1795
Martha's Vineyard
1817
April 16, 1817
Age 21
Williamsburg, MA, USA
1867
July 25, 1867
Age 71
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Coffins Grove, IA, USA