Philip Alexander Hattox Coe

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Philip Alexander Hattox Coe

Immediate Family:

Partner of Louisa Coe
Father of Ned Coe; Daniel Coe and Caroline Johnson

Managed by: Ron O Johnson
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Philip Alexander Hattox Coe

COE. Phillip Coe was a resident of the Washington Municipality of the Austin Colony prior to moving to the DeWitt Colony area after the War of Independence. He was a delegate from the municipality in the 3rd Consultation of Nov 1835 in San Felipe and a signer of the Declaration of the People that emerged from the meeting. He was the signer "for New Year's Creek" of the D.C. Barrett address to the People of Texas on 10 Dec 1835 appealing for them to join the volunteer army at Bexar and cooperate with efforts of Thomas Rusk and J.W. Fannin to supply the army. Coe's name appears on other transactions of the convention indicating that he was a very active participant.

Gonzales County probably had few early settlers more colorful than Captain Philip H. Coe. A native of Georgia who served as a captain of cavalry in the Army of the Republic of Texas, Coe settled in the early 1840's in "Coe Valley" on the Guadalupe River about fifteen miles southwest of Gonzales near Monthalia. Adding to his bounty land grant of 640 acres and acquiring property in other Texas counties as well, Coe became an extensive landowner and was said to have built a church and school on every large tract he owned. Primarily engaged in growing cotton and other agricultural crops, Coe was also a partner of his friend Sam Houston in stock raising and at one time imported purebred horses from Tennessee to Gonzales County. Shot in a saloon in Gonzales while playing poker in December of 1852, Coe rode his horse home to Coe Valley where he died December 14 after writing a will recorded in the county courthouse "....being severely wounded and my life uncertain. . ." in which he divided his estate of more than 16,000 acres, numerous slaves, racing horses and stock among his wife Elizabeth, ten daughters and two sons. His oldest son was Philip Houston Coe, Confederate War veteran and proprietor of the Bull's Head Saloon in Abilene, Kansas in 1871 when he was killed by Wild Bill Hickcock. His youngest son was Gabriel Hubbard Coe, only ten months old when his father died. Captain Coe was buried in the family cemetery in Coe Valley where a Texas Centennial marker was erected in 1936.

Philip H. Coe was born Philip Hattox (Haddox) January 10, 1800, the second oldest son of Rachael Hattox. He changed his name to his mother's maiden name when he left Upson County near Thomaston in Georgia in 1829 to migrate to Texas. Coe was described in Georgia newspaper accounts as being "a man of a powerful frame, upwards of six feet. . . dark hair, grey eyes . . . and well proportioned." A widower with three daughters and possibly a son, a John G. Coe was killed in the Goliad Massacre in 1836, Coe married Elizabeth Ann Parker (April 12,1812 -March 16,1866), the Georgia-born daughter of Jesse and Sarah Parker (1822 Texas) January 31, 1829. The Coe family settled at "Tiger's Point" on the Brazos River in Washington Municipality, later Washington County, near present day Brenham.

In July of 1835 Philip Coe was chosen captain of one of four volunteer companies organized to assist Captain Robert M. Coleman in dislodging a band of Tawakoni Indians at Techuacana Springs in present Limestone County. A muster roll of July 9 August 31, 1835 certified he was the captain of a group of twelve Texas Rangers "on an Indian campaign" under the command of Colonel John H. Moore who later went to the defense of Gonzales. A member of the general council which met November 1, 1835, Captain Coe also represented Washington Municipality (County) in the Consultation of 1835. The general council appointed him to enroll volunteers for the Texas army and to forward them to New Year's Creek. From March 2 to June 2, 1836 he served as captain of cavalry in the First Regiment of Volunteers. During the weeks of the San Jacinto campaign Captain Coe was detailed by General Sam Houston to protect the women and children fleeing from their homes ahead of Santa Anna's army as well as guarding the baggage at Harrisburg during the engagement at San Jacinto. During the "Runaway Scrape", Elizabeth Parker Coe and two young daughters, Sarah age four and Martha Ann age one, left Washington -on-the-Brazos in an oxcart with other women and children and camped within hearing distance of the battle of San Jacinto. In later years Sarah, who married "the schoolteacher Towns" in 1850 and lived in Coe Valley, would recall the sounds of the battle and the fact that her father had handed her mother a pistol and told her to "keep this ready to use." (Story retold by Sarah's granddaughter, Annie Ruth Towns Nelson). After the victory at San Jacinto, Captain Coe and his family returned to Washington County where the tax census of 1840 showed he then owned 4,000 acres, seven slaves, sixteen horses, one stud, forty-three cattle and one clock, the latter being taxable. In 1842 he served as commander of a volunteer expedition against the Indians at Tehuacana, captain on the expedition against Rafael Vasquez and as captain of Company A on the Somervell Expedition.

Coe's happiest years were probably those spent (1842? - 1852) in his fertile valley on the Guadalupe River. In 1852 Captain Coe wrote of the "bountiful crops" in Coe Valley and invited his attorney friend to come see "something out here in the way of soil and crops that will take your eyes." By contrast, Elizabeth's letters after her husband's death spoke of "hard times and worse acomin'" having to sell off lands to settle debts and title disputes, droughts, crop failures and was in 1858 "in very low spirits as all of our corn and cot (sic) have been eaten up by the grasshoppers . . . every vestige of vegitation. even to the most noxious weeds." Until her death in 1866, Elizabeth continued to live in Coe Valley with some of her nine children, five of whom were under the age of ten when her husband died.

They were: Sarah (July 22, 1832) married Addison P. Towns; Martha Ann (February 23, 1835 - November 24, 1853); Jane (March 19, 1837) married Houston Tom March 27,1860; Philip Houston (July 17, 1839 - October 9, 1871); Delilah (December 14, 1842) married Samuel Portis July 23,1857; Eliza (December 15, 1845) married Doctor R.C. Kuykendall July 11, 1868; Harriet (March 10, 1847) married George W. Tom 1868; Georgiana (July 29, 1849) married Reverend Frank Howard December 23, 1873; and Gabriel H. Coe (March 4, 1852 - November 13, 1935) married first Georgia Denman in 1872 and second Martha Caroline Hodges Denman November 5, 1896. Captain Coe's will also included three daughters by his first marriage: Rachael Cleveland (February 10, 1822 -February 2, 1877) married James T. Cleveland in 1846; Mary Watson married John Watson in 1849; and Elizabeth Pipkin married W.R. Pipkin in 1847. In 1852 the married daughters all resided in either Gonzales or Washington Counties. Gabriel H. Coe, the infant son when his father died, and Martha Caroline "Mattie" Hodges (October 12, 1864 - July 28, 1951), daughter of Gonzales County pioneers Jesse and Martha Hodges, were the parents of Claude Douglas Coe (August 1, 1897 December 21, 1978) who married Susan Dillow May 2, 1921, both buried in the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery; and Eva Coe Lewis (April 23,1908) who married James P. Lewis April 25,1928. Children of G.H. Coe's first marriage were Philip H., Herff and Hattie Coe, all deceased.

A longtime resident of Gonzales County who lived thirty-nine years with his wife Mattie ten miles north of Gonzales on the Greenwood road was Gabe Coe, a great storyteller. Rocking in the breezeway of the old 1911 farm house on the Hodges-Coe tract, he loved to recall his days as a young "cowpoke" going up the Chisholm Trail and his stint as a San Antonio policeman whose beat was the old Buckhorn Saloon in the 1870's. A boy during the Civil War, he later told of riding his horse from Coe Valley to "the swamp near Ottine" (later named Palmetto Park) to gather palm fronds for making hats. Six years after the war's close, he could remember taking a buckboard to Columbus to retrieve his brother's body which was sent by train from Abilene, Kansas after he was killed by Hickcock. Because of the condition of the corpse, Philip H. Coe had to be buried in Columbus. Gabe and Mattie Coe were buried in the Hodges plot in Greenwood Cemetery. Marlene Coe Gordon (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).

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