John M. Coffman
A Biographical Sketch

From: A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa; pub 1896; p. 609

        John M. Coffman, who is now acceptable discharging the duties of County Treasurer of Monroe county, serving his second term, is one of the prominent and highly esteemed residents of Albia, who receives and merits the confidence of his fellow citizens and has the high regard o many friends.  He was born in the vicinity of St. Joseph, in Andrew county, Missouri, on the 7th of November, 1844, and is a son of Alfred and Sarah (Pemberton) Coffman, the former a native of Hamilton county, Illinois, born in 1823, and the latter a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, born in the same year.  Her father was Robert Pemberton, and she was an own cousin of General John L. Pemberton, of the Confederate army.  Her death occurred in April, 1863, but her father is still living and now makes his home in Sacramento, California.

        John M. Coffman is the eldest of a family of twenty-one children, nineteen born of his father's first marriage.  Of this number five are still living.  He passed his boyhood days in McDonough county, Illinois, and attended the district schools.  He remained on the home farm and aided in its cultivation and improvement until reaching his majority, when he turned his attention to other pursuits.  For thirty-one years he was a resident of McDonough county.  In 1870 he embarked in merchandising in Blandinsville, Illinois, where he remained for ten years.  He then went upon the road as a traveling salesman, being an employee of the house of S. Hamill, of Keokuk, Iowa.  Later he represented the firm of J. H. Merrill & Company, of Ottumwa, Iowa, and subsequently was with the firm of Biklir, Winzer & Company, wholesale grocers, of Burlington, Iowa.

          In the meantime Mr. Coffman took up his resident in Monroe county, and his fellow citizens, recognizing his worth and ability, called him to public office in 1891.  He was elected on the Democratic ticket to the office of County Treasurer of Monroe county, entering upon his duties the 1st of January following.  He is now serving his second term of two years in this responsible position.  He is a man of genuine worth and thorough reliability, and no more capable incumbent has been in the office than the one who is now serving.

          In 1871 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Coffman and Miss Mary Keithley, of Blandinsville, Illinois, daughter of James Keithley.  They have two children, Angeline B. and Sarah L.  The family occupies an enviable position in social circles and Mr. and Mrs. Coffman both have many friends in the community.  He takes quite an active interest in civic societies, and holds membership with Astor Lodge, No. 505, F & A. M.; Monroe Lodge, No, 81, I.O.O.F.; and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.  He is a gentleman of courteous and genial manner, very companionable, and is popular with all who knew him.

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