b. September 16, 1866, Fayette County, PA
d. April 30, 1942; Sebring, Mahoning County, Ohio
MARY ELIZABETH SHEETS
b. June 19, 1869; Westmoreland County, PA
d. December 13, 1941; Sebring, Mahoning County, Ohio
Written by Maurice Fred Coffman (my father) in 1987 about his grandfather.
The third child of David S. and Mary COFFMAN, James Wadsworth COFFMAN was my grandfather. He married Mary Elizabeth SHEETS on September 16,1886. Mary Elizabeth was the second child of Henry and Rosanna KINT SHEETS.
James Wadsworth and Mary SHEETS COFFMAN lived in Bullskin Twp.,Fayette County, PA. on a farm until after their fourth child, my father was born. Sometime later they moved to Scottddale, PA and in the 1900 census, James was shown as being a laborer in a flour mill. By the 1910 census, he was shown as being the manager of a mill. Some years later, James and Mary COFFMAN moved to a farm in Mahoning County, Ohio not far from the growing village of Sebring, Ohio. In the early 1920's they moved into the village and James Wadsworth COFFMAN became the owner and operator of a Sohio gasoline station.This was a period of rapid growth in auto ownership and he was a well known and respected businessman in the community. As an aside, in 1932 he received his 25 year metal from I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 885 in Scottdale, PA. Among the many pleasant memories I have of this man are the busy days I spent on my first paying job in his gas station -- 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. at 25 cents an hour. But then, breakfast, lunch and often dinner at my grandmothers table were included free.
James and Mary are at the center, surrounded by their 4 children
with their spouses, and grandchildren.
My grandmother, Mary Elizabeth SHEETS COFFMAN was a strong-willed person who was active in the Nazarene Church, interested in her children and grandchildren, loved to quilt and above all was an outstanding cook. A typical breakfast before leaving for work was a platter of ham, eggs, fried potatoes, and a choice of several pies from her well stocked pantry. Holiday meals at her house with her daughter's family of four boys and the three of us children was a day long feast.
While neither my grandfather or grandmother could drive, they always owned a car and a grandchild was the chauffeur. Needless to say during the depression years of the 1930's when there was a lack of cars and gasoline there never was a lack of volunteers.
James W. and Mary Elizabeth COFFMAN who are buried in Grandview Cemetery, Sebring Ohio had four children. They were:
Alva Ross COFFMAN (1886 - 1956) - he married Alice KELLY and they had 6 children
Olive COFFMAN (1888-1957) - she married Alva YOTHERS and they had 4 boys
Warden COFFMAN (1890-1968) - he married Lily and had no children. There is evidence that he married a second time, and had at least 1 daughter.
Maurice COFFMAN (1893-1970) - he married Virginia KING and they had 3 children.
Unpublished family history written by Maurice Fred Coffman, grandson, in 1988
1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, Federal Census, retrieved from http://ancestry.com
Bullskin Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania; Scottdale Borough, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and Smith, Mahoning County, Ohio
b. September 30, 1893; Bullskin Township, Fayette County, PA
d. January 8, 1970; Lee, FL
Prior to my father's death in May 2011, he extensively researched his family, and wrote about his memories of his relatives. Here are his words (unedited) about his father.
My father, Maurice COFFMAN was born on a farm on the Chestnut Ridge Mountains, Bullskin Twp., Fayette County, PA. He finished only 8 years of formal schooling but continued educating himself throughout his life time. The 1910 census shows him as a bookkeeper at a distillery at age 16. He spent a period of years in the Navy where he developed a life long love of the water and boating. He was recalled to service for World War I but served only a short time before the war ended. He was married on June 7, 1917 to Virginia KING and worked in a furniture store in Scottdale, PA. In the early 1920's he formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, Alva Yothers, and they opened a furniture store in Sebring, Ohio, which was operated in the family for over 50 years. In 1927, my father fell from a tree while picking cherries and injured his back which left his legs partially paralyzed. While he walked with a cane, he never complained and continued to live as normal a life as possible. While he was limited in his physical activities, he was able to handle a sailboat on Lake Erie. Another hobby was oil painting and he left children and grandchildren many memento paintings. Following the death of my mother in 1966 he purchased another sailboat and sailed it alone down the Inland Waterway to Fort Myers, FL. He died on the boat in 1970 at age 76.
Maurice Coffman at his farm in Sebring, early 1960's
I have fond memories of my grandfather, and our time both at the furniture store and the farm. He always made time for the grandchildren, and made each of us feel special. One favorite time was being on his sailboat in Fort Myers Florida, during the later years of his life. He was so proud of the teakwood, and worked daily polishing the rails. His gentle nature, kind words, and love of family are values we all should hold dear.
1920, 1930 Federal Census Index, retrieved from http://ancestry.com, Sebring, Mahoning County, Ohio
Personal memories from Maurice Fred Coffman, son; including unpublished family history, 1988
Personal papers in possession