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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Johnson County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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James G. Coffee has been a resident of this county from his birth, which occurred on December 25, 1845, to Melvin and Jane (Laster) Coffee, the former of whom was born in Jackson County, Ala., and the latter in Tennessee. Mrs. Coffee came with her parents to Arkansas, when quite small, and here she was married in 1843, to Mr. Coffee, by whom she became the mother of two children: James G. and Melvina P., who first married Maston Roy, and after his death, which occurred shortly after their marriage, she was wedded to John Laster and bore him nine children, her death occurring in 1888, they being residents of Indian Territory, at the time of her death. Melvin Coffee was a soldier in the Mexican War and died while in the service, after which his widow married J. C. Baskin, about 1848, and to them five children were born. Mr. Baskin entered the Confederate Army at the opening of the war and was serving in South Arkansas, when he died in 1864. Mrs. Baskin then married T. M. Baskin, a half-brother of her second husband, by whom she became the mother of two children. He died in 1889, but she is still living. James G. Coffee was also in the Confederate Army, enlisting in 1861, in Company C, of the Sixteenth Arkansas Infantry, under Col. John F. Hill, and in 1862, went east of the Mississippi River and took part in the fight at Corinth, and many others. He was discharged at Port Hudson, having served out his time of enlistment, and being under age was permitted to return home in March, 1863, but re-enlisted in the fall of the same year under Gen. Cabel. He was with Price on his Missouri raid, and while passing through Arkansas and near his old home he obtained a short furlough, but while visiting his people he was captured at Clarksville and was taken to Fort Smith, where he was paroled, soon after which the war terminated. He then turned his attention to farming immediately afterward and was married, in 1867, to Miss Clementine Harkreader, a daughter of Samuel and Nancy Harkreader of Johnson County, and three children were born to them: Dee Buchanan (the eldest, a lovely boy, died in 1876, at the age of eight years), Edna A. and Lester M. Their mother’s death occurred in 1882, and Mr. Coffee’s second union took place in 1883, the maiden name of his wife being Miss Sallie A. Powell, a daughter of the Rev. John A. Powell, of Tennessee. Three children were born to this marriage: Harland, Dessie D. and Effie C. Mr. Coffee owns a farm of 300 acres, with 100 under cultivation eight miles northwest of Clarkville, on Horsehead Creek, and on this land cotton and grain are raised, considerable attention being also given to the raising of stock. He is one of Johnson County’s most highly-respected citizens and prosperous farmers, and as he started in life, with no means the first time he was married, what he has, has been accumulated during this time by his own earnest endeavors. He, his wife and Edna are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and they also belong to the Eastern Star Chapter Lodge, Mr. Coffee being a member of the Masonic fraternity. He has always been truly public spirited, and he and his estimable wife dispense such true hospitality that it is the delight of their friends to visit them.

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This family biography is one of 65 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Johnson County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Johnson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Johnson County, Arkansas family biographies here: Johnson County, Arkansas

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