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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Knox County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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Edward M. Coe, a substantial and prosperous citizen of Knox County, was born July 1, 1821, in Loudoun County, Va., and is a son of David J. and Elizabeth C. (Skinner) Coo. This family is of English descent, and the American descendants originated with four brothers who came to America between the Revolution and the war of 1812. Our subject’s grandfather, Edward, and the father of our subject were soldiers in the war of 1812, and were stationed at Washington as guards of the capitol. Both were farmers, although in his later days, David J. became a merchant and miller in Loudoun County, Va., where he was born, and died, having spent a successful and prosperous life. He was a very popular man, and during the muster of the militia held an official position. His death occurred about 1823, when he was comparatively a young man. The Skinner family originated in the Jersey Islands. The mother of our subject was born in Loudoun County, Va., and died at her home in Knox County, Mo., the wife of John H. Taylor, whom she married after Mr. Coe’s death. She came to Knox County with her second husband in 1839, and died in January, 1848. Our subject is the eldest of three sons: himself, Cornelius M. and David (deceased). He received at the schools of his native county a liberal education, which he has improved by reading and observation. He remained in his native State until the spring of 1843, and, having previously learned the millwright’s and miller’s trades, upon coming to Missouri operated a mill in connection with fanning, where he now lives. He began life a poor man, but has been successful in all his undertakings, and is now the owner of 1,000 acres of some of the best land in Knox County, which he has highly cultivated and improved. In the fall of 1862 he joined the Confederate Army, and enlisted in Col. Porter’s regiment, State guards, and participated in the battles of Kirksville, and also in the engagement two days later on Painter Creek, and also “Crossing of the Sharadon,” Palmyra and others. He was never wounded, although at the battle of Kirksville a bullet grazed his eyebrow. He was taken prisoner and retained five months at St. Louis and Alton, Ill., being released in the spring of 1863. March 29, 1849, he was married to Mary Ann Myers, a native of Kentucky, born in 1834. She was the daughter of Lewis Myers, and died January 1, 1850. Mr. Coe then went to California and Oregon, remaining three years, and in 1850 married Mary J. Nelson, a native of Indiana. This lady died in Knox County, Mo., February 28, 1863, while our subject was a prisoner. She was born September 18, 1833, and was a daughter of Robert and Ann Nelson, who were for many years citizens of Knox County. The living children of her marriage with our subject are Robert J. and Elizabeth C.; those deceased are Mildred Ann, William E. and Mary Jane. In 1864 Mr. Coe was married a third time, Martha V. Nelson, a sister of his second wife, becoming his wife. She was born in Knox County in 1844, and to this union eight children were born: Andrew N., Ella M., Marion and Nathaniel (twins), Francis R., Lydia, Edward M. and Ollie G. (deceased). Our subject is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and his wife of the Methodist Episcopal. Mr. Coe is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and one of the most influential men of the county. He is extensively engaged in farming, and in 1887 raised the largest crop of wheat in the county, which he has done several times before. He is also extensively engaged in stock raising and dealing, and owns some of the finest horses in the United States. In the spring of 1850 he went to California, where he remained three years working at his trade, but then returned to Knox County where he has since resided, and is now one of the most esteemed and honored citizens, having a large circle of warm friends, by whom he is greatly admired and respected. He is an active and public-spirited citizen, and a liberal subscriber to all public enterprises of a worthy character. Until the late war he was a Whig in politics, but since then has been a Democrat.

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This family biography is one of 204 biographies included in the Knox County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Lewis, Clark, Knox and Scotland Counties, Missouri published in 1887.  For the complete description, click here: Knox County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Knox County, Missouri family biographies here: Knox County, Missouri Biographies

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