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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  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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Dr. J. W. Coakley, physician and surgeon of Creston, and the senior partner of the firm of J. W. Coakley & Sons, proprietors of the Coakley Public Hospital, was born at Bangor, Maine, on the 12th of October, 1860, and after spending the first thirteen years of his life in the Pine Tree state, accompanied his parents to Winterset, Madison county, Iowa, where he completed his literary education in the public schools. Having determined upon the practice of medicine as a life work, in 1879 and 1880 he attended the Kansas City Medical College of Kansas City, Missouri, and in 1883 was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago. He has always been a student, and in 1893 he graduated from the Barnes Medical college of St. Louis, Missouri. He also attended the Illinois School of Electro Therapeutics in 1900; the Chicago Polyclynic in 1904; and the New York Polyclynic in 1906. On leaving the Chicago school he located at Mount Etna, Iowa, where he remained in active practice until 1896, when he went to Europe for further study and investigation, pursuing post-graduate courses in London and Paris under some of the most eminent medical educators of the old world. Upon his return to his native land he again located at Mount Etna, whence in 1904 he came to Creston, where he has since remained in active practice.

In 1882 Dr. Coakley was married in Mount Etna to Miss Cynthia A. Davis, and they are now the parents of two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Orlo E. Coakley, is a graduate of Barnes Medical College in St. Louis, of the class of 1903. Dr. Grover C. Coakley is a graduate of the Northwestern Medical College of the class of 1904, and in his practice has made a specialty of the diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. Ruby, the eldest daughter, is a graduate nurse, and Gladys is at home.

In his fraternal relations Dr. J. W. Coakley is an Elk and an Odd Fellow. He also belongs to the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained high rank, being now a member of the Mystic Shrine. He is likewise identified with the Fraternal Order of Eagles and his Christian faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. While he is neglectful of no duty of citizenship his attention is chiefly given to the efforts which he puts forth in behalf of his fellowmen, in the restoration of health and in checking the ravages of disease. His two sons have been admitted to partnership with him and they are now practicing successfully in Creston, with office at No. 117 North Maple street. They have also established and conduct a hospital called Coakley’s Public Hospital, which has been accorded a liberal patronage. The father is a man of broad scientific attainments and the sons are continually progressing in their profession, this constituting one of the strong medical firms in Union county.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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