Lee County Biography

Frank M. Coe

Frank M. Coe, an intelligent farmer and respected citizen, was born on the farm where he yet resides on section 21, Palmyra Township. His birth occurred May 16, 1852 and the family of which he is a worthy representative is numbered among the pioneers of the county. His father, Frederick W. Coe, was born in Rochester, N.Y., January 25, 1813, and was a son of Malby Coe, a native of Connecticut, of English descent. The grandfather was married in the Empire State to Miss Mary Miles, who, like himself, was born in Connecticut and came of a family of English origin. The year 1835 witnessed their emigration to the West, they locating in Jordan Township, Whiteside County, where Mr. Coe followed farming until his death in 1849, when more than seventy years of age. He was a Presbyterian in religious belief and a good and, faithful citizen. His wife survived him some years and died on the old homestead in 1855, at an advanced age. She, too, was a Presbyterian and a lady of many excellencies of character. In the family were twelve children, namely; Lucy, Simeon, George, Frederick, Henry, Albert, Docius, Jonathan, Adeline, Marcus, Ann and Mortimer. Of these, three sons and a daughter are yet residents of Whiteside County, all living upon farms.

On the 30th of June 1836, Fred W. Coe was united in marriage with Miss Phoebe A. Rogers, and in the following September they started for Illinois, arriving in this county on the 20th of the month. The lady was born in Prince Edward County, in the Province of Ontario, Canada, August 5, 1812, and was a daughter of Gilbert and Nancy Rogers, natives of Connecticut, the former born September 20, 1771, and the latter January 12, 1777. They both died in Ontario, Mr. Rogers passing away July 30, 1817, while his wife survived until September 16, 1850. They were honest farming people and were members of the Society of Friends, under whose auspices Mrs. Coe was reared. She lost her parents when she was young and at the age of twenty went to New York, where she met and married Mr. Coe. They began their domestic life upon the farm which he purchased in this county and lived in true pioneer style. The claim entered by the father of our subject was all raw prairie, but by his labors was transformed into a fertile and fruitful farm. Mr. Coe was a hard-working man and while plowing died of heart disease October 24, 1870. By all he was recognized as one of the prominent early settlers whose worth and ability won him the esteem of those with whom he came in contact. His wife, an intelligent and cultured lady, who had many warm friends in this community, died at the home of our subject April 7, 1889. They wee the parents of six children: Caroline A., born August 20, 1837, is now the wife of George G. Sills; Henry A., born May 31, 1839, died July 21, 1840; Addie, born July 16, 1842, became the wife of Arthur Chase, who is now deceased, and her death occurred March 16, 1871; Helen G., born February 17, 1845, died April 3, 1848; and Emily, born July 16, 1848, died August 15, of the same year.

The youngest of the family is our subject, who in the usual manner of farmer lads was reared to manhood. His early education, acquired in the public schools, was supplemented by a course in Cornell College of Iowa. He led to the marriage altar, in Palmyra Township, Miss Zett E. Williams, who was born in Columbia County, Pa., June 23, 1858. Her parents were Mark and Elizabeth (Hoagland) Williams, who emigrated to Illinois when she was quite young and located ion a farm in Palmyra Township, where they yet make their home. The death of Mrs. Coe occurred July 9, 1889, and was sincerely mourned by many friends as well as her immediate family. She was a member of the Methodist Church, and left one child, Glen F., born February 4, 1885.

The farm which Mr. Coe owns and which for fifty-six years has been in possession of the family, is a valuable tract of land of two hundred and eight acres, situated on the north side of Sugar Grove. Its neat appearance indicates the thrift and enterprise of the owner, who is ranked among the leading agriculturists of the community. He is also a prominent citizen and takes quite an active part in political affairs, being a stanch supporter of Republican principles. He attends the conventions of his party, and is now serving his second term as the efficient Supervisor. Genial by nature, he has a keen appreciation of the humorous and is an entertaining companion who easily wins friends.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892


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