Holding distinctive prestige among the enterprising and influential citizens of Fayette county, is Charles F. Coffey, present mayor of Washington, C. H., whose record,here briefly outlined, is that of a self-made man, who, by the exercise of the talents with which nature endowed him, successfully fought his way through life's battles and rose to the position he now occupies as one of the leading men of the community honored by his citizenship. He is a creditable representative of old pioneer families of this locality and the admirable qualities and characteristics of his sturdy ancestors have borne fruit in his own life.
Charles F. Coffey was born in Fayette county, Ohio, on the 8th day of May, 1868, and is a son of James R. and Rebecca Jane (Stafford) Coffey, who are both natives of Ohio, the father born in Highland county and the mother in Fayette county, both being reared in Fayette county. They were the parents of five children, three of whom lived to maturity, namely : Eliza Jane, deceased, who was the wife of Dennis Blackmore ; Charles F., of this review; Wayman Hampton, deceased, and two who died in infancy. James R. Coffey was a laboring- man during the first years of his mature life, but, being a man of steady and economical habits, he was abIe to forge ahead and eventually secured a farm of eighty-one and a half acres in Green township, to the improvement of which he devoted himself, and where he reared his children. He died on March 11, 1913, in the seventy-second year of his age, and his wife passed away on March 2, 1913. aged sixty-six years. They were members of the Methodist Protestant church and their lives were singularly consistent with their religious professions.
The paternal graridparents of the subject were John Patterson Coffey and Sarah Coffey, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania. In the pioneer period they came to Highland county, Ohio, where they remained for a time and also ran a hotel in Buena Vista in the early days, finally locating in Fayette county. Here they died when well advanced in years and are buried in White Oak cemetery. Their children were as follows: William, Addison, Charles, John, James R., Ruth and Margaret. On the maternal sifle, the subject is descended from Wayman Hampton Stafford and Jane ( McDaniel) Stafford, he a native of Virginia and she of Pennsylvania, while both were of English descent. They became pioneer settlers in Favette county, where Mr. Stafford followed the vocation of a miller, one of the most useful occupations during the days of the early settlement of that community. His mill was located on Rattlesnake creek in Green township. Jane Stafford passed away in middle life, but her husband lived to old age. They had two children, Rachel (Wallen) and Rebecca. After the death of his first wife, Wayman Stafford married Ellen Tutor, to which union were born three sons, Solomon, Charles and Parris.
Charles F. Coffey has spent practically his entire life in Fayette county, the years of his young manhood being spent on the paternal homestead in Green township. He received his educational training in the district schools of his home neighborhood and until 1906 applied himself closely to the operation of the home farm, in which he was successful. In the year mentioned. Mr. Coffey went to Columbus. Ohio, and for a year was in the employ of the International Harvester Company. He then came to Washington C. H., and for two years was engaged in the livery business, followed by a like period in the grocery business. He has disposed of his commercial interests, retaining the home farm, though he still resides in Washington C. H.
Politically. Charles F. Coffey has been a life-long supporter of the Democratic party and has always taken an intelligent interest in local public affairs. While residing in his home township he served twelve years as township trustee, was supervisor for three or four terms, was a member of the board of review for two years and served several years as a school director. In 1913 Mr. Coffey was elected mayor of Washington C. H., and is filling the office with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of his fellow citizens. Fraternally, Mr. Coffey is a member of Temple Lodge No. 227, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was a charter member of Amazon Lodge No. 672, Knights of Pythias, but is now a member of Confidence Lodge at Washington C. H. Religiously, Mr. Coffey is a member of the Methodist Protestant church and Mrs. Coffey is affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal church.
On the 20th day of February, 1890, Mr. Coffey was married to Ada L. Clark, who was born in Washington C. H., the daughter of John S. and Catherine (Adams) Clark. Her parents were both born in Ohio, the father in Fayette and tlie mother in Highland county, and they are now residing in Buena Vista. They are the parents of four children, Harry, Ada L., Fred R. and Zilpha. To Mr. and Mrs. Coffey have been born two children, Lois and Robert.
Mr. Coftey is still in the prime of life and has before him many active and useful years. As before stated, he still owns the old home farm, to which he added twenty acres, making a total of one hundred and one and a half acres, and also owns an attractive and comfortable residence in Washington C. H. He takes a deep and abiding interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community and gives his support to all worthy movements for the advancement of his fellow citizens. Prompt and discreet in the discharge of his official duties, affable and courteous to all who have business with him, and a man of inflexible integrity, he is justly deserving of representation in the annals of his county.
From History of Fayette County Ohio - Her People, Industries and Institutions by Frank M. Allen (1914, R. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.)