That life is the most useful and desirable which results in the greatest good to the greatest number and although all do not reach the heights to which they aspire, yet in some measure each can win success and make life a blessing to his fellow men. It is not necessary for one to occupy numerous public positions to do so. In the humliler walks of life there remains much good to be accomplished and many opportunities for the exercise of talent and influence that will in some way touch the lives of those with whom we come in contact and make them better and brighter. In the list of Ohio's successful and useful citizens, the late Lewis Clark Coft'man, of Washington C. H., Ohio, long occupied a prominent place. In his record there is much that is commendable and liis career forcibly illustrates what a life of energy can accomplish, when plans are wisely laid and actions are governed by right principles, noble aims and high ideals. His career was complete and rounded in its beautiful simplicity. He did his full duty in all relations of life and he died beloved by those dear to him and respected and esteemed by his fellow citizens, in offering this interesting history of his career it is believed that it will serve as an incentive to the youths whose careers are yet matters for the future to determine.

Lewis Clark Coffman, the son of Nathan and Sarah (Edwards) Coftman, was born in Fayette county, Ohio. January 25, 1840, and died in Washington C. H., Januarv 2, I902. His parents were both born in Ohio and spent all of their lives in this county, where they reared a family of eight children to maturity: William, who died of a fever contracted in the Civil War; Lewis C, whose history is here presented; Charlotte, the deceased wife of John Pritty ; Mack, deceased ; Benjamin, deceased ; Mary Belle, the wife of Thomas Parrett ; Hester, the wife of Franklin Willard. and Jeannette, the wife of William Marchent. of Octa, Ohio. The latter two children were twins. Nathan Coffman was a farmer and trader and an early settler in Fayette county, where he lived in Wayne township. He owned a large farm and was an influential man in his community. He and his wile bolh died late in life.

Lewis C. Coffnian, reared in Fayette county as a farmer s boy, attended the district schools and later attended the Wesleyan University at Delaware. Ohio. After completing his college conrse. he tanght school for a few years and then began farming in Concord township. His father gave him a small farm, to which he later added one hundred acres and after farming this for a few years, disposed of it and bought four hundred acres on which he lived for a few years. Later he became interested in the pork packing business in Washington C. H., although he still retained his farm and gave it his personal supervision. Some years after engaging in the pork packing business, he became interested in the lumber business and during his latter years gave most of his attention to the latter. His business life was honorable and upright and he always managed his affairs so as to win the approval of all those with whom he had financial transactions.

Mr. Coffman was married April 4, 1861. to Alsina Rodgers, the daughter of Jackson and Nancy (Jones) Rodgers. To this union ten children were born, five of whom are still living, Almira Belle, Nathan J., Harvey Grant. Alberta and Elwert, the latter two being twins; Lewis C. and four others died in infancy. Almira Belle became the wife of Elias Newton Harvout, who died in 1908. Mr. Harvout and wife had one daughter, Lelia C. Nathan J. is in the lumber business in Washington C. H. He married Maude Harlow and has two children, Harlow and Geraldine. Harvey Grant is one of the firm of H. G. Coffman & Company, lumber dealers in Washington C. H. Alberta is bookkeeper in her brother's oftice. Elwert is single and working the planing mill of his brother. Lewis C. is a member of the firm of H. G. Coffman & Company. He married Mable Free and has one child living, Martha Jane.

Mr. Coffman was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, while his wife was a member of the Baptist church. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons and had attained to all of the degrees up to and including the Knight Templar degree. Politically, he was a Republican, but had never taken an active part in political matters.

The widow of Mr. Coffman is still living in Washington C. H. She was born in Wayne township, Fayette county, Ohio, on December 15, 1839. Her father was born and reared in Ohio and her mother was born in Vermont. They were early pioneers in Fayette county. The paternal grandparents of Mrs. Coffman were Benjamin and — (Jackson) Rodgers, natives of Virginia and early settlers in Fayette county. The maternal grndparents of Mrs. Coffman were Amos and Nancy Jones, natives of Vermont. Mr. Jones and his wife reared a family of four children. Nancy, Priscilla, Harvey and David.

Mr. Coffman possessed high and varied qualities of mind and heart and had a strong individuality and withal a gentle nature, about which were clustered the fondest memories of those dear to him. His was, indeed, a union of admirable qualities and he never ceased, even through the phvsical ills that afflicted him, to manifest the dignity, the courage, the grace and the bearing that came from the heart of a gentleman. He was a supporter of all measures looking toward the dexelopment of his home city and was one of the foremost workers for pushing forward all public spirited measures.

 

From History of Fayette County Ohio - Her People, Industries and Institutions by Frank M. Allen (1914, R. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.)


 

L. C. Coffman, lumber dealer, son of Nathan and Sarah CofFman. Born in this county, January 25, 1840. His parents were natives of this state. They had a family of eight children.

Our subject was married April 4, 1861, to Miss Alsina, daughter of Jackson and Nancy Rodgen, who lived near Good Hope, this county. Mr. Cotfman has a family of six children : Elmira B., Nathen J., Grant, Elwert, Alberta and Lewis C. He be longs to lodge ISTo. 107, F. A. M. He received his education in Delaware, Ohio, and Washington. He was reared in this county, and w^hen nineteen years of age taught school. At the end of two years he went on his farm and remained there some ten or twelve years, then came to Washington to engage in the pork business. After being in that business for three years he went into the lumber business, in Avhich he still continues successfully. Politically he is a Republican.

 

From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County