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James Knox Polk Coon

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Joined: 20 Aug 2006
Posts: 435
Location: New York

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:47 pm    Post subject: James Knox Polk Coon Reply with quote

Commemorative Biographical Record/Lincoln Co. WI/ Prominent among the names of the representative businness men of Lincoln county, more especially of the city of Merrill, is found that of this gentleman, who for several years was a leader in the community, and became a martyr in his devotion to his country. He was born Sept 27, 1844, in West Edmeston, Otsego Co. NY, a son of Elijah H. and Prudence C. Coon, the former of whom was also a native of New York state, born of Scottish ancestry, and was a son of Jabez Coon. The latter was one of five brothers who came to
America settling in Otwego Co., on farms near Coonsville, in that county, which village was named after them. Jabez Coon married Matilda Holmes, by whom he had thirteen children, six reaching mature age, viz; Elijah H. the eldest in the family), Nelson, Daniel, Joshua, Jefferson, and Betsy, the
others dying when young. Jabez Coon was one of a hardy robust race, was a man of influence in his day, and was respected far and wide for his many good qualities, as was also his entire family. Mrs Prucence C. Coon, mother of John K. Polk Coon, was an adopted child (brought up by her uncle, Rev. Daniel Coon, who was a brother of her mother, Mrs Nancy Coon Bowler), and she was of Scotch and Irish descent. Rev Daniel Coon and two other of her uncles were noted minister of their day. Elijah H. and Prudence Coon were the parents of eight children, to wit: Fannie A., now the widow of Albert
Burdick, and living in Merrill; Elijah Morgan, also of Merrill; Cortland J., deceased; William M., deceased; James K. P. , deceased, subject of sketch; Julius J., of Toledo , Ohio; Mrs Emma Witter, of Wausau, WI,; and Mrs Alice Champagne Fleming of Merrill. The father was by vocation a manufacturer and dealer in furniture; was something of a politician, and held many prominent public offices. He was a man of sterling character, well educated, a leader of men, enjoying to the day of his death the esteem and respect of all classes. He died in Delaware Co. NY in 1853, his wife surviving him till August 16, 1887, when in the city of Merrill she too passed away. James K. Polk Coon, the subject proper of this memoir, received but a limited education at the common schools of his native county , remaining with his mother up to the time of his enlistment in the army, in the meantime working out among the neighboring farmers. He had a war record worthy of prominent mention, and suffered much while in the service of the Union. At the age of seventeen, October 14, 1861, he enlsited at Friendship , NY in Co. C, Eighty fifth NYVI, three years service, and was honorably discharged
April 24, 1865. He participated in the seige of Yorktown, VA, battles of Williamsburg and Fair Oaks, and in the seven days retreat. In the campaign along the railroad between Newbern and Goldsboro, NC his regiment was under the fire of the Confederates seven days; thence it proceeded to Plymouth , and was in the attack on Fort Gray, where, after three days hard
fighting, the entire command was taken prisoners, Mr Coon along with the rest. He was first confined in Andersonville and Charleston SC, whence , Oct 8, 1864 he was transferred to the stockade at Florence, where, on Jan 9, 1865, he and four others"made a break" for freedom. Their flight , however was soon discovered, and bloodhounds being put on their track, they were
captured seven days afterward at the Little Pee Dee river and taken to Wilmington, thence to Goldsboro, Raleigh, and Salisbury, amking short stops at each place till they came to the place last named.On February 26, 1865, the end of the struggle being now at hand , our subject and the rest of the prisoners were sent to Greensboro, NC where they were paroled and
allowed to make the best of their way to Wilmington NC at which point Union forces were stationed. He was sent to parole camp, released and arrived home the night of President Lincolns assassination. On Dec 5, 1865, Mr Coon was married to Miss Alicce Vilmina Withey, who was born in the
town of Wirt, in the western part of Allegany Co NY, March 9, 1849, daughter of George and Catherine (Moyer0 Withey. who were parents of seven children, viz: Mary, Caroline. Alvira, Alice V., Jennie, and Helen. The
father of these children was born in Otwego Co NY in 1807, and died in western Allegany Co NY, in Jan 1879; he was the son of Stephen and Lydia Withey, who had four children: Alva, Eliza, George, and Harriet. Stephen Withey was born about the year 1769, and lived to be 92 years of age. The mother of Mrs Alice V. Coon was born in Germany July 22, 1821, and died Apr 15, 1893, at Bolivar, Allegany Co. Ny; she was the daughter of Jacob and Mary Moyer, farming people, who had a family of eight children, named respectively: Caroline, Dorothy, Elizabeth, Mary, Jacob, John, Catherine and Louis, all born in Germany. The parents came with their family to America about the year 1833 on account of the fathers health, and decided to remain; but he did not long survive his arriaval in the New World. To Mr and Mrs Coon have been born two children: Mamie Genevieve born in Richburg, Allegany Co NY March 21, 1870, married to Herman Charles Wolff; and Georgia Prue, born in Merrill, WI, Sept 24, 1880, and entered Kemper Hall school at Kenosha, WI on her fifteenth birthday

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