History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 825
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lairs of this
title town of
's of its exits
le past his
He is one
the lives of most
of the-si :ssful' o siness'men of this place,
hasrery tie in it of the romantic or unusual.
IEt antic careers are not, as a rule,
successful ones from a business standpoint.
Born in llarin county, North Carolina,
in 1847, he was brought by his parents, in
1859, to this State and for two years resided
on a farm, where his tnime was divided between
his duties as a farm hand and his attendance
at the then well known school of
Soule University, at Chapel Hill. He was
in this school at the time of the breaking out
of the Civil war, and, with the ardor of youth,
ran away from the institution and entered
the Confederate army, enlisting in Border's
regiment, composed of cadets and youths
like himself, whose chief recommendation as
soldiers was their ardor for the cause which
they had espoused, and the fact that Texas
having a vast stretch of Gulf coast to be defended,
was willing to accept boy soldiers for
this service. From the date of his enlistment
until the close of hostilities between the two
sections, young Coffield carried a musket,
discharging his duties acceptably in field and
camp, and having had the good fortune to
escpe wounds and imprisonment, laid down
his armns at the general armistice,a Lappy in
the thought that he lhadl borne himself as became
a true Southern boy.
He returned home and went to work for
wages driving cattle and doing whatever else
of honest labor that came to hand, being
variously engaged for ten years after the
close of the war, when, in Angust, 1875., he
took up his residence in Bockdale. H1is first
employment there was as bookkeeper in a drug
store, which occupation he followed fbor three
or four years. He then formed a partnership
with Htugh L. Witcher under the firm name
of Witcher & Coffield, and engaged in business
for himself. There are several mercantile
establishments in Rockdale that seem to
an outside person marvels of growth when
told of their history, and their enterprise
noted is not the least of this number. From
a small line-of common hardware and cheap
farming implements with which it began fifteen
years ago, it has come to embrace a stock
carrying all lines of hardware, implements,
vehicles of one kind and another, harness and
saddles, furniture and so on, representing an
annual business of $90,000.
AiMr. Coffield has given this business close
attention since it was started and has helped
to build it up to what it is. In Jannary,
1890, associated with other gentlemen of
Rockdale, he organized the First National
Bank of that place, and he was elected president,
which position he has since held. He
is also a stockholder in the Rockdale Improvement
Company, owners and operators of
the water works and electric-light plant; in
the Cotton Oil Mill, the Cotton Platform
Company, the coal mines and other representative
enterprises, standing ready at all
times to contribute of his means to anything
looking to the development of his town and
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/882/?q=edwin%20antony: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .