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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



An identification with the labors of a mechanical engineer dating back to the early period of his youth and continuing with several interruptions but with increasing importance up to the present time, marks Mr. Coffin as one of those fortunate mortals who made no mistake in the choice of an occupation and who reaps the reward of long and arduous study in his intelligent mastery of technical problems in engineering. It was his fortunate experience to enjoy excellent educational advantages in the east. Travel and habits of close observation have broadened his sphere of knowledge, until now he is considered one of the well-informed men of the city. Nor is his information limited to the sphere of occupational activities. On the contrary, it is broad and touches upon subjects representing every range of thought, bearing also the stamp of the highest culture.

The early recollections of Mr. Coffin cluster around Albany, the capital city of New York and one of the beautiful residence towns of the state. There he was born in January of 1867 and there he became the recipient of careful and moderately thorough mental training. New York state is noted for the advanced position it has taken in educational development and he was able therefore to obtain not only high-school advantages, but also specialized learning. At the age of sixteen years he went to Syracuse, in the same state, and in that city he remained until 1892, meanwhile acquiring a thorough knowledge of mechanical engineering. When he left Syracuse it was to remove to the Pacific coast. Attracted by the charm of the Santa Clara valley, he chose a location there and established a home, whose presiding genius, his bride, had been Miss Carrie Nyce, of Lincoln, Neb. They were married in her home city in August of 1892 and are the parents of two children, Ruth and Prank, both of whom are being given the advantages so essential to any thorough preparation for the realities of life.

Five years of close attention to the fruit-growing industry in the Santa Clara valley brought their share of financial returns to Mr. Coffin, but lie found himself eager to return to his chosen task of engineering. Accordingly he disposed of his fruit ranch and removed to San Francisco, where he engaged in business activities along the line of his chosen calling. During 1907 he came to Sacramento to act as superintendent of the mechanical department of a California corporation. Two years later he was honored by election to the office of secretary, which position he now holds. People who are conversant with engineering affairs state that he ranks among the experts of the profession, while his possession of diversified talents is indicated by the fact that he successfully fills executive positions and directs the duties of the secretaryship with intelligent precision and accurate system. Political affairs interest him as they interest all loyal citizens and he favors any movement having for its object the permanent advancement of Sacramento. The Republican party receives his ballot in both general and local elections. Fraternally he holds membership with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and contributes to the maintenance of the local lodge. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011