JOHN C. COE, a retired farmer in Rochester township, was born in Loudon county, Virginia, January 5, 1825; son of Horatio and Catharine (Grubb) Coe, who were natives of Virginia, and farmers by occupation. The father, Horatio, died July 24, 1841, in Virginia, and the mother in September of 1836, in the same State.
The subject of this sketch received a common school education in Virginia, and was raised a farmer in Loudon county, Virginia. In the spring of 1842, he came to Sangamon county, when but seventeen years of age, and worked as a farm hand near Mechanicsburg one year, and in the spring of 1843, came to Rochester and worked by the day and month till the spring of 1849, when, in company with Thomas Rucker, Abraham Clark and Henry Sims, he started for the gold regions of California, by the overland route, with ox teams, taking a large quantity of provisions, and was six months on the way, arriving at their destination September 1.
For a short time they engaged in mining, after which Mr. Coe engaged in teaming from Sacramento to the mines north and east, until 1851, when he returned to his home in Rochester. Abraham Clark died in California, and the others came back to Illinois. Mr. Coe thinks he was well paid for the trip. he was married August 11, 1853, to Charity Grubb, who was born in Loudon county, Virginia, October 1, 1820, the daughter of Richard and Charity (Morrison) Grubb, both of whom have died.
Mr. Coe has had two sons, Richard Horatio, born February 21, 1855, and now resides on his father's farm; and Theodore Curtis Lincoln, born July 13, 1859, and died June 14, 1870. Mr. Coe now owns six hundred acres of land in the township, which he deems worth $75 per acre, and also one-third of two hundred and forty-eight acres in the State of Missouri. He and his wife are members of the M. E. Church at Rochester, and politically he is a Republican.