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  Magoffin County Historical Society 
"Preserving Our Past for the Future"

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This article, written by Todd Preston, president of the Magoffin County Historical Society, was taken from the
MARCH 26, 2015  issue of THE SALYERSVILLE INDEPENDENT newspaper.

The Salyersville Independent , a weekly newspaper. P. O. Box 29, Salyersville, KY 41465. Telephone (606) 349-2915.  Yearly subscription rates are $24.00 in Kentucky and $32.00 per year out of state.

We celebrated the first day of spring here at the historical society by sending the Spring issue of our quarterly Journals out to our members. We are pleased with the result and hope it will be enjoyable and informative to our readers. Some of the contributors of material and pictures to this issue are Patty Auxier, Jesse Buckwalter, Joan Salyer Arnett, Dorothy Wireman, Seldon Rowe, Sr., Suzanne Montgomery Antippas, Dan Castle, Lorrene Waddle, Connie A. Wireman, Pamela Bryan Thomas, Jack Sizemore, Elizabeth Holbrook Faust, Judy Wireman Salyer along with several others.

One of our visitors this week was Ruby Arnett Toy, the daughter of Roscoe Arnett and Dora Patrick. Along with her genealogy questions she brought with her some of her homemade candy which we all enjoyed (smile). We were able to help her fill in her ancestor charts with the help of our census records and the family books we have on our shelves, especially the Arnett books and the Civil War Legends in Blue and Grey books.

Roscoe was the son of Augustus Arnett and Lillie Cooper. Lillie Cooper was born in 1880, one of eight children born to Archibald Calloway Cooper and Sarah Back. Archibald, sometimes known as "A. C. Cooper" was born in the late 1840s in Breathitt Co. KY and died in Magoffin County 23 June 1930. His birthdate is variously given by descendants. The death certificate gives his birthdate as 25 May 1848 and his death date as 23 June 1930 at age 82 years and 1 month.

Archibald C. Cooper’s parentage is not known but a descendant, Mildred Martin of Wenatchee, WA who, along with the late David Risner, contributed much info on him for the Civil War book, gave one Thomas Cooper as his father. Thomas emigrated from Scotland in 1821.

Archibald Cooper married in 1873 Wolfe Co. KY to Providence Sarah Back, daughter of Isaac Back and Mary Ann "Polly" Bolling. A. C. Cooper joined as a private in Co. D, 5th KY Mtd. Inf. in the Confederate Army in September 1862. After his war service he became a minister and performed many marriages in our area. He was also a farmer and a schoolteacher. He and his wife were buried in the A. C. Cooper Cemetery at Fritz on Middle Fork, here in Magoffin County.

Lillie Cooper’s husband Augustus Arnett was the son of Perlina Arnett. Perlina was born in 1848, the daughter of William Arnett (1 Mar 1810-20 Sep 1900) and Jemima Ray (5 Dec 1825-28 Jul 1907). The family lived in the area of Magoffin County that was then Floyd County in 1850. William Arnett (b. 1809 d. 1900) was a son of Reuben Arnett and Susan Kilgore; his wife Jemima was a daughter of Jesse Ray and Sarah Owens.

Ruby’s maternal grandparents were Green Berry Patrick (22 Aug 1884-20 Jan 1968) and Nannie Barnett (23 May 1884-23 Jun 1981). Green Patrick was a son of Alexander Patrick (1856-1938) and Rebecca Higgins (1855-1925). Alexander Patrick was a son of Lewis Patrick (1816-1864) and Lucy Adams (1818-1875). Alexander’s wife Rebecca Higgins was a dau of John Higgins (1835-1912) and Phoebe Howard (1832-1918).

Nannie was a daughter of William Riley Barnett (b. 1855 d. 1934) and Julie Arnett (b. 1852). William R. Barnett was a son of William Barnett b. 1812 Russell Co. VA d. 1880 KY and Dicy Ray. William R.’s wife Julie was a daughter of Fetney Steve Arnett and first wife Levisa Kennard. Fetney Steve was a son of William Arnett and Nancy Adams.

This is a very interesting family to research and there is much yet to be done. We would enjoy hearing from descendants with stories and pictures of their ancestors. Please write to Magoffin County Historical Society, PO Box 222, Salyersville, KY 41464 or email magoffin@foothills.net

Plans are in the making to spruce up the cabins in the Pioneer Village a bit. We have a collection of pictures in the Civil War cabin of soldiers with a connection to Magoffin County who were Civil War soldiers. We were fortunate this week in finding a picture of Isaac Ferguson Coffee b. 16 Oct 1842 Morgan County, KY d. at age 88 years, 2 months, 18 days on 3 Jan 1931 in Morgan Co. KY. He was the son of Mason Coffee and Martha Ferguson.

We found 7-year old Isaac Coffee in the 1850 Morgan County census with his parents Mason W. Coffee age 39 and Martha age 37. By 1860 Isaac Coffee at age 17 was listed as a laborer in the home of his brother Richard M. Coffee age 22 and wife Rebecca age 21.

Isaac Coffee at age 19 enrolled as a soldier in the Civil War under Captain Powers at Licking Station in 1862 and attained the rank of Sergeant in Co. I and B in the 14th KY Infantry USA. In May of 1863 he was on scouting service in Magoffin County. He was wounded 29 May 1864 with abdominal flesh wound. He was hospitalized in Knoxville, TN. Isaac Coffee married first in 1870 Morgan Co. KY to Elizabeth Trimble.

The 1870 Magoffin census, Precinct 2, Salyersville has Isaac F. Coffee age 27 and wife Elizabeth age 22 listed. They are known to have had three children (1) Orlando Coffee b. 1871 m. Laura Wright; (2) Celia Coffee b. 1873 m. Henry Brown and (3) Alwilda Coffee b. 1874 m. Edward Hamilton. Apparently Elizabeth died before 1880 as his next marriage was 29 Feb 1880 in Magoffin County to Nancy C. Sexton.

Isaac and Nancy had these additional children: (4) Clarinda Coffee b. 1881 m. Lonzo Samuel DeWhite Phipps; (5) LynBoyd Coffee b. 1882 and (6) Mary E. Coffee b. 1884. LynBoyd Coffee’s death certificate gives his mother’s maiden name as Nancy Kennard so we believe she is the Nancy Coffee who married 1st in 1874 to Mason Kennard and Nancy may have also married a Sexton as she had a daughter Louisa F. Sexton.

Isaac Coffee is said to have married 2 or more times and had other children.

We have experienced much sadness as we learned of the passing of Goldie Wireman Shepherd (25 Nov 1926-18 Mar 2015) just as this article was being completed. Goldie and her daughters Carolyn Sue and Jewell were such enjoyable visitors here at the historical society. Goldie was always interested in our publishing efforts and her contributions can be found in many of our publications. We will miss our friend Goldie.

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