Coffin, Nathaniel

Born: 1781-10-26 Saco, Maine

Died: 1864-04-07 Knox County, Illinois

Flourished: Jacksonville, Illinois

Nathaniel Coffin was an attorney, court clerk, and college treasurer and agent. After a general education in his native Maine, Coffin matriculated to Dartmouth College, graduating with an AM in 1799. Returning to Maine, he read law with Prentice Mellen of Biddeford, Maine, earned admission to the Maine bar, and commenced the practice of law in Surry, Maine, in 1802. In 1804, Coffin moved to Biddeford, where he opened a law practice. In November 1804, he married Mary Porter, with whom he had nine children, two of whom died in infancy. Two years later, Coffin relocated to Bath, Maine. In 1813, Coffin moved his family to Wiscasset, Maine, where he became clerk of the Lincoln County courts. He resigned as court clerk in 1836, and he emigrated west to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he became treasurer and agent for Illinois College. In 1850, Coffin was living with his wife in Jacksonville and owned real property valued at $15,000. Coffin left Illinois College and Jacksonville in 1850, and he spent the remainder of his life living with his daughters in Georgetown, Massachusetts and Wataga, Illinois. He died in Wataga.

George T. Chapman, Sketches of the Alumni of Dartmouth College (Cambridge, MA: Riverside Press, 1867), 96; Joseph W. Porter, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Richard Porter, Who Settled at Weymouth, Mass., 1635 (Bangor, ME: Burr & Robinson, 1878), 286-88; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL, 199; Gravestone, West Batavia Cemetery, Batavia, IL.