Biographical / Historical
Elijah Coffin was born in 1793 in Guilford County, N.C., the son of Bethuel and Hannah Dicks Coffin. He married Naomi Hiatt in 1820, and the family moved to Milton, Indiana, in 1824. Elijah worked as a banker, and the family moved for a short time to Cincinnati and then to Richmond, Indiana. Benjamin and Elizabeth Hiatt, Naomi's parents, also migrated to Indiana at the same time, together with Naomi's brother, Mordecai, and his family. Charles F. Coffin, the son of Elijah, was born in 1823 and married Rhoda Moorman Johnson in 1847; he was employed as a banker. Charles F. and Rhoda M. Coffin were active in the peace movement, prison reform, reform of the treatment of the insane, and the temperance movement. He succeeded his father as Clerk of Indiana Yearly Meeting from 1857 to 1884. Charles F. and Rhoda M. Coffin's youngest son, Percival Brooks Coffin, also a banker and active in Quaker and philanthropic causes, was born in 1865. He married Lucy V. Baxter and was one of the original members of the 57th Street Meeting in Chicago.