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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Prof. Thomas Grover Coffee

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 65-66 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Although Prof. Thomas Grover Coffee, principal of the public schools of Dolgeville, Herkimer county, New York, has been a resident of that village for little more than six years, he has been so closely and prominently connected with the educational interests of the place that no history of the community would be complete without the record of his career. He was born in Ontario, Canada, on March 19, 1886, his parents being Alexander and Mary (Eddy) Coffee. Alexander Coffee was born at Eddystone, Canada, in 1854, and is now living in Rochester, New York, a retired lumberman, at the age of seventy years. He was the son of Thomas and Mattie (McBride) Coffee. Thomas Coffee was born in Belfast, Ireland, and came to America with his parents at the age of twelve years and settled in the province of Ontario, Canada. He was a farmer, and died in Ontario, Canada, at the age of eighty years. His wife, Mattie (McBride) Coffee, was born in Ontario, Canada, and died at Eddystone, Canada. Mary (Eddy) Coffee, mother of the subject of this sketch, was born at Limestone, New York, in 1856, and is now living in Rochester, New York, aged sixty-eight years. She was the daughter of Philo and Mary (Crook) Eddy. Philo Eddy was born in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and died in North Bloomfield, New York. He was a lumberman. His wife was born at Limestone, New York, and died there.

Thomas Grover Coffee was graduated from Honeoye Falls, New York, high school in the class of 1907, and from Syracuse University in the class of 1911, with the Ph. B. degree. He then taught history at Albion, New York, for one year, then became principal at Wyoming, New York, high school for two years, after which he was principal of the consolidated school at Greigsville, New York, for the period of one year. Professor Coffee then went to Cazenovia Seminary, Cazenovia, New York, where he was instructor in public speaking and English for three years, after which he came to Dolgeville, New York, in the fall of 1918 as principal of the Dolgeville public schools.

On December 23, 1911, at Fayetteville, New York, Mr. Coffee was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Tyler, who was born on February 3, 1885, at Sheffield, England, and came to Fayetteville, New York, with her parents, Isaac and Elizabeth (Walise) Tyler, when three years of age. Isaac Tyler was born in England and died in Fayetteville, New York, on February 6, 1901. His trade was that of a furniture maker. His wife was born in England and is now living in DeWitt, New York, aged seventy-three years. Mrs. Coffee is a member of the First Presbyterian church of Dolgeville, New York, and of Auskerada Chapter, No. 204, Order of the Eastern Star, of that village. Mr. and Mrs. Coffee have two children: Ethel Virginia, born at Wyoming, New York, on December 25, 1912; and Mary Jeanette, born at Dolgeville, New York, on October 9, 1918.

During the World war Professor Coffee was one of the Four-Minute speakers in the interests of the Liberty Loan drives. He is a member of the Dolgeville Lodge, No. 796, A. F. & A. M., and of the Ongawanga Club and the Exchange Club, both of Dolgeville. He is also a member of the fraternities Gamma Eta Gamma and Delta Sigma Rho of Syracuse University. His church associations are in the Presbyterian church of Dolgeville, in which he is an elder. In politics he is a democrat. Professor Coffee is keenly interested in the educational progress of the schools under his charge and has attained more than local distinction otherwise.

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