Peter Coffman, Oldest Mason in State, Dead

Peter N. Coffman, who died in Burlingame, (KS) Thursday morning, January 16th, 1930, was born in Ohio, March 16th, 1846, being at the time of his death, eighty-three years and ten months of age.

Some time after the close of the Civil War, Mr. Coffman moved to the vicinity of York, Nebraska, where he was married to Miss Sarah Mercer. To this union three sons were born, John and Samuel who died in infancy, and William of Edmund, Oklahoma, who survives him. Some few years later he moved to Carbondale, Kansas, and while residing there he returned to Ohio in 1886 and was married to Miss Susan Bridenbaugh, whom he had known from school days. From Carbondale they moved to a farm three and a half miles northeast of Harveyville and lived there until 1909 when they sold the farm and moved to Burlingame. Mrs. Coffman died in 1921 and Mr. Coffman had lived alone in the home in the west part of Burlingame since that time.

Mr. Coffman entered the service of the Union, August 30th, 1864, in Company A, Fifth Ohio Infantry. He served under Sherman as color bearer for his regiment on the famous march to the sea. He was mustered into E. P. Sheldon Post No. 35 of the G. A. R. in Burlingame, March 1st, 1912. The records show only two surviving members of this Post.

Peter Coffman took his first degree in Masonary, December 21st, 1869 and on March 14th 1870 became a Master Mason. During most of his residence in Burlingame he held the office of Tyler of Corinthian Lodge No. 79, and at the time of his death he was the oldest Master Mason in the Kansas jurisdiction. He was also a member of Temple Chapter, No. 26, Royal Arch Masons and of the Order of Eastern Star and for several years he had held the office of sentinel in each of these organizations.

For several years before his eyesight failed him, Mr. Coffman read the bible through each year. His love of flowers, his love of the Bible, his war record and his Masonic record were the phases of his life that he viewed with great pride. He is survived by one son William Coffman, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at two o'clock Sunday in the Methodist church conducted by Rev. C. P. Broadfoot, followed by Masonic service and G. A. R. serviced rendered by comrade Jesse Jennings. At the grave W. J. Chetfield sounded taps.

[NB. This clipping was in possession of Edythe Coffey who was a great-great niece of the above-mentioned Susan Briedenbaugh. Per Susan's death record, she is buried in the Burlingame City Cemetery. The name of the newspaper for this clipping is not shown. It should also be noted Peter's middle initial has been shown as 'N' and 'H' in different documents.]

Contributed by: Shirley Houk

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