Okay, here we go...
In the late 1830's Gilbert Coffin moved to the Maumee River area near Sherwood, Ohio.He bought one hundred acres of land and built a small log cabin overlooking the river.On a neighboring farm, a widowed women named Elizabeth Platter lived with her two sons and one daughter.Gilbert and Elizabeth married on February 2, 1843.Together they had four children, Emily in 1846, Orlando in 1874, George in 1880, and John in 1852.The Coffin family was cozy in the log cabin by the river until Emily's death in 1873.Her death was followed by the death of her mother, Elizabeth, in 1874.Just a year later Gilbert, George, and John all died in January of 1875.Orlando was now the lone Coffin in Ohio.
In 1874, he married Minerva Musselman.They lived together in the log cabin until it burned in 1876.Orlando then constructed a frame house to shelter his family.In this small frame house, his four children--Minnie, George, Charles, and John--were born.Then in 1884, Orlando built a grand house on what is today is close to the corner of US 127 and Jerico Road, 2 miles South of Sherwood, Ohio.However, it was in this grand house that Orlando met his fate.One night in 1907, he lost his step when his kerosene lamp extinguished without warning.He fell down the servant's staircase, breaking his neck in the fall.The family tried to hold on to the farm, but because of the debts accumulated during the Great Depression, they lost one-third of the land.
Minnie Coffin, Orlando's only daughter, lived in Sherwood, Ohio, with her mother after Orlando's death.She never maried and died in 1938.John Coffin was married, but widowed in 1928.He attended the University of Toledo where he studied veterinary science.After graduating, he returned to Sherwood as a veterinarian, where he later died in 1944.Charles Coffin married Cora Henderson, and together they had a daughter Lois in 1905 and a son, Melvin, in 1911.Charles died in 1958.George Coffin was the teacher at the Coffin School until 1916, when he moved to Toledo.At the conclusion of the Great Depression, George moved back to Sherwood to live with John.After his death in 1958, the house was then passed on to his only surviving heirs, Lois and Melvin.The house was slowly slpiing out of the Coffin family, as it was being rented out to tenant farmers.
Melvin Coffin, son of Charles and co-heir to the Coffin land, married Helen Kutza and had two sons Richard and David.Melvin suffered from a fatal heart condition, which eventually led to his death in March 1968.His sister, Lois, studied to be a nurse, but after being diagnosed with bone tuberculosis, she became bedridden. After the discovery of a drup called Streptomycin, Lois was able to walk again.She then returned to her medical profession until her retirement in 1972.In 1983, she sold Orlando's house to Tom and Gloria Shininger.Lois died in 1984 in an automobile accident after a brief visit to Orlando's house, which was at that time being remodeled.
Richard, the older of Melvin's sons, in Port Clinton. He married Karen Nelson in 1962 and had two children, Steven and Kelly.David is in Wellington, Ohio.He married JoAnn Bolton and had two children, Jill and Christopher.
The Defiance County Coffin family is now buried in two area cemetries.In Colby Cemetery in Mark Township is where Gilbert, Elizabeth, John, Orlando, and George are buried.In the Sherwood Cemetery in Delaware Township is where Charles and Cora, Minerva, Minnie, George J., and John are buried.
Today, my parents, Tom and Gloria Shininger, own Orlando and Minerva Coffin's house.I am currently putting together information on the Coffin family, Orlando's house, the Coffin School, and the Coffin farm.I have visited the grave sites of the above listed Coffin family. I also have a few pictures on Orlando's house and a few of the family members.