H. S. Coon

H. S. COON. One of the necessary and beneficent institutions of Cherokee County is the farm maintained for the unfortunate poor of the county, for the past five years efficiently conducted by Superintendent H. S. Coon. It contains 240 acres and is situated in Crawford township, comprising the southeast quarter of section 8, and the west half of the southwest quarter of section 9, township 33, range 24. This farm was started with five inmates, October 1, 1882, Mr. Pattyson being its first superintendent. The following gentlemen have served as superintendents up to this date: Mr. Pattyson, 1882-83; M. I. Davis, 1883-84; Jacob Lemly, 1884-90; James Taylor, 1890-92; James Marshall, 1892-93 M. L. Medsker, 1893-95; and I. D. Van Orsdall, 1895-99. On September 30, 1899, Mr. Coon succeeded to the office. The number of inmates has varied from 22 to 35, there being at present about 22. The farm has always been largely self-supporting, and in 1903 showed a balance on the credit side. It is well stocked, having at present 52 head of cattle. 67 head of hogs, two horses; and about 75 acres of corn, 30 acres of oats, and a large and well kept garden.

Superintendent H. S. Coon is a native of Carroll County, Missouri, where he was born in 1862, and is a son of Florello and Anna (Bennett) Coon. The father was a New York State man, who removed to Nebraska in the late "fifties" where he married and thence moved to Carroll County, Missouri. In 1883 he came to Kansas, locating at Weir City, where he made his home until the year before his death, which occurred in 1891, at the age of 69 years. He was a carpenter, and also folloved farming. The mother was a Virginian, by birth, who came when a child to the Mississippi Valley, and finally to Nebraska, where she married. She died in 1900 at the age of 70 years. These parents reared six children to maturity. A daughter, Mrs. McClure, lives in Cherokee County.

Mr. Coon remained at home in Carroll County until he had reached the age of 20 years, when he came to Cherokee County. Since that time he has divided his labors between mining and farming. He worked at Weir City when there was but one shaft at that point. He followed mining eight or 10 years.

At Weir City, Mr. Coon married Alice Lydick, a daughter of Isaac Lydick. She was born in Illinois, and came to Cherokee County in 1876. Isaac Lydick was a farmer in Cherokee township, and died in Nebraska in 1903, at the age of 81 years. His widow now resides in Nebraska. To Mr. and Mrs. Coon have been born the following children: Lyle, Clyde, Frella, Bertie, Nettie and Lois.

In the matter of politics, Mr. Coon has been a stanch Populist since the organization of that party. He has served in a number of the minor offices, such as trustee, justice of the peace and road overseer. He is a worthy member of several fraternal organizations, notably the Red Men, the A. O. U. W., and the A. H. T. A.

Mr. Coon is what men call a self made man. Coming to the county a poor boy, he has by persistent effort and great industry forged to the front. In the position which he occupies at present, he is strict and careful concerning the property under his charge, while at the same time he is kindness itself to the unfortunates whose lot it is to need the fostering care of the county. Cherokee County is fortunate in the possession of such an officer.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 3/10/1997.


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