DAVID W. COFFIN
Around the horn- To San Francisco, 1850
SURNAMES: WHITTEN, COFFIN, HALL
resides on the Coffin road, in the Jefferson District, about three and a half miles northwest of Santa Clara, where he owns sixty-five acres of an original tract of 160 acres, which he secured under a government patent. These lands are desirably located and are highly productive, being chiefly used as a hay and grain ranch, with ten acres reserved for strawberries of the Longworth and Sharpless varieties. Such stock is raised as is needed for carrying on the farm operations. All the water required is furnished by two artesian wells, one of which is worthy of special mention, being 508 feet in depth and sending a volume of water three inches above a seven-inch pipe.
The subject of our sketch was born December 14, 1814, in Washington County, Maine. His parents, Richard and Hannah (Whitten) Coffin, were natives and residents of Maine. The time before he reached his fifteenth year was spent in attending school, and in farm duties. At that time he was sent. into the woods to work, and from that time until 1849 he was engaged in various occupations, among them shipbuilding and lumbering. In the last-named year, excited by the wonderful tales of easily acquired wealth in the El Dorado of the West, he determined to visit that country. His way of reaching it was somewhat out of the common run, as, with thirty-two other young and enterprising men, he formed a partnership to furnish and fit out a sailing vessel. They purchased the bark Belgrade, Captain Horatio Plummer, of Addison, commanding, and loaded it with the material required for the complete construction of a river steamer, including all the necessary machinery, in addition to lumber, stores, etc. The party sailed from Cherryfield, Maine, in November, 1849, on their voyage round Cape Horn to California. A long and tedious passage of six months followed, devoid of accident and incident, with the exception of the very sad one of the death of three of the members of the party, Foster Jacobs, Hiram Tabbotts, and a Mr. Cates, all natives of Maine. Arriving in San Francisco in May, 1850, the vessel was unloaded, and the construction of the steamer pushed to completion. The steamer proving a complete success, it found ready sale, after which the disposal of all the other property was effected, and the company disbanded. At this time Mr. Coffin was prostrated by a severe illness, caused by the exposures and severe labor of his long voyage. For six months he was unable to attend to any business, but upon his recovery he came to Santa Clara County, in 1851. Here he established himself upon the land which we have described, becoming one of the pioneer farmers of the county. Always a firm believer in the future prosperity of his county and State, he has been foremost in all plans for the improvement of his section. He is an intelligent citizen and a respected neighbor. He is a consistent member of the Advent Christian Church, in which he takes a deep interest. Politically he is an ardent Republican, but conservative and liberal in his views.
Mr. Coffin was united in marriage, October 6, 1849, with Miss Martha W. Hall, the eldest daughter of Simeon and Sarah (Coffin) Hall, natives and residents of Addison, Maine. Six children have blessed this union, two dying in infancy.
Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY BIOGRAPHY PROJECT