|The subject of this sketch was born at Berlin, Rensselaer, NY May 8,
1823. His educational advantages were quite limited, yet through the efforts
of himself and parents he managed to acquire a pretty thorough english education.
At the age of 16 he commenced teaching school, which profession he followed mainly for the next 10 years, and during that time he attended the New York State Normal School, and fitted himself for a state certificate. He was for a time Superintendent of Schools in the town of Berlin.
In Feb. 1847, he was married to Eliza M. Greene, of his native town, and soon after, on account of his failing health, he quit teaching and moved to Adams, Jefferson, NY where he engaged in the nursery business, and finally in general farming.
In the spring of 1865 he emigrated to Farina, IL and settled on 80 acres of raw prairie a little more than a mile northeast of the village. Here he gave the most of his attention to fruit growing. Having studied surveying while at school he also found opportunities to exercise his acquirements in fixing the location of the numerous new roads that were annually being laid in this new country.
In 1867 he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of Supervisor of Laclede township, and in the 5 succeeding years he was elected to that office. During this period he manifested unusual ability in attending to the interests of his town and county and for two or more years he was elected chairman of the Board of Supervisors, although his party was in the minority.
In the fall of 1873 he was nominated by the Republicans for the office of county clerk and ran so far ahead of his ticket as to be elected by a small majority. His administration of that office was quite satisfactory to the people. He introduced order where chaos had existed, placing the office in a creditable condition, which has been well maintained by his successor. During his clerkship Mr. Coon drafted the form of a blank book for the Probate Record which was adopted by the well-known publishing house of Culver Page & Hoyne, who paid him a royalty on it's sale for several years. When his term of office expired Mr. Coon returned to his farm, which he soon made one of the most desirable homes in this vicinity, and there he spent the remainder of his days.
His first wife died in March 1873. During the 26 years of their happy life together she and Mr. Coon had 5 children, 4 of which survive. Mr. Coon married his second wife, Lizzie Zinn, Oct. 4, 1874. She and their only child, Clifford, Mrs. Helen Irish and Mr. R.G. Coon, were able and willing attendants to Mr. Coon in his last illness. He died March 17, 1885.
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