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Benjamin Orrin Coon, Page 334
BENJAMIN ORRIN COON, one of the oldest living settlers in the town of Plymouth, was born in Oswego County, N. Y., February 2, 1825, being a son of James and Susanna (Baker) Coon. The father was a native of Rensselaer County, of the same State, born in 1799, his mother being a Scotch lady. Our subject's mother was also a native of New York State, born in Warren County in a800. Her father, Peleg Baker, served through the Revolutionary War. Her parents emigrated from Rhode Island to New York.
James Coon and wife, Susanna, lived in the State of New York till 1846, when they joined their son, Benjamin Orrin, in Sheboygan County, Wis. There they purchased eighty acres of Government land, where the son now lives; not a tree had been cut on it or an improvement made. The next year he bought one hundred and twenty acres adjoining, also from the Government. Here the father and mother spent the rest of their days, the former dying May 23, 1879, at the advanced age of four-score years, and the mother December 23, 1882, at the age of eighty-two years. Their family consisted of five children, one son and four daughters. In his political affiliations, the father was a Whig in early life, and afterwards a Democrat, except during the war, when he espoused the principles of the Republican party.
The gentleman whose name heads this record is an only son, and the second in order of birth in his father's family. He was reared on a farm, and learned, as all farmer lads do, to do all kinds of work pertaining to that occupation. In May, 1846, he came to Wisconsin, and in November of that year arrived in Sheboygan County. As he had been sick some five months, he had no money. His first work was to make pine shingles, which he sold at $1.25 per thousand. Of those living that were here when he came, there are only three besides himself, namely: Hiram Bishop, Henry Gillman and Ira Bradford. Our subject still owns the farm consisting of two hundred acres, of which about one hundred and forty acres are cleared.
Mr. Coon was married in the town of Plymouth, June 1, 1851, to Philena R., daughter of Allen C. and Charlotte (Stinson) Grant, natives respectively of Waldo and Kennebec Counties, Me. They were married in Waldo County, and their daughter, Mrs. Coon, was born at Prospect in that county, January 15, 1830, and in 1848 came to Plymouth with her parents. Mrs. Coon's father farmed in the town of Plymouth until 1880, when he moved to Butternut, Ashland County, Wis., where he died in December, 1884, at the age of eighty-two years. The mother still lives there, having reached the advanced age of eighty-seven years. Their family comprised six children, four sons and two daughters, of whom one daughter and two sons survive. One son, Allen C., died in the army during the late war.
To Mr. and Mrs. Coon were born five children, of whom three are dead. Charlotte and Susanna died the same day, of that terrible disease, diphtheria, aged ten and eight years respectively. William M. died when thirteen years old. Phoebe C. became the wife of F. J. Isserstedt, who operates the old farm; they have five children: Frieda C., Belle M., Alma T., Orrin F. and Herbert A. Cora, the youngest in Mr. Coon's family, married Joel Lee, a farmer in Plymouth Township.
Mrs. Coon holds membership with the Methodist Episcopal Church. In political affairs, Mr. Coon is a Republican, though he cast his first vote for Gen. Cass. However, he has been a Republican since that party had existence.
Mr. Coon is quite fond of the gun, and many a deer has been brought down by his trusty rifle. Though well advanced in life, he has not outgrown the pleasures and pastimes of his youthful days and still delights in the chase. Mr. Coon has been a hard worker all his live, and through all his good wife has walked faithfully by his side. Together they have toiled, making what they have. Beginning poor in pioneer days, they have accumulated by patient industry, until they may now rest and enjoy the fruits of other years' labor, surrounded by children and grandchildren.
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