E. Olive COFFMAN, who is conducting a photographic gallery in Henry and has attained superior skill in the line of her art, was born near Rutland, Marshall county. Her father, the Rev. J. P. COFFMAN, was formerly a teacher and Methodist Episcopal minister, but is now giving his attention to the occupation of farming. He is a native of Ohio and when six years of age was brought to Illinois by his father, John COFFMAN, the family thus being established in this part of the state at an early day. Having arrived at years of maturity J. P. COFFMAN was married to Miss Ellen P. GRAY, a native of Marshall county, and they now have nine children, six daughters and three sons: E. Olive; John D., who is living on a farm in Iowa; J. P., who is also engaged in farming in Iowa; Ethel and Elsie, both deceased; William G., living on the home farm; Teresa A., Mary S. and Grace E., all of whom are at home and are attending school.
E. Olive COFFMAN was a student in the district schools of Marshall county and continued her studies in the South Lacon school. After putting aside her text-books she carried the mail on the route between Sparland and La Prairie Center, but ambitious for further education she subsequently became a student in the Western Normal School at Bushnell, Illinois. Later she engaged in teaching for one year in Livingston county and on the 28th of July, 1902, she purchased a photographic gallery at Lacon, where she conducted business until the 1st of November, 1905, when she came to Henry. Here she established her gallery and has secured a liberal patronage because of her skill and ability in the line of her chosen art. She is a member of the National Photographic Association of America and she secured at St. Louis a photographer's diploma from F. W. Guerin. She is thoroughly informed concerning the latest improved methods known to the photographic art and has a splendidly equipped studio. Socially in Henry she is prominent and she belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.