JOHN R. COFFROTH, one of the ablest lawyers of Indiana, and since 1870 a resident of Lafayette, was born in Greencastle, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, August 11, 1828. His father, WILLIAM COFFROTH, was a native of Maryland, and of German descent, and his mother, ELIZABETH (WOOD) COFFROTH, was of English extraction, her ancestors for several generations being natives of Virginia.
        MR. COFFROTH received a good education, and when very young he began a study of law in the office of Hon. JAMES X. McLANAHAN, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. November 2, 1848, before he had reached his majority, he was admitted to the bar, and in May of the year following he removed to what was then the far West, settling in the village of Huntington, Indiana, where he resided until 1870, when he removed to Lafayette. He at once entered upon the practice of law, which he has ever since pursued with eminent success. He was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the State of Indiana and alos the United States Circuit Court in November, 1851, and in the Supreme Court of the United States in March, 1866. In his political principles he has ever been a Democrat, advocating his views during the various campaigns with an ability seldom equaled, serving on party committees, in nominating conventions, etc. Being very diffident, he has generally avoided office-holding, but several times he has represented his district in the Legislature. In 1866 he was the candidate for the office of attorney general; in 1868, 1872 and 1880, the candidate for Democratic Elector from the State at large, and in 1886 was the candidate for Supreme Judge of the State. In 1878 he was the choice of his party for member of Congress, but he declined to become a candidate on account of his private business. He is the favorite of his party for any office. In educational matters he takes a great interest; was a trustee of Purdue University for several years, a part of the time being president of the board; was also president of the Lafayette city school board for a number of years, and ex-officio president of the public library. MR. COFFROTH is noted for his industry, as well as skill, for perseverance, as well as enterprise, and to these attributes is due most of his success in life. His kindly manners and genial disposition make every one his friends.
        March 24, 1864, is the date of his marriage to MISS SUSAN RANDOLPH, and the children born to this union are-WILLIAM R., born January 26, 1865, at present a student at law, and BESSIE, born September 1, 1866.

Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, pg. 418
Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1888

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