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Trenmor Coffin Papers

 Collection
Identifier: NC06
The collection contains correspondence, legal cases and papers connected with Coffin's political activity in Nevada (1892-1898) as a member of the Republican State Central committee and the Silver Ticket. The correspondence relates to cases in which Coffin or his legal firm participated to his business interests in irrigation enterprises, and to the personal affairs of Coffin and his family.

Dates

  • 1864-1927

Creator

Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Extent

7 Cubic Feet (7 boxes)

Abstract

Lawyer, businessman, and Nevada State Assemblyman, of Carson City, Nevada. Collection contains correspondence, legal cases, and papers connected with Coffin's political activity in Nevada (1892-1898) as a member of the Republican State Central Committee and supporter of the Free Silver ticket. The correspondence relates to cases in which Coffin or his legal firm participated, to his business interests in irrigation enterprises, and to the personal affairs of Coffin and his family.

Biographical Note

Trenmor Coffin was born in Hadley, Indiana on August 22, 1848 to Addison and Emily Hadley Coffin. He was raised on a farm in Indiana and was educated in public schools. He graduated from the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio. Soon after graduating from the University, he began his teaching career in Ohio, which he continued upon arrival his 1871 arrival in Nevada. It was in October of 1874 that he was admitted to the Nevada State Bar.

Over the years, Coffin held many important offices, beginning in 1876 when he was elected to the position of District Attorney for Ormsby (now Carson) County. Although he was a Republican for over 20 years, Coffin was an avid supporter of the Free Silver ticket, which he supported in 1896. He also held the position of Ormsby County treasurer for two terms; member of the State Legislature for two terms beginning in 1880; Speaker of the House for one of his two terms in the Legislature; and the U. S. District Attorney for Nevada during the administration of President Chester A. Arthur, 1881-1884. In 1889, Coffin was also appointed as a regent for the University of Nevada, and served through the following year.

On June 4, 1885, Coffin married 18 year old Marie Louise Benoit. A native of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, Marie was living in Berkley, California when she married Coffin. Together they had two children, Emily Lee Coffin Ross, born February 12, 1888, and Trenmor Coffin, Jr., born November 4, 1886 (he died in Reno on February 16, 1913).

As a businessman, Coffin held interest in many companies including the Inyo Land and Canal Company and the Reward Gold Mine. The Inyo Land and Canal Company was a large canal being constructed in Inyo County, California that irrigated 20,000 acres of land. The canal was 44 miles in length.

Trenmor Coffin, Sr. died in 1904.

[Much of the above information on Trenmor Coffin was taken from: Scrugham, James G. Nevada: A Narrative of the Conquest of a Frontier Land. Chicago: The American Historical Society, Inc., 1935.]

Arrangement

The Trenmor Coffin Papers are divided into the following series:

Series 1: Legal Cases and Correspondence

Series 2: Business Correspondence and Agreements

Series 3: Personal Correspondence

Series 4: Political Activity

Series 5: Miscellaneous

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Trenmor Coffin papers were donated to the Special Collections Department by Silas E. Ross, Jr. and Emily Ross Baxter, grandchildren of Mr. Coffin, in 1965.

Creator

Title
A Guide to the Papers of Trenmor Coffin
Status
completed
Author
Robert Armstrong
Date
1965
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Contact:
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5665
775-682-5724 (Fax)