Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Charles H. Coffey, Jr., editor and publisher of the Gonzales Tribune and postmaster at Gonzales is one of the best known young men in Monterey county. He is a native son of California and has been a resident of this state all his life with the exception of a period of about three years during which he was engaged in newspaper work in Oregon. Mr. Coffey was born in the city of Oakland, October 18, 1891, and is a son of Charles H. and Sarah Elizabeth (Harris) Coffey. The mother is also a native of this state, born at San Jose and the daughter of one of the pioneers of that place.

Charles H. Coffey, Sr., former editor of the Gonzales Tribune and former postmaster of Gonzales, who is now living retired in the city of San Jose, is a native of the state of Illinois, but has been a resident of California since the days of his boyhood, when the family located at San Jose, where he grew to manhood and where he was married. He early took an interest in newspaper work, becoming a practical man; in that exacting calling, and in 1896, after some years devoted to that occupation at Oakland, bought the Tribune at Gonzales and moved with his family to the latter place, where he resided until his retirement and removal to San Jose, where he is now living, honored and respected by the whole countryside. For more than twenty years Mr. Coffey continued the publication of the Tribune at Gonzales and for four years (1914-1919) served as postmaster of that village. He and his wife have three children, the immediate subject of this biographical narrative having a brother, Irwin Coffey, who is associated with him in the publication of the Tribune, and a sister, Iva, who married Charles Cooper and is now living at Yuma, Arizona.

Charles H. Coffey, Jr., was but five years of age when in 1896 his father bought the Gonzales Tribune and he literally "grew up" in the print shop, thus becoming thoroughly familiar with all the details of publication as related to establishments of that class and also became a thoroughly competent printer, for during school vacations he worked at the case in his father's newspaper office. He attended the high school at Salinas, from which he was graduated with the class of 1911, and after leaving school he started out as a journeyman printer and presently found himself engaged as foreman of the composing room of the Evening Herald at Klamath, Oregon. For three years Mr. Coffey remained at Klamath and then, in 1914, when his father was made postmaster at Gonzales, he returned to the old home town to give his attention to the publication of the Tribune and in 1916 his father admitted him to partnership in that) old established publication. Since his father's retirement in 1919 he has been managing the paper's affairs, which have in all ways been prospering. He also becanle- acting postmaster at Gonzales upon his father's retirement in 1919 and upon the expiration of the commission under which he thus was acting, in May, 1924, he was commissioned postmaster for a term of four years and is now postmaster as well as editor and publisher of the Tribune.

In 1922, at Gonzales, Charles H. Coffey, Jr., was united in marriage to Mrs. Alvira Hermo of that place, and she has since been serving as assistant in the conduct of the post office. Mr. and Mrs. Coffey have a pleasant home and take an interested and helpful part in the general social and cultural activities of the delightful village in which they live. Mr. Coffey was one of the organizers of the local Chamber of Commerce and has ever been a consistent and energetic town "booster," both with voice and pen advocating any movement which had as its motive the advancement of the best interests of the town. He is a member of the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is also affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, a member of the lodge of this latter order, No. 614, at Salinas.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.