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Obituary for Hiram A. Coats

Death of Hiram A Coats, taken from the Wellsville Daily Reporter November 12, 1884:
At a few minutes past four o’clock this morning, the waiting spirit of Captain Hiram A. Coats winged its flight peacefully to the unknown realms of the hereafter.
For weeks he had been near to death, a victim of consumption.  Day by day loving ones at his bedside watched the oil burning lower and lower in the lamp of his life, till at last a mere gasp caused it to flicker and go it, and one of our warmest hearted, noblest and most earnest citizens had passé don beyond to swell the ranks of the silent majority.  There are few among us who could be more missed, an none whose death would be more deeply mourned.  Invalid though he has been for several years, he still possessed and exercised to the last the same pluck and push that were prominent characteristics of his whole life.  Frank by nature, just by impulse, and generous to a fault, he was marked as a man void of deception and peculiarly attached to his friends.   His appreciation was stronger than his prejudices, and no man ever doubted his earnestness or sincerity.  When such men die, whatever their minor faults, they are mourned in no sense of affection.
Hiram A Coats was born in the town of Alfred, Allegany Co., NY June 4th 1836, and removed to Wellsville with his parents two years later, or in 1838.  With brief exception he has resided here continuously since that date.  Although attending school for some time at Alfred, he completed his studies and was graduated at the academy in Rushford, completing his education course with the close of the years 1860.  Early in 1861, Capt. Coats returned to Wellsville and commenced the study of the law with Hon. W. F. Jones.  But the summons of a war threatened. Union defenders found a ready response in the subject of this sketch.
Having first aided in the organization of other companies and regiments, in September 1861, he enlisted for service in the 85th NY Regiment, and went to the front a Lieutenant of Co. H.   Upon purely his merit as an officer, he was soon promoted to be Captain of Company G. and in further recognition of his military capacity, he was afterwards detailed upon the staff of Gen. Wessles.  While serving in such capacity, and during an engagement early in 1864, Captain Coats was wounded and taken prisoner, and was held as such for about nine months.  He was first confined in Libby Prison at Richmond, and was afterwards removed to Georgia and South Carolina.  The city of Charleston was shelled during his confinement there, and he often related the incident of a Union shell dropping into their very midst one day while eating the noonday meal.  It proved to be  a “friendly” shell in more senses than that it came from the friendly side, for it refused to burst, and the group of prisoners were saved.
Captain Coats was returned to his Wellsville home early in January 1865, since which time he has mainly resided here.  In October, 1871, he was married to Miss Mary Lathrop of Rushford, who died Jan 27, 1877 of consumption, and from whom was transmitted the dread disease which has now resulted in his death.  The deafness which afflicted the later years of his life was the result of his service in the war.
For many years past, Captain Coats has been a member of the firm of Coats Brothers, prominent manufacturers of this place.  Reverses by fire and steadily declining health were not sufficient to check the enterprise and steady courage which led on to business success, and to which he contributed with the intelligent force for which he was widely noted in a generous degree.  In all public enterprises and in every charity his heart and purse were freely extended.  An ardent Republican, he has received party recognition and his aggressiveness in political warfare has ever been among the prominent characteristics of his life.  He was also a prominent and devoted Mason, being a member of the Lodge and Chapter here, as well as the Commandery at Olean.
The funeral will be observed from the residence on Friday at 2 pm.
Wellsville Daily Reporter - November 12, 1884

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