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March 01, 2011


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Christine Blythe

As an avid amateur genealogist with family roots deep in American history at the birth of the nation in Pennsylvania, I have developed a deep love of old documents that reflect the life of those living through historical times of note - such as the civil war.

My children's (and husband's) family dates back to one David Coon by adoption. My husband's second great grandfather(and son of David Coon)by adoption of his grandmother was Elam Dennis Coon. David Coon served between 1862 and 1864 and was captured at the battle of Ream's Station. He was a prisoner between August and November of 1864, ultimately dying while imprisoned in the confederate prison Salisbury in North Carolina, until his death of illness November 2, 1864.

During his service and imprisonment, David wrote copious letters home to his family. The original letters were retained and transcribed in typewritten copy by David's son Dr. John William Coon in 1913. He typed enough copies for his surviving brothers and sisters. The original hand-written letters were held in 1985 (and may still be) by Mrs. E. D. Coon of Grand Forks, North Dakota. My father-in-law holds his family's original typed transcript. Although I have a good quality scanned copy I made from my father-in-law's typed transcript, he holds the originals.

I love reading these old documents. I can't help feeling as if I'm being transported back to that time.

Carl Johnson

Interestingly, and a little ironically, Westinghouse Sr.'s agricultural implements factory became part of Thomas Edison's General Electric factory, the Main Plant in Schenectady.

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