IAGenWeb Bremer County

Coburn Family Bible Records

Donated by Leonard Granger

This Bible originally belonged to Lucy Jane (Thompson) Coburn, wife of Edgar Coburn. It is a large, 12-pound Bible printed in 1834 by the American Bible Society, New York. The Thompson family moved from Wisconsin to Bremer County and then in 1926 to Waterloo in neighboring Black Hawk County. Over the years they kept records of births, marriages, deaths, obituaries, and stories in the Bible.

Bremer County surnames include Thompson, Coburn, Fritz, Temple, Barber and Woodring.

  The First Generation

Seth THOMPSON was born Feb 28, 1819 in Brimfield, Portage County, Ohio and died March 7, 1894 in Waverly. He married Sarah Ann BARKER in Park County, Indiana on February 9, 1844. Sarah Ann was born March 8, 1821 in Jamestown, New York and died March 13, 1904 in Waverly.

They arrived in Waverly, Iowa in 1866.
Seth Thompson obituary # 1 Seth Thompson Obituary   Seth Thompson obituary # 2 Seth Thompson Obituary #2   Sarah (Barker) Thompson obituary Sarah A. (Barker) Thompson Obituary

The Second Generation

Seth and Sarah Ann had twelve children.

One was Adelia THOMPSON who became Mrs W. F. FRITZ. He died in Waverly January 14, 1932.

In 1930 Adelia described for the newspaper her memories of the trip to Iowa and early Waverly. That same year she and her husband celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on October 24th.

Adelia's newspaper article Adelia's NewspaperArticle   Wedding Anniversary Wedding Anniversary   W. F. Fritz Obituary #1 W. F. Fritz Obituary  
W. F. Fritz Obituary #2 W. F. Fritz Obituary   W. F. Fritz Obituary #3 W. F. Fritz Obituary        

Another of Seth and Sarah Ann's children was the original owner of the Bible, Lucy Jane THOMPSON, who married Edgar Watson COBURN on January 25, 1873 in Waverly. Edgar died in 1921. Lucy died September 4, 1940.

Edgar W. Coburn Obituary #1 Edgar W. Coburn Obituary   Edgar W. Coburn Obituary #2 Edgar W. Coburn Obituary   Lucy Thompson Coburn Obituary Lucy Coburn Obituary

The Third Generation

Christina Mabel FRITZ, the daughter of W. F. FRITZ and Adelia THOMPSON, was born in Waverly on December 12, 1876 and died March 27, 1927. She married a partner in her father's store, C. R. TEMPLE on April 4, 1900. 
Christina Fritz Temple obituary # 1   Christina Fritz Temple obituary # 2


Other Items from the Bible

Mary Louise BARBER Obituary
Born: January 19, 1862 in White Creek, Wisconsin
Died: April 25, 1940 in Waverly, Iowa
Burial in Harlington Cemetery in Waverly, Iowa
She was a teacher in Waverly schools
  COBURN Family Photo 4 Generations
Taken in 1940
Not sure who is in the photo
1873 Tax Document
Dated April 30, 1874
J T Coburn, Taxes in Bremer Co, Iowa for year 1873. Note early county poll tax was collected.


Isaac "Ike" WOODRING (died December 30,1926), skillful angler and sportsman of the 1880's and 1890's, won several state championships. He opened the first gunsmith's shop in this section of Iowa at Waverly. He married Rozlia COBURN (died December 10, 1937).
Rozlia Coburn Woodring Obituary   Ike Woodring Obituary #1   Ike Woodring Obituary #2  

  Poems that Noah B. BACON sent to Lucy Coburn Thompson on his birthdays.
Photo of Mr. Bacon   95th Birthday Poem   97th Birthday Poem   100th Birthday Poem

How Mr. Bacon and Mrs. Thompson were related

In 1855 Elijah Bacon married Sylvia Adelaide Barker in White Creek, Wisconsin. Seth Thompson married Sarah Barker on 9 Feb 1844 in Indiana and then moved on to White Creek, Wisconsin in 1845. Their young son drowned in White Creek and was buried on the property of William Barker, Sr, his grandfather.

This information comes from a copy of an old letter in the Bible on the family history of Seth Thompson. It goes on to say that the first store built in White Creek was built by Elijah and Jerry Bacon, sons of N. B. Bacon, the poet represented above..

The families kept moving west together and arrived in Waverly, Iowa in 1866. The earlier letter shows E F Bacon (Elijah in 1875 census Bremer Co).

Thompson and Bacon married Barker sisters. Thompson's daughter married a Coburn and my mother's father's sister married another Coburn. So the Coburn Bible, I think, may hold more secrets about how these families traveled across the country and all stayed together as neighbors in Bremer County, Iowa.

~ Leonard Granger