Barbara F. Coffman


Barbara Frances Coffman, the granddaughter of John S. Coffman, the subject of this biography, was born at Vineland, Ontario, and was graduated from the nearby Beamsville High School. She received in 1931 a B.A. at Goshen College, an institution which her grandfather, through Elkhart Institute, had an important part in founding. After a summer course in library science at McGill University, she served as assistant librarian at Goshen for several years. Through this library work in the historical library at Goshen she became interested in church history and got acquainted with research methods.

Miss Coffman studied journalism and wrote for newspapers a number of feature articles on historical subjects. She is a charter member of the Jordan Historical Museum of the Twenty, and has served as secretary to the Board of Trustees since its beginning in 1953. She is a director of the Ontario branch of the Pennsylvania-German Folklore Society, and president of the Niagara branch. She published articles in 'Canadian-German Folklore', a publication of the Ontario society.

The present work is not a piece of research, but rather a work of love for the author. Her deep appreciation for the great man she portrays is evident. But her close family connection has not made impossible the scholarly detachment which the writing of history requires.

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