|Death: ||Apr. 30, 1879|
James Mercer Coggburn was born in Tenessee about 1834, the son of James and Jane Mercer Coggburn. The family came in covered wagon to Miller County, MO before 1850 and settled in Taney County after the Civil War. Coggburn registered for the draft while living in Miller County and it appears he served 48 days starting in May the year the war ended; most likely as part of the post war military government in Bates County (the Volunteer Missouri Militia) ordered into service prior to elections being organized in the fall of that year.
A farmer by trade, Coggburn died on April 30, 1879 as a Taney County Sheriff's Deputy pursuing horse thieves in the Bee Creek vicinity (another version of the story says his death occurred just over the State Line in Marion County, AR).
The story of Coggburn's death appears in the April 1, 1879 edition of the Springfield, MO Advertiser and he is listed on the Officer Down Memorial Page. Though no official record lists his burial in VanZandt Cemetery, it is the place where a number of his relatives, including his mother Jane, are interred, and likely a son, Andrew, who died a violent death the following decade during the tumultuous years of the Bank Kobbers.
"Just as we got to press we learn from M. Thomas Layton, circuit court of Taney County, that a bloody tragedy occuried in the county a day hense. A day hense a warrant issued by esquire of the city against the parties who stole Fletcher ______ horses a few weeks ago was in the hands of J. Coggburn and J. W. Dawson, Deputy Marshalls of Taney County. (Several lines illegible.) Surrounded the house where thieves W. H. Pearson, Lockheart, and two Cokers were concealed. A fight ensued resulting in the deaths of Jas. Coggburn and Wm. Bates. Lockheart and the two Cokers escaped. The sheriff is after them with a posse of very determined men."
Janice Looney, Andrew Coggburn (1866-1886), White River Valley Historical Quarterly [Volume 9 , Number 6] Winter 1987 - available for online viewing;
Springfield, MO Advertiser May 1, 1879;
Elmo Ingenthron & Mary Hartmann, Baldknobbers: Vigilantes on the Ozark Frontier;
Notes by Jami McClary
Jane Rebecca Mercer Coggburn (1814 - 1878)
Andrew J. Coggburn (1866 - 1886)*
Created by: Brad Melton
Record added: Jul 16, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 113925774