Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hannah Heston Coggins 1854-1902 Native Philadelphia Artist, Suicide Death NYC, 96 Fifth Avenue

New York Herald 7 January 1902

Philadelphia Inquirer 7 January 1902

Interred 1/9/1902
Aged 48

The funeral services over the remains of Miss Hannah H. Coggins, the artist, who committed suicide in New York, were held yesterday afternoon. Rev. F.A. Hinckley, pastor of the Spring Garden Unitarian Church, conducted the services. The funeral was private and the interment was made in Woodland Cemetery. Miss Coggins' remains were taken to the residence of Paschal H. Coggins, 5025 McKean avenue, Germantown, on Wednesday.

Date: Friday, January 10, 1902
Paper: Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Volume: 146 Issue: 10 Page: 10   (Source: Find A Grave Memorial # 156597425)

NY Herald 13 Oct 1900

Bromley NYC Map - 1879

June 22, 2016

Got no feedback on Hannah Heston Coggins here or on my FB page. I guess a lonely old maid artist killing herself is not a topic people want to deal with or tend to identify with.

I discovered her obit when doing research for 90 Fifth Ave. where Countess Anne Leary lived in the 1890s.  The 90 and 96 got confused in the newspaper archive I was researching on.

 The 96 Fifth Ave address had a lot of traction. It was at one time the biggest and most social mansion in NYC before the Civil War. After the Manhattan Club phase, it was just rented out as studios in a less than fashionable part of Fifth Ave as that social center kept moving uptown until all the big gilded age mansions got built around the beginning of (50th Street to 59th Street) and further up Fifth Ave. on Central Park, the so-called “upper east side”. That whole mixed block of houses between 14th and 15th street got torn down around 1910 to build 10 story fancy fronted, Terra cotta covered, loft buildings suitable for the printing industry, small issue magazines and fancy office space.

Even if my interest in genealogy is not great, my interest in a lot of history must rely on genealogy to piece together some of the facts of lives past. People who die without being married or die without children or outlive their children don’t leave behind amateur family genealogists keeping track of siblings, cousins and their descendants.  No “green leaves” on those advertised on TV genealogy subscription things.

It is helpful if other genealogists have done of lot of work before you. Pulling together the life of the little orphan girl Hannah H. Coggins and some of the items mentioned in the news articles make some sense. The fact mentioned that Hannah H Coggins was once wealthy. She came from the family of a businessman and that is probably the source of that fact. That fact that her father was an engraver leads to a little girl’s interest in her father’s trade. 

The crux of probable sadness in her life is the death of her mother in 1858 when she is about four and her father running off to war around age 40 as a private to die at Antietam. Interesting fact to me was that he was in the 28th Pennsylvania Volunteers Company P.

My own Great Grandfather was a private in the 28th Pa. Company A. My g-grandfather made a splash in that battle in a daring feat of wrestling a Confederate flag bearer for his Confederate flag and getting it in the middle of the battle, a battle that Edward H. Coggins was wounded and died as a result of. My great grandfather a 19 year old Private - Immigrant. BTW (Fuckface Donald). 

Other records of a military nature has his wounding, Edward Coggins, on the 17th of September and his death on the 21st. The Philadelphia County Death Certificate is listing the DOD as October 6, 1862. I think the date of over two weeks difference from the military records DOD is no doubt bureaucracy demanding a death cert in order to bury a body in a box from the Virginia battleground.  

I am impressed how fast a coffin gets shipped, no doubt via train, north in the middle of a war.  Seeing the Death Certificate, before seeing a book about the genealogy of a John Kirk and his descendants’, has Edward listed as single, which I thought as a mistake, but on further research on Find a Grave, I found his wife had preceded him in death, so in fact he was single.

In any case, Hannah was on her own, an orphan, being probably brought up by relatives after the death of her mother and then her father, she sought out a life of art and in the end she was alone, an anonymous person in NYC who left Philly to seek more opportunities there than her native provincial town could provide her. “The endless city never sleeps; it just goes on and on…”

Biography Library Company of Philadelphia

Genealogy of John Kirk Born 1660 - Intelligencer Press Doylestown Pa. 1912-13, Page 199



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