The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Coffey, James Madison (1873–1940)

Shawn Page Biography

James Madison Coffey, farmer, school teacher, and Texas legislator, was born on October 18, 1873, in Ettawa County, Alabama, to Aurelius Real Coffey and Grace Adeline Penelope (Hodges) Coffey. He came to Texas with his family by the age of three and settled in Pilot Point, Texas, in Denton County. From there, Coffey moved to the town of Denton, likely for the purpose of attending the Normal College (now University of North Texas) there. He became a teacher in the Spring Hill community near Aubrey, Texas, but spent most of his life as a farmer. On May 1, 1895, Coffey married Leslie Teresa Simpson. This union produced three children—Homer, Ruby, and Worth Coffey. In addition to teaching, Coffey farmed at least sixty-five acres and was actively engaged in growing wheat and corn as well as hog breeding. His brand, C-5, was likely well-known in his community. He was a charter member of the First Christian Church at Aubrey.

By early 1909 Coffey’s attention turned to politics, and he joined the Democratic party. In 1924 Coffey defeated J. N. Raynor for the District 49 seat, representing Denton County, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, where he served in the Thirty-ninth Texas Legislature. While there, Coffey served on the Agriculture Committee, the Claims and Accounts Committee, as well as the Penitentiaries Committee and Public Printing Committee. Perhaps due to the failing health of Coffey’s wife and her subsequent death in 1928, Coffey served only one term, and little can be found regarding his life after that point. Census records indicate his continued farming and mention no other occupation. According to Coffey’s obituary, on the morning of July 6, 1940, he was killed instantly when his car was struck by a train at a crossing just south of the Aubrey railroad station. Coffey was survived by his three children and was buried alongside his wife at the Belew Cemetery in Aubrey, Texas.

Collin County Genealogical Society. Collin Chronicles, Volume 34, Number 1 & 2 (2013/2014). “James Madison Coffey,” Find A Grave Memorial (, accessed May 3, 2018. Legislative Reference Library of Texas: James Madison Coffey (, accessed March 6, 2018.


  • Agriculture
  • Farmers
  • Education
  • Educators
  • General Education
  • Thirty-ninth Legislature (1925-1926)
  • House

Time Periods:

  • Texas in the 1920s

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Shawn Page, “Coffey, James Madison,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 25, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.