Brief Sketch On The Life Of Elder Jacob Coon
Jacob Coons was born in Montgomery county, Ky., January 12th, 1800. His education was very limited, as was common to farmers' boys in these early days. He was baptized by Elder John Smith, in the fall of 1825. He told me he was the first person brother Smith ever baptized, upon a simple confession of faith, without relating a "Christian experience." He had, naturally, a large vein of religion running through his system, and he took part in the prayer meetings forthwith, and soon engaged in exhortation and preaching in the neighborhood.
In 1831, he and David Davis and Absalom Rice, all young preachers, came with their families, in the same group to Missouri, and settled in the same neighborhood, in Calloway county. Brother Coons, found himself surrounded by a large uncultivated field so far as our plea was concerned; and in the ardor of his first love for Christ, and his cause, he commenced his religious labors there. In a short time, by the aid of coadjutors, Davis and Rice, a church was constituted in Fulton, which was the first one in the county, I believe
Brother Coons remained there for 17 years, successfully preaching throughout the county, and beyond its borders; at the end of which time the cause had gotten a strong hold in all these parts. In 1848, he moved to Mexico, Audrain county, and preaching was the business of his life ever afterwards; a period of twenty-one years. He often visited churches at stated periods; far off and near, and when that was not the case, he was somewhere in the field in active service of the Master. Nothing but sickness or high waters, ever prevented him from meeting his appointments. No preacher that ever lived in that county, made such sacrifices or endured such hardships, in the discharge of his professional duties as brother Coons. None ever went through as much, and deep mud, snow and rain, as he. Besides he was subject to an infirmity of the body (Hernia) from early manhood, which would have caused almost any other man, to have succumbed, but he went bravely on, and was never heard to complain of it. That which, perhaps, contributed more to his usefulness, than any other element in his ministry, was his great zeal and fervency. In all his speeches those features were present, and prominent. He was a good recruiter, and his labors were abundantly blessed, as instruments in bringing souls to Christ. He never seemed so near to heaven, as in a successful meeting. Withal he was a fine singer, and loved to sing. His voice had not failed any at 69 years of age. He was a great student of his Bible. Long before his death, he made it a rule to read the Old Testament through once a year, and the New Testament once a month. He read little else than his Bible, and religious papers. In hospitality he was a model. He never was the man that turned off the stranger, but like Paul "received" and cheerfully "all that came in unto him." He died with the harness on. He had meeting at a private house on Lord's day, in his neighborhood, with one confession, and he attended to the baptism in the evening. Before night on the same day he was taken ill, and ere the sun arose next morning, was a corpse. His death occurred August 23d, 1869, in his 70th year.
—Early Missouri Preachers Vol. II, By T.P. Haley, (Original Title: Historical And Biographical Sketches Of The Early Churches And Pioneer Preachers Of The Christian Church In Missouri)
Chapter XXXIII, Elder Jacob Coons, c.1888 pages 514-516
Note: See the write-up on the interaction between Jacob's wife, Matilda Jane Howe and her father, Joseph P. Howe. There is an excerpt concerning Coons' conversion, and ensuing discussions between Matilda and her father that is recorded in John Augustus Williams' biography of John Smith.
To The Grave Of Jacob Coons
and Matilda Coons is buried in the Old Village Cemetery in the city of Mexico, Missouri.
The Cemetery is at the corner of Western and Whitley on the West side
and Olive and Whitley on the East side in Mexico, MO.
View Larger Map
Matilda Jane Howe Coons, wife Of Jacob Coons
See Williams' article on Matilda's conversion here.
Webmaster's Note: Special thanks are
extended to Wesley Snyder, a Christian who lives in Mexico, Missouri, for
providing much of the information and pictures made available on this
webpage. Wesley also help provide information on J.A.
Meng. See his site here.