James Franklin Coney, son of Ezekiel and Sara Riley Coney, was born June 1, 1855, in Pulaski County, Georgia. He was a lifelong resident of the county, moving to Hawkinsville when a small lad. Mr. Coney grew up in the respect and confidence of the people, which he enjoyed fully during the seventy years of his life.
Receiving his education in the schools of his native city, he later graduated from the Commercial College, Baltimore, Md. Being naturally endowed with an even-tempered and pleasing disposition, an unusually bright mind and sound discriminating judgment, he demonstrated in his early career his ability as a business man. For many years he handled large business interests in this community, viz: Merritt & Coney, Coney & Adams, Coney, Lovejoy & Company, and Coney’s Warehouse. When the Planter’s Bank was organized Mr. Coney was elected president, serving in that capacity for many years. He was a faithful member of the Methodist Church, a steward and acting treasurer for fifteen years.
At the time of his death, he was the oldest member of Mount Hope Lodge, No. 9. The degree of Master Mason was conferred upon him when a young man. He illustrated in his life the virtues, sublime principles and divine edicts inculcated by Masonry.
He was twice married, his first wife being Lula Lee Wimberly, a daughter of Major and Mrs. Ezekiel Wimberly, of Houston County, Georgia. To this union were born four children: Ezekiel W. Coney, of Macon, Ga.; Julia (Mrs. R. O. Pate, Jr.), Hawkinsville, Ga.; Lucy (Mrs. Duncan Brown), Warrenton, Ga.; and Sara Lee (Mrs. E. W. McMurria), Atlanta, Ga.
Mr. Coney’s second marriage was to Marilu Napier, granddaughter of Major Ezekiel Wimberly, and a graduate of Wesleyan Female College. To this union five children were born, three dying in infancy. The eldest, James Franklin Coney, is in the employ of the Planters Bank. The ,youngest, Charlton Lovejoy Coney, is secretary and treasurer of the Hawkinsville Motor Sales Company.
Nina Rentz Napier, niece of Mrs. Marilu Napier Coney, was reared in the home of Mr.
Coney, receiving such love and protection as his very own enjoyed. Mr. Coney had two sisters : Mrs. R. A. Merritt, who lived in Macon, and died there in 1893, and Mrs. C. B. Adams, who resides in Macon, Ga.
Mr. Coney passed away September 1, 1927.