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Biography of Roswell L. Cofran

Roswell L. Cofran, a prominent Topeka business man and former mayor of the city, has the faculty of growing old gracefully, and is still vigorous and useful though past the age of three score and ten. His has been a long and varied career. He served as a soldier in the Civil war. For forty years he has been proprietor of one of the largest foundries and machine shops in the State of Kansas, and is still active in attending to his business affairs. Born in the Green Mountain State of Vermont at Wheelock, Caledonia County, February 3, 1842, he is a son of John and Nancy (Hoyt) Cofran, both of whom spent all their lives in the same state. His mother died in 1879 and his father in 1889. With his early education supplied by the grade schools of Wheelock, Roswell L. Cofran also attended the Orleans Academy in Orleans County, and then followed farming until September, 1861. He was then a youth of nineteen, and enlisted at Wheelock in Company E of the Sixth Vermont Infantry as a private soldier. He was later promoted to corporal, and was in service continually until February, 1863, when he was mustered out at Fort Hamilton, New York. He took part in the Peninsula campaign under General McClellan and manfully did his part in helping to preserve the Union. After the war Mr. Cofran learned the trade of founder and machinist and followed it as a journeyman for a number of years. His home has been in Topeka since July, 1870. He was employed in the Topeka Foundry and Machine Works...

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