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Thomas Chalkley Coffin (October 25, 1887 – June 8, 1934) was a congressman from Idaho, a Democrat in the U.S. House from 1933 to 1934.

Thomas C. Coffin
Thomas C. Coffin (Idaho Congressman).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Idaho's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1933 – June 8, 1934
Preceded byAddison T. Smith
Succeeded byD. Worth Clark
Personal details
Born(1887-10-25)October 25, 1887
Caldwell, Idaho Territory
DiedJune 8, 1934(1934-06-08) (aged 46)
Washington, D.C.
Resting placeMountain View Cemetery
Pocatello, Idaho
NationalityUnited States
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Aileen Franklin Coffin
(m. 1920–1934, his death)[2]
ChildrenJeanne Coffin (1922-2014)[3]
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceU.S. Navy
Years of service1918
RankPetty officer, second class
Battles/warsWorld War I

Born in Caldwell, Idaho Territory, Coffin moved with his family to nearby Boise in 1898. He attended Boise High School and then transferred back east to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Coffin then entered Yale University's Sheffield Scientific School, where he was a member of St. Anthony Hall, and was graduated from the law department of Yale University in 1910.[2] He was admitted to the bar in 1911 and was a deputy county attorney for Ada County in Boise and in 1913 became an assistant attorney general of Idaho. Coffin relocated east across the state to Pocatello in December 1915 and went into private practice. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War I as a Petty officer, second class in the aviation division.

Coffin was elected mayor of Pocatello in 1931 and ran for Congress in the 2nd district in 1932. In the Democratic landslide, he easily defeated the ten-term Republican incumbent, Addison T. Smith.[2]

U.S. House elections (Idaho's 2nd district): Results 1932
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1932 Thomas Coffin 58,138 55.0% Addison Smith (inc.) 46,273 43.8% William Goold Liberty 1,201 1.1%


Only fifteen months into his first term, Coffin was struck by an automobile on a driveway in the south grounds of the U.S. Capitol on June 4, 1934, and suffered a fractured skull.[5] He died four days later at Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C.,[2] and was buried on June 14 in Pocatello.[6]

See alsoEdit


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

  1. ^ "Aileen Franklin Coffin (1897–1953)". Find a Grave. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Representative Coffin dies Friday at Capitol". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. June 9, 1934. p. 1.
  3. ^ "Coffin funeral plans not made". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. June 9, 1934. p. 2.
  4. ^ "Office of the Clerk: Election statistics". U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  5. ^ "Struck by auto". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. June 6, 1934. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Thomas Coffin rites are held". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. June 14, 1934. p. 1.

External linksEdit