(July 25, 1782-July 30, 1855). Born in Dover, New Jersey, Coe came to Indianapolis in May 1821, becoming the second doctor to practice in the capital city. During a malaria epidemic that hit Indianapolis in the summer and fall of that year, he was one of the few physicians in the city able to minister to the sick.

Along with his work as a doctor, Coe was heavily involved in Indianapolis’ early churches. In 1823, he helped found the Indianapolis Sabbath School Union, which offered religious instruction to the city’s children and was on the building committee for constructing the First Presbyterian Church. He served as a church elder from 1823 to 1853.

From 1836 to 1839, Coe was on the board of fund commissioners for the massive Internal Improvements Act of 1836, which resulted in the state’s financial collapse. An Indiana House committee investigating the situation recommended that the state sue Coe for alleged financial improprieties involving the Morris Canal and Banking Company. Although Coe was twice sued by the state for damages, both cases were ultimately dismissed.

Revised February 2021

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