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Morris L. Britton

GLEN EDEN PLANTATION. Glen Eden Plantation, a Red River plantation of Preston Bend, Grayson County, was begun by Holland Coffee after he moved to the bend in 1837 to establish a trading post. In 1839 he married Sophia Suttenfield Aughinbaugh (see PORTER, SOPHIA). The plantation land was almost all acquired by Coffee. The mansion was built in stages. The original undergirding log house was of a two-story dogtrot design that was large and imposing for its time. It was probably built by the Mormon congregation of Lyman Wight in the winter of 1845–46. The building had two large native stone chimneys, one on each end. It seems to have had a cellar or basement from an early date. The house was a mile from the river near Little Mineral Creek on the Preston Road leading to Dallas. Coffee was killed in the fall of 1846. His above-ground, brick crypt was a noted feature of the plantation.

It is uncertain when the name Glen Eden was first used. It does not appear in early records or in news articles at the time of Sophia's death (1897). Operations of the plantation included a Red River ferry, stock, development of the town of Preston, production of corn and cotton, orchards, and freighting. The plantation was quite a social center, and Sophia was noted for her imagination and her fondness for parties.

Over the years modifications to the log structure were made. Outside planking, upper and lower porches, and a kitchen ell were added in the mid-1860s. Sophia hired a nephew, J. W. Williams, as manager. Williams married Isabel (Belle) Skelly, Sophia's seamstress and confidante. Sophia continued as the mistress of the plantation until her death. The estate was bequeathed to Williams and Mary Elizabeth Jewell Mosely. The mansion was last owned by Judge Randolph Bryant. In 1942 it was dismantled for restoration as a historical site above the future shoreline of Lake Texoma. However, the project never succeeded. Some logs and timber from the mansion have been acquired by the Frontier Village of Grayson County. Items from the plantation can be seen in the Red River Valley Historical Museum in Sherman.

Grayson County Frontier Village, History of Grayson County, Texas (2 vols., Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1979, 1981). Glenna Parker Middlebrooks, "Sophia Coffee, History's Firefly," True West, October 1973. Sherman Democrat, March 29, 1942.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Morris L. Britton, "GLEN EDEN PLANTATION," accessed July 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ccg02.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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