John McClay Coe

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John McClay Coe
Born November 19, 1857
Gadsden County, Florida
Died September 25, 1915
Pensacola
Spouse Ruth Moreno Coe
Parents William Cecil and Mary E. McClay
Children William Cecil Coe
John Moreno Coe

John McClay Coe was a Pensacola bookseller who later operated the Pensacola Opera House.

Orphaned at age 8, Coe was raised in Quincy by his uncle, Will McClay. He came to Pensacola in (date needed) to work as a stevedore.

He partnered with Cameron Q. Dow in (date needed) to establish the Dow & Coe business of "books, stationery and Florida curiosities" on Palafox Street.[1] He would also open Coe's Bookstore.

Around this time Coe lived at the corner of Wright and Tarragona Streets.[1] He married Ruth Moreno on October 14, 1891, wedded at old Christ Church by Ruth's brother Eben. The couple settled on Reus Street and had two children, William Cecil and John Moreno.

Coe later became manager of the Pensacola Opera House and founded the Pensacola Amusement Company to operate it in 1902. When he decided to end his partnership with Charles W. Lamar, Sr. in 1908, the two reportedly held a coin toss to divvy up the assets. Coe "won" the toss, getting control of the Opera House (which was damaged beyond repair in a series of hurricanes less than a decade later), while Lamar received the subsidiary sign business, the Pensacola Advertisement Company, which later became the highly successful Lamar Outdoor Advertising Company.

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