Coffey, Chester “Chet” M. (Corvallis, McMinnville, Portland, Salem)

Chester “Chet” M. Coffey (1887- ) (Corvallis, McMinnville, Portland, Salem)


1907-1909 Corvallis

1909 Portland

1910 Los Angeles CA

1916-1926 McMinnville

1927-1933 Portland

1928 Salem

Directory Listings

1907 POW pg. 174 Corvallis “Coffey, C M photographer”

1925 POW pg. 263 McMinnville “Coffey C M photog”

1928 PCD pg. 442 “Coffey, Chester M (Coffeys Photo Service) h 388 E 37th N”; “Coffey’s Photo Service (C M Coffey) 411 E Morrison”

1930 PCD pg. 402 “Coffey, Chester M (Willia V) mgr Coffeys Photo Service Inc h 551 E 38th N”; “Coffey’s Photo Service Inc C M Coffey mgr 327 Wash R 616”

Photographer’s Imprints

“Coffey, McMinnville, Oregon” blind stamp on portrait print (tr)

“Coffey’s Photo Service Inc. Photo Finishing, Portrait and Com’l Photography. Established 1906. Developing, Printing. Portland, Salem, Kelso” printed photo finishing envelope, Franklin Drug Co., Portland. (tr)

News Items and Advertisements

1922: “Representative photographers from the principal cities south of Portland met Saturday evening in the Ball studio in Corvallis to perfect an organization which will work with the Portland Photographers society, which in turn cooperates with the northwest organization and the national photographers of America. About thirty five people were present for the election of officers and later for a banquet In the camera room of the studio. Officially the organization will be known as the Willamette Valley Photographers association, and with Portland forms the only two societies in Oregon of the kind. The next meeting will be held in Salem on November 4, in the Parker studio. These meetings will be held every month. The officers elected were, Chester M. Coffey of McMinnville, president; Mrs. W. M. Ball of Corvallis, vice president, and Miss Kathryn Gunnell of Salem, secretary-treasurer.” Capital journal (Salem), October 10, 1922, pg. 5, col. 3.

1924: “Saturday evening, October 18, The Willamette Valley Photographers’ Association held its first meeting of the winter season … Those present were … C. M. Coffey, of McMinnville …” Camera Craft, December 1924, pg. 605.

1927: “Master Photo Finishers of America … Territorial Vice Presidents … North-Western States: C. M. Coffey, 284 N. Commercial, Salem, Ore. …” Camera Craft, Vol. XXXIV No. 8, August 1927, pg. 394.

1927: report of the Pacific International Photographers Association annual convention in Los Angeles. “… The new officers were installed at the banquet and are: Treasurer, C. M. Coffey of Portland, Oregon …” Camera Craft, November 1927, pg. 544-545.

1928: listed as Territorial Vice President of Master Photo Finishers of America. “C. M. Coffey, 284 N. Commercial, Salem, Ore.” Camera Craft, March 1928, pg. 137; April 1928, pg. 189; May 1928, pg. 239.

1929: “Chet Coffey. Having sat in committee many times with Chester M. Coffey, having never dreamed that Chet carried so dignified a name under his affectionately known and genially carried Chet… we read what Spokes, the Rotarian organ of Portland, Oregon, has to say about him…” humorous biography follows. Summary: born in 1887 on Howell Prairie near Salem. His parents were pioneers of 1843. Camera Craft, Vol. XXXVI, No. 4, April 1929.

1933: “It’s the Birthday of Chester McCorkle Coffey, Who Was Born in Oregon in 1887. By David W. Hazen. A Native son of beautiful Oregon is Chester McCorkle Coffey, sure enough! This Portland photographer was born on Howell prairie in Marion county January 15, 1887. Both of the boy’s parents were born in Oregon. The Howells, his great-grandparents, settled on the prairie named for them in 1844, Mr. Coffey said yesterday. The place of his birth is not far distant from Silverton. When he was three years old his family moved to a farm near Scio, and this remained Chester’s home until he graduated from Scio high school in 1904. That fall the family moved to McMinnville and the boy entered the Baptist college in that city. He played on the McMinnville college basketball team the year he went to that institution. The next fall Chester hurried to Corvallis to attend Oregon Agricultural college. He went to that school two years, taking a special art course. In the summer of 1907, Mr. Coffey started his first photographic studio. It was in Corvallis, where he stayed two years. In 1909 he sold out and came to Portland to work for C. Elmore Grove, remaining here about a year and then moving with Mr. Grove, remaining here about a year and then moving with Mr. Grove to Los Angeles. The native of Howell prairie quit Los Angeles to go farming in Canada. He moved to a large wheat-and-grain ranch near Medicine Hat, where he toiled until 1916, when he had had enough of the cold weather in that section. In 1916 he returned to McMinnville and opened a photographic studio, remaining there ten years before moving to Salem. After a rather short stay in the capital Mr. McCoffey again came to Portland to reside, this in 1927. He established his own studio here, which he continues to operate. Mr. Coffey is ex-president of the Pacific International Photographers’ association and is now a director representing the Pacific coast of the Photographers’ International of America. Mr. Coffey married Miss Willa Virginia McKnight of Scio, April 26, 1910; their daughter Frances attends Grant high while son Warren is at Gregory Heights grammar school. Fishing Mr. Coffey does with much gusto.” The Oregonian, 15 January, 1933, sec. 1, pg. 11.


Photographer’s Association of the Pacific Northwest, Programme of Seventh Annual Convention, September 3rd – 6th, 1907, Seattle; n.p. 1907. (unpaginated) “Members Photographic Association of the Pacific Northwest 1907…Coffey, C. M.—Corvallis, Ore…”

Camera Craft, February 1927 pg. 92, mentions he is president of Oregon division of PIPA photographic association.

Spokes, (Rotary Club of Portland, Oregon, magazine), feature article on Coffey in early 1929.