Stub’s Mammoth Scipios

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“In 1945 Edwin brought his Alabama bride back to his hometown in Salem, Connecticut where he was known as Stub, a nickname he was given by his older brother Roger when he was just in diapers. He introduced her as Willie; it was the name her fellow nurses called her during nursing school and throughout her tour of duty in Burma.” -Jane Coffey recounted in 2016.


John Withee obtained ‘Stub’s Mammoth Scipios’ in the late 1970s from Edwin ‘Stub’ Coffey (1918-2007), but this bean can be traced back to at least the 1940s to Edwin’s father, Arthur Coffey (1886-1971) in Salem, Connecticut. It was Arthur that had first established the family’s garden and instilled this passion in his son. Edwin was an infantryman in World War II, during which time he met his wife, Magel (1916-1977), an army nurse. After returning to Connecticut, Edwin and Magel could regularly be found in the family garden. They planted and tended the family garden first alongside Edwin’s father, Arthur, and later with their daughters, Susanna and Jane. When Arthur passed on his well-established garden, this bean variety was passed down as well. Edwin grew and saved seeds of this variety every year in that same garden where these toothsome beans were always harvested as shell beans and cooked in succotash.