George McCoy and his wife, Mildred Goins McCoy, were escaped slaves from Louisville, KY. They settled first in Canada, then in 1852 moved with their 12 children to Ypsilanti, Michigan. Ypsilanti was a significant link in the Underground Railroad and a major stop for slaves fleeing from Kentucky en route to Detroit and Canada. George was a conductor who aided many of the escapees by hiding them under the boxes of cigars that he delivered to Detroit. As George's cigar business thrived, more slaves were carried to freedom, so many that a second wagon was purchased and driven by his son, William McCoy. George and Mildred McCoy are the parents of inventor Elijah McCoy.