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By J. P. COLEMAN With the Assistance of Many Others - author's notes - Those will not look forward to their posterity who never look backward to their ancestors. EDMUND BURKE Happy he who with bright regard looks back upon his father's fa- thers, who with joy Recounts their deeds of grace. GOETHE Privately Published in 1965 by JAMES P. COLEMAN, Ackerman, Mississippi Manufactured in the United States of America by Kingsport Press, Inc., Kingsport, Tenn. - 2 - . [PICTURE] JAMES PLEMON COLEMAN FIFTY-FIRST GOVERNOR OF MISSISSIPPI - 3 - . [PICTURE] MRS. MARGARET JANET COLEMAN PHOTO TAKEN THE YEAR OF HER MARRIAGE IN WASHINGTON, D. C. - 4 - . Author's bio: JAMES P. COLEMAN Born near Ackerman, Mississippi, January 9, 1914. Graduated Ackerman High School, 1931. Attended the University of Mississippi, 1932-1935. Graduated in law, LLB, The George Washington University, 1939. Doctor of Laws Degree, The George Washington University, 1960. Elected District Attorney of the Fifth Circuit Court District, 1939, and re-elected 1943. Elected Circuit Judge of the same District, 1946. Appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court, September 1, 1950. Appointed Attorney General, October, 1950. Elected without opposition to a full four year term, 1951. Elected Governor of Mississippi, 1955. Chairman of the Southern Governor's Conference, 1959. Elected to the Mississippi Legislature for the term, 1960-1964. Only man in the history of Mississippi to serve in all three branches of State Government by election of the people. Since 1960 has practiced law in Ackerman, Mississippi, with an office in Jackson. On May 2, 1937, at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, D. C. was married to Miss Margaret Janet Dennis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Josiah B. Dennis of Williamsport, Indiana. One son, Thomas Allen Coleman, named for his grandfather, was born May 14,1941. He is now a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army, stationed in Korea. He received his B. A. degree from the University of Mississippi in 1962 and LL.B. degree in 1964. Member of the Fentress Baptist Church. Democrat. Delegate to the National Conventions, 1940 and 1956, Chairman of the Mississippi Delegation at the latter. Presidential elector for Roosevelt and Truman, 1944. Democratic National Committeeman for Mississippi, 1952. On June 22, 1965, nominated by President Johnson to be a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and confirmed by the Senate, July 26, 1965. Took the Oath of Office, August 16, 1965. - 7 - . CHRONOLOGY The first Coleman of the line described in this book was Robert, who settled on the South side of the Appomattox, where it joins the James, 1652. His descendant, Robert Coleman, settled in Halifax County, NC, in 1756. His son, Robert, moved to what is now the Feasterville Community, Fairfield County, SC in 1775. Thereafter, the family spread to Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas. This book is an attempt to tell the story of the family from l652 to 1965, and is arranged in yearly sequence. - 11 - . THE FEASTER FAMILY After their removal to South Carolina, the Colemans became so extensively connected with the Feaster Family that this Book might more appropriately have been named the Coleman-Feaster History. The Feasters appear throughout, and the extensive Feaster Genealogy written by Mrs. Jennie I. Coleman will be found in Chapter 22. - 12 - . THE GREAT ADVENTURE A FOREWORD by J. P. COLEMAN The quotations appearing in the frontispiece would indicate that interest in one's forbears is, and should be, a most normal human trait. Over the years, as I grew older, it became my greatest hobby. Like most Southerners of my generation, I grew up on a small farm. Prior to the Civil War my family had been comparatively wealthy. Great grandfather Daniel Coleman owned l763 acres of land, over a hundred slaves, and lived in a sixteen room house. The Civil War put an end to that way oF life. When a boy and a young man, I did all the hard labor which was so common prior to farm mechanization. Although hard labor was con- stant and opportunities were few, it was really a good life. In many ways I shall always look back on it with much pleasure. In a day when family ties and family connections were especially prized, I was blessed with a regular multitude of kinfolks. And I still am. With great satisfaction, I point out that regard for family is still strong in our section of this great Country. In the nineteen twenties and thirties we had no radios or television sets. There were not many automobiles and no real roads. Outside the never ending task of wresting a living from the soil (using only man, mule, and the muscle of both) the great activities were visiting among friends and relatives, the church, the country school, and red hot politics. In our community we had prayer meeting on Saturday night. Of course, there were simple parties such as would be expected in rural communities. There was no dancing except the square dance, sometimes given at someone's home, but this was generally frowned upon. Except for funerals, serious illness, or some other unusual event, the family worked together from Monday morning until Saturday noon, and many times if necessary we worked on Saturday afternoon. One was very close to his immediate family, his relatives, and his neighbors. They were indispensable. I was particularly close to my Grandfather Coleman and my Grandfather Worrell. On visits to their homes, or upon their visits to ours, we often would talk far into the night about old times, about members of the family in other days. The seeds of future interest were firmly planted, - 13 - . FOREWORD but most regretably I wrote nothing down and could not understand all of what I heard. For example, I knew only the given name of great great grandfather, Allen Coleman, of Fairfield and Chester Counties, South Carolina. I.htm#N000161">I had learned of him by accident when I found his will stored away in the "wardrobe" of my great Aunt Missie Bruce, the former Laura Eugenia Coleman. I was her special friend, too, and always wrote her letters for her when she was very old and wished to write to her many children. It was not until May, 1949, when thirty-five years of age and then serving as a Circuit Judge, that the doors of my family history began to open in definite form. l do not remember the day of the month, but I had been to Washington for an interview with President Truman on a matter Which I was then interested. I took the Seaboard train back to Birmingham, but got off in Chester, South Carolina, at about two o'clock in the morning. Two days later, on a Saturday afternoon, Mr. Pegram, the newspaper editor in Chester, took me to the family burying ground of Allen Coleman, east of Blackstock on the Great Falls road. Mrs. Hattie Hardin, a great lady and the Probate Judge of Chester County, had put me in touch with Mr. Pegram as being one who knew more about family burying grounds than anyone else in Chester County, which turned out to be a fact. To my keen regret, Mr. Pegram died soon afterward, and I have often thought that had I.htm#N000190">I not met him just when I did those doors might have remained closed forever. I would have been denied one of the great adventures of my life, a fifteen year journey into the history of the Coleman family. Another result of the visit to Chester was that I learned of the Coleman-Feaster-Mobley reunion held on the fourth Sunday in July every year, at Feasterville, in Fairfield County. From Fairfield, Allen Coleman had moved just over the line into Chester in 1817, when he was forty-four years of age. In July, 1950, I went to the Reunion, and, of course, have been back many times since. lt was at this Reunion that I met Donald Clayton, of Birmingham, the Genealogist of the Coleman-Feaster-Moberley family association; Mrs. Etta Rosson, then of Shelton, who has spent many years reducing Coleman family history to written form; Misses Julia and Mary Faucette, of Feasterville, who have furnished such a great wealth of source material for this history which you are about to read; Frank Coleman, of Dallas, who has contributed so much in general family research, as well as details of the family history in Texas, and many others who will be mentioned in the course of the book. Thanks to what they knew, and the inspiration - 14 - . FOREWORD they furnished it was soon resolved to write a history of the Coleman family. It was resolved that this history would be more than a genealogy. I would do my best, from every available source, to reconstruct their lives, times, personalities. The result has been a delightful excursion that I regret to see coming to a close. Particularly in the company of Frank Coleman, of Dallas, I have made field trips and courthouse visits in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. It has been my pleasure to meet strangers who became warm personal friends. I have learned history that could never have been found in a textbook. I.htm#N000233">I now feel as if I had personally known and lived with everyone of my Coleman ancestors and their kindred. Of course, when this began, I was chiefly interested in my own direct line. The subject was so interesting, and the assistance from so many people was so enthusiastic, that it has been impossible to resist the temptation of "digging up" all our related lines. I must, however, give this word of warning and apology. Since we go back to 1652, the field is so broad and so long, it cannot be pretended that I have been able to locate or mention every Coleman who ought to be listed in this Book. It would be a marvel if I had been able to avoid errors. Continuing research has actually proven many mistakes which first were accepted as facts. Many completed chapters have had to be rewritten several times in the light of additional discoveries. We have tried to omit everything which was not capable of documentary proof. Tradition often proves to he mistaken. I.htm#N000246">I am amazed, however, at the frequency with which I have been able to verify tradition by written proof, much of it hidden for scores of years. So, if the reader should find me guilty of omissions and errors it is hoped he will understand the enormity of the undertaking and that his forgiveness will be equally generous. You will find that I am not the sole author of this Book. A good many chapters have been written by others. To me, the most valuable part of it was written long ago by Cousin Jennie I. Coleman, who had no idea that her effort would one day be published. Donald Clayton has not written any particular chapter as such, but the vast fruits of his long and extensive research will appear in every chapter, and he certainly receives credit accordingly. Now that, so far as able, I have collected the history of the Coleman family all the way back to Wales, and reduced it to written form, I leave it to my son, Thomas Allen Coleman, recent law school graduate, to see what he can someday learn and write about the family in Wales. - 15 - . FOREWORD I want to say a word of special thanks to every person who has in any way assisted in the compilation of this Book. Obviously, it is impossible for me to name them all. in addition to those already mentioned, l could not possibly omit Miss Margaret Coleman, of Winnsboro, and my lawyer kinfolk, George Coleman, of the same Town. Moreover, special mention is due the following professional researchers who cheerfully accepted my employment and did massive research which eventually came to be used in this Book: Mrs. Leon Anderson, Halifax, North Carolina, Mr. Malcolm C. W. Tomlinson, of Washington, D. C., Mrs. Joyce H. Lindsay, of Richmond, Virginia, Mrs. Inez Waldenmaier, of Washington, D. C., and Mrs. Mary J. Rogers, of Raleigh, North Carolina. Special credit must go to Circuit Judge S. Bernard Coleman of Fredericksburg, Virginia, an authority on the descendants of Robert Coleman of Gloucester County, Virginia. You will find frequent men- tion of Judge Coleman in this Book. Neither must I forget the warm welcome which was received from public officials in Hallettsville Texas, Eutaw Alabama, Louisville Georgia, Winnsboro South Carolina, Tarboro North Carolina, Raleigh North Carolina, Halifax North Carolina, and all over South Side Virginia. To visit these places, to live in them for a time which was only too brief, and to know these people, have been great enrichments in a busy life. In grateful mention I must also include the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Virginia State Library, and the Departments of Archives and History in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. I must as a matter of record in this Book, express my special gratitude to my faithful secretary, Miss Nellie M. Commander, of Ackerman, Mississippi. For this entire fifteen years, she has typed and re-typed the pages and chapters appearing in this Book. In this respect she has almost been a co-author. In like manner special thanks are due my wife, Mrs. Margaret J. Coleman because she never complained of the many absences from home or the money spent in the prosecution of this work. J. P. COLEMAN Ackerman, Mississippi - 16 - . BIOGRAPHICAL DATA OF THOSE WHO MADE THIS BOOK POSSIBLE COLEMAN FAMILY DIARIES One of the tremendously interesting and beneficial by-products of writing this Book has been the discovery of so many Coleman family diaries in the possession of various members of the family. I keenly regret that the limitations of space prevent us from reproducing them in this work. They give a most interesting picture of human personalities and the times in which they lived. I.htm#N000318">If my time holds out and funds become available, I propose at some future time to print these diaries in book form. My grateful thanks are extended to Frank Coleman, Misses Julia and Mary Faucette, and Misses Kathleen and Mary Bess Coleman for allowing us to copy the following original diaries: 1. The diary of William Ragsdale Coleman's trip to Texas in 1851. 2. The diary of David Andrew Coleman, 1852-1859. 3. The diary of Andrew J. McConnell, Jr., Civil War Diary. 4. J. A. F. Coleman's Doings, 1848. 5. The Civil War Diary of First Lieutenant John Albert Feaster Coleman. MR. DONALD BREVARD CLAYTON, SR. Birmingham, Alabama Born Columbia, South Carolina, August 8, 1890, the son of Albert W. and Mary Victoria Feaster Clayton. Educated in Fairfield County, SC schools and obtaining a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Clemson College. He married Mary Wynette Mathews of Sylacauga, Alabama, June 3, 1916. One son, Donald Brevard Clayton, Jr., born Hendersonville, North Carolina, April, 1917. Employed in his profession in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Asheville until 1918, when he began an electrical contracting business as the Mill and Mine Construction Company. One of the organizers of Electric Contractors, Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi, in May, 1939, and did all of the electrical work of the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation until 1948. Since 1948 engaged in general electrical construction work in Alabama and Mississippi. Former Member of the National Guard. Member of the Independent Presbyterian Church of Birmingham. Republican. Genealogist of the Coleman-Feaster-Moberly Family Association, of Feasterville, South Carolina. On August 1, 1965, Mr. Clayton moved to 211 Barclay Lane, Lexington, VA, where he now lives. - 17 - . [PICTURE] MR. DONALD BREVARD CLAYTON, SR. - 18 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY FRANK R. COLEMAN Born in Hallettsville, Lavaca County, Texas, May 30, 1895. Son of Thomas Blowett Coleman and Martha Jane Simpson Coleman. Grandson of William Ragsdale Coleman and Sarah Newport Head Coleman. Great grandson of Wiley Roe Coleman and Sarah Ragsdale Coleman. Graduated from Hallettsville High School. B.S. in electrical engineering, Texas A & M College, 1916. Served two years and two months in World War I as First Lieutenant, Supply Officer and Paymaster, 343 Machine Gun Battalion, 90th Division. Served in the Army of Occupation in Germany in the Fourth Army Corps. Married Mallie Ada Little, January 20, 1920, Dallas, Texas. Two children, Ritha Marie, now Mrs. Frank W. Butler, and Ralph Marion, who married Margaret Jeanine Springer. Employed by the City of Dallas in City Building Inspector's Office for over twenty-six years prior to retirement. Baptist, deacon of Cliff Temple Baptist Church. Active in Church and Boy Scout work. Past president of the Coleman-Feaster-Mobley Family Association of Feasterville, South Carolina. MISS JULIA ELIZABETH FAUCETTE Born Feasterville, Fairfield County, South Carolina, October 9, 1888, the daughter of Charles Washington Faucette, Jr. and Mary Feaster Coleman Faucette. Educated at Feasterville Academy and Furman University. At the age of twenty began her teaching career, which continued for thirty-seven years in the public schools of South Carolina. She retired in 1957, and has since continued to live at Clanmore, the ancestral home of the Faucette family, in Feasterville, SC. Her sister, Miss Mary Faucette, lives with her. Miss Julia Faucette is a member of the Salem Presbyterian Church, the DAR, the UDC, and the University of South Carolina Society. She is also a member of the Eastern Star and is a charter member and director of Fairfield County Historical Society. Has maintained an active, life-long interest in the preservation of family records, of which she and her sister have the most valuable collection of originals to be found in the Coleman family, and which they have generously put at the disposal of all interested in the production of this book. - 19 - . THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY MISS NELLIE M. COMMANDER Born near Ackerman, Mississippi, April 22, 1920, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Mitchell Commander. Graduate of Ackerman High School, 1939. Since 1941 Secretary to J. P. Coleman, of Ackerman, MS, during the times he served as District Attorney, Circuit Judge, Attorney General, and Governor. MRS. ETTA COLEMAN ALLEN ROSSON (MRS. B. H., JR.) Born at Columbia, South Carolina, September 8, 1894, the daughter of Howard Leitner Allen and Sarah Isabelle Coleman. Educated at Feasterville Academy and Draughon's Business College. One of the leaders in the organization of the Coleman-Feaster-Mobley Association, of Feasterville, South Carolina. One daughter, Mrs. Henrietta Rosson Morton, wife of Reverend Theodore R. Morton, Jr., Methodist Minister. Member of the D.A.R. for forty years, in which she has served as Chapter Regent, State Genealogist, and State Treasurer. Has compiled many volumes of genealogical records which are in the National and South Carolina D.A.R. Libraries. Resided in Germany for fifteen months, with extensive travel in Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Belgium, France, England and Luxemburg. - 20 - . [PICTURE] MR. FRANK R. COLEMAN - 21 - . [PICTURE] MRS. ETTA ROSSON, who, like Mrs. Jennie I. Coleman, has done so much hard work and valuable writing about the history of the Coleman family. - 22 - . [PICTURE] MISS JULIA FAUCETTE, Feasterville, S. C., who has done so much to preserve Coleman Family History. - 23 - . [PICTURE] MISS NELLIE M. COMMANDER - 24 - . [PICTURE] From left to right: Miss Mary Faucette, Frank R. Coleman, Governor J. P. Coleman, Miss Julia Faucette, and Marion D. Ogburn, Jr. On the Steps of the Boarding House. Reunion of 1956 [PICTURE] THE BOARDING HOUSE, Feasterville, SC, where the Coleman-Feaster-Moberley Family Reunions have been held for many years on the fourth Sunday in July. - 25 - . [PICTURE] CLANMORE, the Faucette family home, built about 1845. Many of the original Coleman family records and relics are kept here. - 26 - . [PICTURE] MISS MARGARET COLEMAN, J. P. COLEMAN, MRS. ETTA COLEMAN ALLEN ROSSON and BO FEASTER, standing on the Boarding Housesteps, 1950. - 27 - .
Principal Business Street in Chester, SC, looking up toward the Confederate Monument. - 28 - .
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