Chapter 19: The Colemans of Clay County, Mississippi.

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The Robert Coleman from Virginia to Texas, 1652-1965

Chapter 19:  The Colemans of Clay County, Mississippi.

     CHAPTER 19


     by J. P. COLEMAN

     David Henry Coleman, the third child of David Roe Coleman
     (1765-1855) and his wife, Edith Beam, was born in Fairfield County,
     S. C. on December 17, 1794. He died in Chickasaw (now Clay)
     County, Mississippi, March 17, 1866. He married Sarah Franklin. 
        He moved to Greene County, Alabama, and from there to
     Montpelier, Chickasaw County, Mississippi. Montpelier is
     twenty-five miles South-east of Houston and 23 miles Northwest of
     West Point. 
        His brother, Wilson Henry Coleman, born March 25, 1800, moved to
     Greene County with him. There, on 26 day of August, 1828, Wilson H.
     Coleman married Mary Johnston. Since Wilson Henry died in Greene
     County on October 26, 1846, l shall tell of his family first and
     then I shall write of David Henry. 
        His daughter, Elizabeth, born June 7, 1829, married a Spencer. 
        His daughter, Martha, born November 4, 1830, married John W. 
     Gosa, who died of measles in the siege of Attanta. His grave is
     marked in the cemetery at Atlanta. 
        The other children were Wiley Johnson Coleman, born September 9,
     1832; Edith, born October 26, 1834, died single October 19, 1906;
     Mary Isabella, born January 6, 1836, died single June 29, l907;
     Nancy Johnson, born September 19, 1839, died October 8, 1866; Laura
     Louella, who married a Ragsdale, was born June 8, 1846, less than
     six months before the death of her father. 
        The estate of Wilson H. Coleman was held together until the year
     1891. The widow, Mary, died January 31, 1891. In that year,
     according to the Greene County records, a deed dividing the estate
     was signed by the following who recited themselves to be the sole
     and only heirs of Wilson H. Coleman: Wiley J. Coleman, Edith
     Coleman, Mary J. Coleman, Laura L. Ragsdale, Jinnie C. Spencer,
     Addie Spencer, and Annie S.  Harper. 
        The Estate File, No. 634, Greene County, shows that David H. 
     Coleman was the Administrator of his brother's estate. 
        The heirs listed were: Mary Coleman, widow, Elizabeth Coleman,
     Martha Coleman, Wiley J. Coleman, Edith Coleman, Mary J. Coleman,
     Nancy J. Coleman, and Laura L. Coleman. 
        Mr. Herbert Gosa, long time County Engineer, Greene County, still

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     living as this is written, was a descendant of Wilson H. Coleman. I
     examined the Wilson H. Coleman Bible in his home on January 19, 1952. 
        The Estate file contains a receipt, dated April 1, 1859, signed
     by Mary Coleman, acknowledging that she had received payment from
     the Estate of David R. Coleman, in South Carolina, for her minor
        The children of David Henry Coleman and Sarah Franklin were:
        1. Cecelia, (Sicily) born September 1, 1820. Married a Bains and
           had two sons, Oscar and James (in 1840) . They moved to
           Bethany, Texas.
        2. Sarah, born April 11, 1822. On January 18, 1842, she married
           Ashley Davis. Moved to Beaver Valley, Texas.
        3. Nancy, born April 20, 1824. Married an Oldham and moved to
           Beaver Valley. Also married to Bradford Buhl Davis.
        4. Albert, born March 31,1826.

        The above four children were born in South Carolina.

        5. John Franklin, born April 10, 1828.
        6. Edith, born November 14, 1830.
        7. David Roe, born December 31, 1832.
        8. Wiley Fitz, born May 22, 1835.

        From the foregoing it will be seen that David Henry Coleman
     moved to Greene County between 1826 and 1828. 
        In 1832 and 1833 David H. Coleman and Wilson H. Coleman were
     granted a total of 640 acres of land in Sections 28, 29 and 32 of
     Township 23, Range 2 East, Greene County. This was the same area
     in which Francis Coleman lived. I learn in a letter from Mrs.
     Imogene Springer in 1964 that this was known as the Springfield
     Community. She stated that David H. Coleman moved to Montpelier,
     Mississippi, about 1856. 

        From the Diary of Mrs. Jennie I. Coleman:

           "REACHED MONTIPELIER, August 28, 1919, in Clay
         county, Mississippi, we find the descendants of David Henry
         Coleman, who first emigrated to Greene County, Ala., then to
         Mississippi, in the 1850's. This is as fine country as I've ever seen,
         level, and very productive, beautiful woods.
           "Wiley Fitz Coleman, youngest son of David H. Coleman,
         born May 23, 1835, married Amanda Hall in 1856. He died in
         1859, wife in 1880. Their children: James Willis Coleman, born
         January It, 1857, md (1st) Sallie Bell McGee (2d) Florence

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                                                 THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY
     Branton. Their son, Oscar Willis Coleman, born October, 1888,
     married Alice Marshal. Their children, Dorothy, Russell and Elaine.
     Live in Monipelier, near his father, where we spent the night. They
     have a store of general merchandise and large farm.  David Jordan
     Coleman, born August 1, 1866, now living in Oklahoma, married and
     had children, including one set oF twins."

        Among my best friends have been Howard Coleman, West Point, for
     many years Chancery Clerk of Clay County, and Robert W. Coleman, of
     Okolona, outstanding farmer and business man. 
        William F. Coleman, Attorney, of Jackson, Mississippi, has
     kindly furnished us with a family tree for the David H. Coleman
     family. The information was furnished by Howard Coleman and copied
     by Mrs. William F. Coleman, a great service indeed. 
        The family tree follows on page 256.
        Letter from B. P. Coleman, Mantee, Mississippi, dated January
     20, 1913:

     "Mrs. Jennie Coleman, Shelton, S. C. 

        Dear Cousin: You may be surprised to hear from another Coleman,
     but I am writing you for several reasons. First, my mother asked
     me.  Second, I love that deep interest you have in our family
     record. I am a son of David Roe Coleman, the one you wrote to
     several years ago. With a sad heart I tell you, good cousin, that
     Father is dead. Yes, poor old soul is gone. He died the 21st of
     last July. He was nearly 80 years old, and he was a good man. One
     that was loved by everybody, and who loved his home. He was so good
     and kind to his family. His religious belief was the Universalist.
     I.htm#N012226">I.htm#N012225">I feel like I know he was a true Christian. I live 10 miles west of
     the old home. I was down there yesterday. Mother is in bad health.
     She got your letters, and had me read them over to her.  Made
     me feel good and sad, too, when I read where you wrote that long
     list of Coleman names. On one sheet you wrote these words, "your
     grandfather." On one you wrote "this is your great grandfather." It
     went deep into my heart. Yet, there was in it a joy that I can't
     express. I feel like you deserve a bright place in the heart of
     every Coleman by name, as you have family record so far back, and I
     brought it home with me, and told my wife and son how proud I was
     of it. We have but one, a boy, born Nov. 27, 1901. His name is
     Wylie Allen. He saw the Wylie name on your list of names, and said
     it started in the beginning of Colemans, and was last given to
     him. I was born April the 2nd, 1874.  My wife was born Aug. 15,
     1874. My wife was Lila Pate. The Pates came from the Carolinas. I
     could get you up all the ages of Colemans

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     here, if Father did not send them. There is quite a crowd of us.
     There is some in Winston County that we don't know yet. I think we
     are kin. I would love to see you and your family. Now, last, but
     not least, I.htm#N012262">I will tell you my occupation. I am a farmer, and a
     missionary Baptist preacher.  Yes, I love the work of a poor
     preacher. It is a great work. Not an easy one, but a sweet work. I
     have not been in the ministry but two years.  Will you pray for me?
     I.htm#N012268">I will close. Write to us soon. I will answer all letters. With
     best love to you and yours, I am, your cousin,

                                                 BARNEY COLEMAN"
        P. S. I did not write much on the ministry question. Will write
     on that next time, provided you answer. Direct your letters when
     writing me to --B. P. Coleman, Mantee, Miss. RFD #3. 

                          OBITUARY OF DAVID ROE COLEMAN
                          (Dec. 31, 1832--July 21, 1912)
        D.htm#N012280">Died, in his home in Montpelier, July 21, about 10:15 P.M., D.
     R. Coleman, at the advanced age of 79 years, 6 months, 21 days.
     He had been a patient sufferer for five years with tuberculosis of
     the bone, which was first evidenced by a small sore on his breast.
     It gradually increased in size and virulence until it resulted in
     his death. 
        Mr. Coleman was born in Greene County, Ala., Dec. 31, 1832. He
     married July 23, 1856, and had he lived two days longer, he would
     have been married 56 years. Ten children were born of this
     marriage, five of whom are still living. He was father,
     grandfather, and great grandfather. 
        He moved to Mississippi first in 1850, spent one year, and went
     back to Alabama, and again returned to this State in 1860,
     remaining here the rest of his life, occupying the present family
     homestead. He served the Confederacy for three years and was a
     faithful soldier. 
        His last days were passed resignedly, peacefully and quietly,
     although suffering intense pain, borne with great fortitude. He
     is remembered by his devoted family as a loving husband and father.
     He is survived by his wife and five sons, who have the sympathy and
     condolence of all their friends and neighbors. 

                            COLEMAN-HALL REUNION HELD
          Family Get-Together at Montpelier Honors Bessie Hall Williamson
        A Coleman-Hall family reunion was held yesterday at the home of
     W. F.  Coleman, Montpelier, honoring Mrs. Bettie Hall Williamson,
     of Dallas,

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                                                 THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY
     Texas. This is Mrs. Williamson's first visit back to this county
     since leaving Montpelier in 1866 with her father, J. P. Hall. They
     drove from this county to Gainesville, Texas in a four horse
     wagon. Coming back in this modern day Mrs. Williamson said she
     wondered now how they ever got there. Afler settling in Gainsville
     Mrs. Hall's father was elected judge and served in that capacity
     fourteen years. 
        The Colemans and Halls moved to this county over one hundred
     years ago from Euta, Alabama and settled in the western part of
     the county, and the marriage of two Coleman brothers, David Roe
     Coleman and Wiley F. Coleman to two Hall sisters, Mary Ann Hall
     and Amanda Hall, is the beginning of the large connection of the
     Coleman family in the western part of the county. In the Hall
     family there were seventeen children, only one now living, Uncle
     Lonnie Hall as he is known to his fricnds, 9I years old, now living
     in Dallas, Texas. None of the first Colemans are living, and J. W.
     (Willis) Coleman is the oldest member of the Coleman family. 
        Those attending the reunion were: Tom Hall, Mrs. Mary Hall and
     Spurgeon Hall, of Tupelo.; Mrs. Bettie Hall Williamson, Dallas,
     Texas,; J. W.  Coleman and wife, James Willis Coleman, Robert
     Coleman and family, Haywood Coleman and family, H. R. Coleman and
     family, Mrs. W. L. Coleman, Mary Louise Coleman, Gilbert White
     and family, Mrs. Mary Jane Clark, J. W. Clark and family, W. F.
     Coleman and family, A. R. Dixon and family, J. C. King, Mrs. Emma
     Dexter, Hugh Stevens, W. T. Cliett, Stewart Vail, Miss Lillian
     Saul, Miss Mildred Mosely, all of Montpelier, Miss.; Rev.  B. P.
     Coleman, Mantee, Miss. Sidney H. Coleman and family, State College
     Miss.; Frank D. Coleman and family and D. H. Coleman and family and
     Mrs. Mattie H. Coleman of West Point, Miss.; H. P. Gates and family
     of Siloam. 

        Mrs. Williamson is remaining at Montpelier for a few days,
     renewing acquaintances, after which she will go to Tupelo and visit
     with Tom Hall before returning to Texas. 

                                            Montpelier Miss Mar 4, 1908
     Dear Cousin,

        We received your very interesting yesterday and were very glad to
     hear from you as it has been a long time since we have heard from
     any of our kin folks out there. I.htm#N012371">I think my wife told you all that I
     could tell you about the old folks mentioned. Williams Coleman
     Grief & Robert lived in Winston Co., Miss. & I think they are dead
     but some of their children are living there now: Moses Coleman I
     think is Grief' son and Mot is William's son & your father went to
     see them when he was in Ala. I am the D. R. or Coleman: Son of D.
     R. Coleman the old set of Colemans you ask about are all dead. I
     cannot recollect a Tom Coleman he must be some of our Winston Co.

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        Grifffin & Williams Coleman did live in Winston Co. Miss. I
     think they are dead: Frank died in Ala: John G. Coleman went to
     Texas and I think died. He married our cousin Isabella McGlin.
     She was Aunt Betty's daughter, my father's sister. I have told you
     all I.htm#N012407">I can think of at present. I will be glad to hear from again
     Your cousin 
                                                 D. R. CoLeman

                                          Montpelia Miss March the 4-1908
     Mrs. Jennie Coleman
     Dear Cousin

        Your letter was received yesterday and was a pleasant surprise
     to us as we did not know we had such a cousin. I will have to
     introduce my self.  I am David R. Coleman's wife. He is 75 years
     old the last day of last Dec 1907. I was 68 the 13 of last Feb so
     you see we are quite and old couple.  We have been married 51 years
     last July. We were both born and raised in Green Co. Ala. We moved
     to Miss in 1860. His father David F. Coleman had moved here two
     three years before that and he died here in Clay Co in March 1866.
     His mother died in April 1872 and Dave is the only one left of his
     Fathers family the rest are all dead. They all moved to Texas
     exccpl his youngest brother Wiley and he died in 1869. Wiley's
     oldcst son Willis is living here he is postmaster at Monipela. We
     have had 10 children 8 boys and 2 girls. 5 of our children are
     dead. Those livinig are all boys or rather men now but still my
     boys and they all live in sight of us execpt one he lives about 8
     miles from us the youngest our baby lives in the house with us he
     and his wife has three children 2 little girls and one boy. He is
     named Wiley and he is 30 years old. You said you mrriex Uncle
     Wilson Coleman's great grandson then Wiley Colemans is his
     grandfather. I wonder if Edith and Mary Wileys sisters are still
     living. Dave says that John Griffin and Franklin Coleman he
     recons they must all of them went to Winston Co as they have never
     lived in Ala since he can remember and there is a good many
     Colemans lives in Winston Co near Louisville but we do not know any
     thing about them.  Dave saw a man not long ago that lived down
     there he was telling him about the Colemans that lived there. One
     of them was named Mose and one named Bob and one Mot. Oh I guess
     there is lots of them there the old ones that you asked about are
     dead of course long years ago. There was a Sallie Coleman that
     married a Mr. Grey Gosa that lived and died

- 258 - .

                                                 THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY
     in Ala but their children are all dead one of their daughters died
     4 or 5 years after she lived near us she was Mrs Nancy Watkins and
     her mother was Sallie Coleman Gosa and she died years and years ago
     I.htm#N012465">I recon before I was borne one of her sones married one of Uncle
     Wilson Colemans daughters. There was an old aunt Betsey Coleman
     that lived in Ala as long ago as l can rememer but whether she is
     the one you wanted learn about I can't say she died there and her
     children all went to Texas. Dave had an Aunt Betty Noland sister of
     his father who came through Ala on their way to Texas they stayed a
     few day at their house he says he was nearly grown when they came
     by there I am sorry we can't tell you any more about them but we
     dont know much more about them than you do if any. And you ask
     about a Tom Coleman we don't know of any one by that name. Was your
     husband born in Ala if so cousins Ed you can tell us something
     about Wiley Edith & Mary if they are still liveing or not we have
     not heard from Ala in a long time. Dave says he cant write as it
     has been so long since he has wrote a letter but he is a splendid
     scribe and writes a nice hand. But he has not wrot a letter in
     years. Well as I am not well and Dave say he will try to write
     some I will quit for this time write to us again soon your truly. 

                                                 MARY A. COLEMAN
                                                   Montpelier, Miss.,
                                                     March 7, 1920

     Dear Cousin Jennie:

        We received your most welcome letter some time ago. We are
     always glad to hear from you. I think of you and Cousin Mary often.
     And the pleasant day you spent with us. I would be very glad to you
     come back to see us this summer. 
        We heard from Uncle Ed's family two or thrce times last week. 
        They are all well. They mist the flue this year. Their address
     is (2046 Vinton Ave. Memphis Tenn). I wrote to Margaret about your
     letters comming back. But haven't heard from her since we wrote.
     Uncle Ed says he is coming home this summer. I sure would like to
     see all of them. John sent us three of his pictures. He sure is
     good looking now.  And is quite a gentleman. 
        Gordon Coleman (Uncle Will's son) is going to stay home instead
     of going to the Delta as he first planned. Wiley Allen is coming
     home when school is out. He is going to school in Beuna Vista
     Miss. He is so cute and good looking. 

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        Howard Coleman (Aunt Mattie's son) is coming home when his
     school is out. He is such a fine boy. He is just 23 years old and
     has been teach ever since he was 19. He went to College one year.
     And would have finished, But his dear father was called home to
     his Father two years ago the 22nd of May. When Uncle Lonny died of
     Howard came home to car for his mother as he was the eldest. 
        Haywood and Robert are writing to Jolin and James.
        Give my love to all the relative. I would like to meet every one

        Love and best wishes,

                                                  MERLE COLEMAN to all
                                        Montpelier, Miss., Mar. 7, 1920

     Dear Cousin Jenny

        We received your letter a week ago and was glad to hear from
     you.  Hope you are feeling better by now and hope Cousin Mary and
     her husband are very much improved by now. We are all doing fairly
     well, I.htm#N012537">I am never so well myself I have something like Catassh of
     the bowels and it is always worse at this season of the year. I am
     up all the time and do my house work outside of what Merle and
     Ida May does. I have the washing done and Merle irons. l have had
     about fifty chicks hatched but havc lost a good many of them and
     the weather is so cold, it is as cold now as it has been this
     Winter. it has been cold for two week now. l planted Irish
     potatoes, onions and mustark but is too cold for anything to do any
     good. All the children go to school except Mary Helen, and she
     plays and talks all the time. Wiley's sister's daughter (Mrs.
     Bright) and three children came to see us in Jan. and staid three
     weeks, the oldest was five years old and the baby was one. They
     live in Purvis Miss. Yes we stopped at Mrs. Mattie Coleman's
     daughter's house on our way to West Point (she is a Mrs. Gates).
     Barney and wife are well and Wiley Alen is well now going to school
     at Beuna Vista Miss. and looks well.  Mr. Will is not well, he has
     severe cough. He and Gordon, his son, stay at the store. Mr. Will
     and Wiley and a Mr. Hill bought Oscar out, and Oscar is going to
     Yazoo City to put in a Chrera Cola Plant. Oscar and his wife have a
     new son named James Willis, for his grandpa Willis. Mr. Coleman is
     still in Jackson. I.htm#N012574">I have not seen Cousin Florence in a long time. I
     guess she is kept busy with everything to look after and him gone.
     We had a letter from Mary Alice yesterday she seems to be allright

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                                                 THE ROBERT COLEMAN FAMILY
     now, and they are all at work now. Mr. Ed works at the Chicago
     Coal and Lumber Co. and John works in a shoe store, Margaret at
     Gerber's, Mable at Van-Vleel's, and David at Weiss a grocery store,
     James and Lawrence go to school and nobody at home except Mary
     Alice and Mark. Their address is 2046 Vinton Ave., Memphis, Tenn. 

        Wiley has just come in he has a catch in his back and side he is
     bothered with that a lot of the time. The children are all playing.
     Frank (Mattie's boy) and Mary Louise are here and they are playing
     in yard.  It is mighty cold for them to be out. I went to Cousin
     Will Lofton's burial last Saturday, came back to my Other's and
     staid till Sunday afternoon it was the first night Mary Helen had
     ever spent away from home, and she is most three years old. Well I
     have just finished a letter to Cousin Justina Spencer the old lady
     you saw at Mr. Davis. Her home is in Wellington Texas. Just her and
     her husband live togcther. Well I will close. Write to when inclined. 


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