Hon. John Coleman, ex-mayor of Mount
Carroll, Illinois, and prominent and successful grain merchant of this city, has
been a Mason for more than three decades and has high rank in Masonic circles.
He was initiated, passed and raised by Eureka Lodge, No. 302, in
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1865. In
1877 he was dimitted from that lodge, and elected a member of Cyrus Lodge, No.
188, June 23 of the some year, in which he still maintains membership and in
which he has acceptably filled the official positions of Junior and Senior
Warden and Worshipful Master. In
1882 he joined Lanark Chapter, No. 192, and was made a Sir Knight in Freeport
Commandery the same year. Freeport
Valley Consistory he joined in 1883, and has received all the degrees up to and
including that of the thirty-second. He,
however, has never taken the council degrees.
Mr. Coleman is a native of York county,
Pennsylvania, born December 22, 1831, and is descended on both sides of the
house from early settlers of the Keystone state.
Great-grandfather Coleman was a revolutionary soldier.
His son, Valentine Coleman, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania,
and the latterís son, George Coleman, the father of our subject, was born
there also, about the year 1794. George
Coleman married a Miss Zorger, a native of his own county.
He was a tradesman, , a distiller and a farmer, and in religious faith
both he and his wife were Lutherans. In
the prime of life, at the age of forty years, he died, leaving his widow with
five children, only two of whom now survive.
The good mother nobly did her part in bringing up the children and
fitting them to occupy useful and honored positions in life.
She died at the age of fifty-eight years.
John at the time of his fatherís
death was only three years old. He
was sent to school as soon as large enough and when only nine years of age began
to work in a store, where his steady habits and earnest efforts to please
brought him into favor with his employer, and where he remained twelve years.
He was so small at the time he began working in the store that he could
not reach across the counters and had to walk around them in order to do the
dusting. After he grew to manhood
he attended Whitehall Academy in Cumberland Valley, and on quitting the academy
engaged in merchandising on his own account, opening up on a small scale a
country store, which he conducted successfully for five years.
At the end of that time he sold out and in 1865 came to Mount Carroll,
Illinois, establishing himself in the lumber business and later turning from
lumber to grain. For a number of years he has been a successful grain dealer.
He is what may well be termed a self-made man. From
a poor fatherless boy he has worked himself up to a position of prominence and
influence among the leading business men of this prosperous Illinois town, and
the success to which he has attained is due wholly to persevering energy and
Mr. Coleman was happily married March
10, 1859, to Miss Mary E. Dresbach, a native of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania.
They have eleven children, of whom nine are living, four of them natives
of Pennsylvania and the others of Mount Carroll.
They are as follows: Anna Laura; John Albert; George
Mathias; Grace, now
Mrs. J.S. Miles; Cora Kate, wife of Mr. Frank Van Buskirk; Florence May, wife of
Mr. Frederick Colehour; Edmund W., Frances R. and Louis C.
The Coleman house is one of the most delightful places at Mount Carroll,
is surrounded with handsome and well kept grounds, and gives every evidence of
culture and refinement. Here with
his interesting and highly esteemed family Mr. Coleman is passing the evening of
a well spent life. Two of the
daughters, Anna Laura and Francis R., are members of the Order of the Eastern
John George Coleman - Family ProfilePolitically, Mr. Coleman has been a life-long Republican. He has taken an active part in the affairs of his city, has served as alderman a number of terms, and has the honor of being chosen by his fellow citizens to the position of mayor for two terms.
compendium of Freemasonry in Illinois : embracing a review of the introduction,
development and present condition of all rites and degrees; together with
Biographical Sketches of distinguished members of the Fraternity.
Edited by George W. Warvelle
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company 1897