John George Coleman 1831 - 1921

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 honest worth.

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 Star.  

John George Coleman - Family Profile

Politically, 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.

A 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.  Volume II
Edited by George W. Warvelle
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company 1897

Page 384, 385
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