James Uriah Coleman (1868-1959)

James Uriah Coleman

compiled and written by his great granddaughter,
Amy Coleman Green

In a sense, James Uriah was a pioneer. He made the trek with the Coleman family from Illinois, where he was born, moving through Missouri, Kansas, Utah, and Nevada and then eventually to Sacramento, California, where he is buried. This is the story of our Coleman pioneer.

James Uriah's father, Jacob Coleman, was born in Miami Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. His mother, Barbara Frances Dale Coleman, was born in Kentucky and raised in Rush County, Indiana, which was where they met and married. They then went to live on a piece of land in Jasper County, Illinois, which he purchased in 1853. This was called Willow Hills Township.

In the fall of 1871, following 3 years of excessive rain, they decided to leave. Jacob's brother, James, decided to stay. Discouraged and blue, the Jacob Coleman family loaded up on wagons and began moving westward. As heavy storms caught them, they rented a place to spend the winter at a farm belonging to Alice Appleby, in Polk County, Missouri. That winter, their last child, Perry Alonzo, was born. In the spring of 1872, they rented another farm in the same county and harvested a crop there. Then, in the spring of 1873, they moved on into Cowley County, Kansas, where they homesteaded 160 acres of land for 8 years.

In 1881, they traveled through Utah, intending to go to Oregon. They met up with Jacob's brother Uriah, for whom James Uriah had been named, who told them the Oregon territory was too soggy for anything but horses, and convinced them to stay in Utah. So they bought a home in Nephi City, Utah, which was where he lived.

Little Schooling in Utah

James Uriah and his siblings enjoyed the good schools in Nephi. But, in 1883, they moved once again, to the town of Chester, in San Pete County, where once again there were no schools. Then back they went to Nephi in 1886. James Uriah was 18 that year. In 1889, they moved to Woodside, Emery County, Utah, on a ranch six miles west of Woodside. There were no schools there. But there was "good free range for cattle and we begun cattle raising."

James regretted that he, his sister Mary, and his younger brother Perry Alonzo had a "very poor chance for education." His son, Lyle, wrote that his father only got through five grades of school.

Charley Dorsey

It was during his horse riding days that James Uriah became acquainted with Charley E. Dorsey, at Horse Canyon, as Charley was taking care of the coal mine there and doing some riding, as he owned some cattle. They became like brothers, working together. This same Charles Dorsey eventually took off with his sister, Mary Elizabeth, after her first husband disappeared under mysterious circumstances. After a time he knew "but little about Sister Mary for the [next] 50 years, as she moved to Oklahoma, 12 miles north of Woodward." Charley and Mary E. changed their last name to Forrest and Charley changed his first name for probably the second time in his life. Mary spent the rest of her life in fear that someone from her past would find out where she was and what name she was going under.

Rodeo Rider

It was probably as a young man, that James Uriah became a rodeo rider. He would ride saddle broncs for the fair in Nephi and July 4th celebrations. Lyle said his father won prizes for 2 years at the World's Fair, but it was probably the Rodeo Nationals. James Uriah would eventually travel to rodeos and developed a reputation as the cowboy no horse could throw. He said:

"We'd ride mustangs and put them in a round corral that had a swinging gate. And we'd get up on this gate and drop on them when they came out." At one point his partner got killed when he hit his head on a telephone post when the horse threw him.

"At Tenack they had a buck all the time they carried around in the rodeos and never had been rode, so they was offering $500 for anybody that could stick with him for 2 minutes. And I was flat broke, so I thought, 'Well, I'd go down to my grave to ever get that... So I told them I'd take him on. Of course they put a sure shin around so you could hold on. But going back and forth, boy, that was something to stay on. But when I got on and slapped the spurs to him, he threw his tail over his back and I just nailed it and held it down over my shoulder. And I tell you I was there to stay. He just bucked and he stood right up on his head and he turned sideways and pitched every way. You'd think he's going to light right on his side, and still he'd light on his feet.

"The last jump he made he broke the vessel to his heart and dropped dead. I was about rode to death, too. I stayed on about a minute and a half. I got my prize.

"And I didn't ride anymore for quite a while. But I rode several after that, just one here and there, till after they barred me...That was in Cedar City, Utah, they was having a big rodeo there. They barred me there.... Never throwed, so they barred me from riding. Then I just rode broncos for myself and other people that I could get."

Horse Breaking

After one year in Nephi, the Jacob Coleman family had moved to Chester, in San Pete County, Utah, where they bought a home and farmed for five years. Finally they sold out everything and moved to Woodside, Emery (at that time, perhaps Carbon) County, Utah.

James Uriah had ridden rodeos for 7 to 9 years. Now he had a reputation as a horse breaker people would bring horses to him to break. He had a system. He would break two horses a day. At $5 a head he made good money. The Mullen brothers brought him 60 horses to break once. And he had the use of the horses for up to a year if he wanted. Some horses would only buck half a dozen times. But as soon as they found they couldn't throw him they would quit.

He told Lyle, "Well I had sixty head to break at $5 a head and whenever I'd get 10 head broke, then we'd drive them over. I'd get onto one and ride it till it quit bucking and then I'd let my brother get on it. And then I'd ride another until he'd quit bucking and Charley Dorsey would get on it. And then I'd get on another bronc and then we'd drive the rest and then head over there on the broncs.

"And boy-o-boy believe me, they soon learned to guide and to run and knew what they was doing. It didn't take them but a few minutes. Of course as I got them horses off of the ranch and got them started towards home they knew where they was going. And they're no trouble. We'd ride them broncos over there and we'd put three head to add into it and we'd ride them back. Time we got back we had three more broke. Oh, we had lots of fun.

"One day I got on one we'd rounded up. I'd always take two or three head with me when I went on round-up to get our stock no matter where they was. I'd have to neck them together to keep them, you know, riding. And we got virtually about 100 head of cattle together, started for the ranch, and it rained, it was pouring down rain. And when we got up to Horse Canyon, that was 8 miles from Whitmore Canyon, the biggest part of the Whitmores, they cut ours out and let them there. (They stayed there, you know, just below the ranch.)

"When the cutter rounded them up, George didn't want to round them up, he wanted us to drive them on home and then drive ours back and I said, "No." I says "We're going to round them up here." And he says, "No you aren't." And I just whipped out my gun and fired two shots in the air. And hollered to my brother to go on the way and for Charley Dorsey to stay at the back and hold them and be corralling them and cut them out.

"That was on this bronc and this bronc was the meanest there was. And when we got them rounded up in a tight bunch, why, I seen one I wanted there, got cut out and he was right at the edge so I started my bronc towards him and Charlie says, 'Come back Jim,' he said, 'You know you can't cut out of that colt.'

"Now I never paid no attention. When I got right up close to him I socked the spurs in that horse and he just run up and nailed that critter and he just kept a nipping him and every time he'd get close I'd stick him with the spurs and he'd nip him and I cut out more cattle than all the rest put together. Get up close to one or another and I'd just spur that horse. Boy his teeth would pop and cattle and steer and anything else that...(laughs). Old George said, 'I know you was tough,' but he says, 'I never thought you could run more cattle out than all the rest put together on a horse that didn't know anything.'

"Old George was scared of me. One day I said, 'George, sure, you're too big for me, but if you ever cross my trail, I said, I've got you.' George was always a good friend of mine. He'd known me for a long time because I'd used to work for D.M. Brown and trade at their store in Nephi all the time. He knew what I was. But he didn't want no more trouble with me. He told old Scott Elliot, he had a ranch that adjoined me, he said, 'Don't ever get into trouble with that Coleman, he's dangerous.' He[Scott] said he'd worked for me time and again, he said, 'And I never seen nothing dangerous about him.' And George said, 'You get him mad and lookout.'

It was during his years in Woodside that he and his brother were deputized to serve on a posse to catch cattle rustlers.

On a Posse:The Shoot Out

"In Emery County, Utah, Woodside. We had a great deal of trouble with rustlers, they'd drive our cattle off just before a big storm, or in a storm so we couldn't trace them. Stole many of our cattle. They used drive off a bunch and then be back in the morning, down from Dirty Devil, the river, and be back in the morning and we'd never know they was gone. And our cattle kept disappearing.

"And finally the Robber's Roost we called them, they got in fights among themselves and they killed all the main posse and there was only 2 of them left. They came back up to Woodside and went down the Price River to where Price enters into Green. There they met Billy McGuire and Toe Whitmore and beat them pretty near to death with their cartridge belts and took their horses and saddles and guns and told them they were going to do the rest of the bunch.

"The robbers took their horses and everything they had. And they got to Woodside the sheriff he got out a posse as quick as he could and came down and deputized myself and my brother and Billy McGuire and one of the Whitmore boys. We went after them, followed them for 3 days in the mountain.

"Finally we located them just sundown in the evening and let them settle down on a ledge that projected out about 10 feet, down 100 feet, then was still another 100 feet or more to the ground, and there they made their bed. So the sheriff said, 'Well, we'll be there daylight in the morning and just surround that whole south side and take them in.'

"So we waited till daylight and the sheriff hollered at them, 'Hand's up!' and they come up shooting. Each one of them had a six shooter in each hand and just shooting the sheriff, or right around where the voice came from. Come pretty near getting us to cut them up. One of the boys rim of his hat off out against his head and burned his head. One brother, shot him right through the crotch of his pants and didn't see us. They couldn't see us. We was hid right in the brush.

"But he hollered, 'Fire.' And we all fired. And one of them jumped straight in the air and went down and that's when [Tate] and the other fell dead. So we sent the officer down to Thompson Spring to come up and investigate our work and then we packed them on horses and carried them down to Thompson Spring. Took them back wherever we decided to bury them.

"That was the end of the Robber's Roost. We wasn't molested anymore. But we'd lost an awful lot of cattle. They was taking them to Texas and shipping them to Chicago. They was stealing the biggest part of their cattle from their uncle, Lawrence Whitmore. He was the biggest cattleman in the country. I don't know how many he owned. But the people offered them good money. They made a big haul. They must have made a half million anyhow right there.

"So that was the end of our stock rustling."

Cattle for the Taking

The pioneers lost cattle in a storm. They lost them in the desert and couldn't track them. The cattle drifted off into a pocket near the Horse Canyon, down the Price River, about 40 miles below Price. James Uriah remembered what happened years later when those cattle had grown into a herd.

"We used to go up into that pocket and run wild cattle. And there was a slug of them when we went up there. The first settlers come up there and went in there and there was lots of them. People all around up there, killing them like they was deer, you know, for beef.

"We'd go up there and wait watching them to come down to the flats and rope calves and yearlings and take them out. And we got lots of cattle that way. Old George [Whitmore] and I was the boys who [caught them] Dorsey and my brother Perry went up to run them out of some cedars and when they come across the flat we made a dive for them and I caught a yearling, I snared him. And he caught a two year old bull, caught him by the horns. And I caught mine by the feet and by both front feet and tied his feet together.

"And, that bull, well it turned out he was at the end of his rope, he just whirled and made for old George. He just put down his head and just run his horn and just missed him and run his horn into the horse and killed him. Knocked old George off about 10 feet the other side, and old George run toward a little cedar there, a bushy cedar, and he jumped into that cedar and got up. When he got up a little ways he bent over and there he was, hanging there, hollering for help, and that bull just standing there hooking at him, he just couldn't reach him, but was just about to reach him and George was getting a little bit lower all the time.

"So I laughed until I couldn't hardly throw to rope the bull. So finally I run over and ...wrapped around the hind end with the rope. And when he whirled and made for me, with the horse I had on, he couldn't get him. He jumped to one side and I throwed the rope on his front feet and downed him. And of course he kicked his hind foot... was tied up right now. I jumped off and tied him up.

"Old George dropped down off of there a sick man, he said, 'You won't ride cattle for me. That's the last.' But he said, 'I got a good bull, didn't I?'

"I said, 'You didn't get nothing. That's my bull. If it hadn't been for me you'd have lost the bull and your life both.' I said, 'The one thing I ask you to do now is hold his head while I saw his horns off.' We carried the meat sawers and we sawed the horns off. Sawed them off right there. So I got the bull. Old George he lost his horse."

James Uriah continued to get cattle from the canyon, ending up with about 75 head from different attempts. But he always avoided the Texas steers, with their long sharp horns. They were too dangerous.

Once in Love with Leah

On June 25, 1890, James Uriah was 22. He cut a dashing figure as a lean, strong cowboy. He married a girl just barely 15 years old, Leah Thompson, (also called Mabel Cecelia Thompson), at her mother's home at Lower Crossing, P.O. Woodside, Emery, Utah. Justice of the Peace J.T. Farrer did the honors.

By March 18, 1892, he became a father, when son, Charles Jerome, was born in Woodside. Son Raymond Castello followed in 1894, and daughter Pearl Helen in February of 1896.

At that time they were living near to Ogden. Helen was born at a maternity home in Ogden, Weber County, Leah asked her younger sister to come and help with the children and housework during this time. She had no idea the consequences of this request. For James Uriah fell in love with her, and, though polygamy had recently been banned, he married her. Leah left him, and he and Maud had 12 children in their 60+ years together.

Homesteading in Enterprise

Roy continues, "They had a little ranch or farm there and he worked for some guy there for quite a while. Grandpa Coleman moved south of Salt Lake on the old Corie Ranch. They lived there 4 or 5 years and then he moved to Enterprise and they homesteaded down there, 640 acres. A lot of it was hill land and cedar trees, but there was a spring on it, the nicest spring. The spring is still there. The old cabin has been gone for years. He built a little 2 room cabin up there that was very small. There was room for a bed and a chair in one end and there was a kitchen, dining room and everything in the other room. He had an old fashioned square cook stove. That's where they homesteaded.

"And then he bought the place in Enterprise and built that house that I showed you the picture of. He built that house. Bess Jones helped him.

"And his corrals were made out of picket fences. He dug trenches in the ground about that deep, and he stood these posts up against each other and then they covered in around the posts and that was their fence. And then their gates are made of quaking ash poles, about that big around. And they had a gate on each end. And in the wintertime, when the north wind was blowing and it was cold the cows would lay against that picket fence and it wouldn't break apart. They had protection. They set 4 more posts out a little ways and put some quaking ash poles across that and some beams down and covered it, thrashed and the straw went over that and it made a shed. That's where the cattle would go in the wintertime. Oh, that was cold country in the wintertime. I've seen it 40 below when I was a kid.

A New Family, A New Church

James continued working for the railroad for a total ofseven years, as section foreman. During this time he and Maud had their first child, Lawrence Ira, born on Feb. 3, 1898, in Cedar Siding, Emery County, Utah. Twenty months later, on Halloween, 1899, Vendon James was born in Sagers, Grand County, Utah.

On Oct. 4, 1902, James Uriah was baptized into the LDS Church. Apparently Maud may have been baptized again at that time.

On the Move

Before Aug. 13, 1903, they moved to Nephi, where James Uriah bought back his father's old home. It was there his third son, Lyle Arnold, was born nearly four years after Vendon. Then they rented another place, called the Coorie(sp?) Ranch, 13 miles north of Nephi City, in Mona, Juab County, where, according to James. U., they "stayed for several years, got a good start, had a big dairy herd coming on, then Maud Louisa got sick." Vendon's family says it was in Mona that James Uriah worked for Murray Sheep company and then for Amos Hall.

Lyle says, as a keeper of sheep, James Uriah was obligated to spend a lot of time away from home, but that he was a hard worker.

Wishing for a Daughter

It was in Mona that son Pearleau (Pete) was born on Mar. 16, 1905

[It was probably in Mona that James had to sell out his stock at a great loss. He said it was Woodside in 1918, but he didn't live there then. It could have been just before he went to work for the railroad, but he didn't move then. Reasoning leads me to believe it was in 1907.]

James Uriah described a ranch that they had with 640 acres, only a quarter of it for farming ground, and the rest for grazing. He said they had cattle on most of it and about 100 head of horses on the west range. When they had to move they sold most of their stock at a loss for $12 a head and threw in the calves for free. It was a great loss, but necessary, because Lavonda had broken her leg and needed medical treatment. And Maud was sick.

They were advised to move to the mountains for her health, but instead, they rented out their place and went to St. George where they stayed for only a year. It was there Vasco Carrol, later known as Jack, was born on Feb. 6, 1908. But St. George was too hot for Maud Louisa to feel healthy.

Enterprise Here We Come

So they moved to the town of Enterprise, in Washington County, where they ended up staying for almost 20 years and raising most of their family.

Roy says, "Grandpa Coleman moved south of Salt Lake on the old Corie Ranch. They lived there 4 or 5 years and then he moved to Enterprise and they homesteaded down there, 640 acres. A lot of it was hill land and cedar trees, but there was a spring on it, the nicest spring. The spring is still there. The old cabin has been gone for years. He built a little 2 room cabin up there that was very small. There was room for a bed and a chair in one end and there was a kitchen, dining room and everything in the other room. He had an old fashioned square cook stove. That's where they homesteaded.

And then he bought the place in Enterprise and built that house that I showed you the picture of. He built that house. Bess Jones helped him.

And his corrals were made out of picket fences. He dug trenches in the ground about that deep, and he stood these posts up against each other and then they covered in around the posts and that was their fence. And then their gates are made of quaking ash poles, about that big around. And they had a gate on each end. And in the winter time, when the north wind was blowing and it was cold the cows would lay against that picket fence and it wouldn't break apart. They had protection. They set 4 more posts out a little ways and put some quaking ash poles across that and some beams down and covered it, thrashed and the straw went over that and it made a shed. That's where the cattle would go in the wintertime. Oh, that was cold country in the wintertime. I've seen it 40 below when I was a kid."

Finishing the Family

Vasco was only 20 months old when, on 14, Oct. 1909, another son, Clyde Gilbert was born. Two years later, on Nov.14, 1911, their eighth child, Blanchel Octon, was born. James Uriah's mother, Barbara, had passed away in Oklahoma on March 28, 1910.

Maud rejoiced when their ninth child, born Apr. 13, 1914, was a girl. They named her Venona Hope. LaVonda was almost 8 by then and a big help around the house. The boys were also taught to cook and bake. Two years later, Darral Devere was born on July 15, 1916.

While in Enterprise they grew potatoes, corn and all kinds of produce. Lyle was the wagon driver for shipping all that to Modena, to Lund's store. This was in 1914.

Healed of Pneumonia

While in Enterprise, James Uriah was stricken with pneumonia. His fever remained at 105 degrees for three days. The family and many of his friends said he wouldn't survive, because he was out of his head most of that time. The Elders were called. Soon after they administered to James, he began to improve. At the end of ten days everyone was back to normal and everything was running smoothly.

Temple Trip

The family had spent several years making quilts, temple clothes, and saving money for the lengthy journey to be sealed in the temple. Lyle described the trip: "We went by team and wagon, and there was a place called Central, about halfway between Enterprise and St. George; we drove there the first day, after starting at daylight in the morning. When we arrived we were just like part of the family. We were put up and we were all invited into the house and fed. We had beds made up all over the house, because there was a large family of us. The next morning we got up early and went on to St. George. There we went through the temple and the family was all sealed together. Our trip back home took two day, and we stopped at the same place on the way back."

They made this trek in 1918, a journey of several days to St. George, where they and their ten children were sealed as a family on June 6, 1918. The value of this became apparent all too soon.

World War I Claims Son Ray

July 18, 1918, James Uriah's son from his first marriage, Raymond, to whom he was not sealed, died at Chateau Thierry, France, in a World War I battle. Leah wrote, sadly, "We have lost our son."

Ten years after his death, Ray visited his father, James Uriah, and asked that his temple work be taken care of. A few months later Ray made a second visit, asked again about his temple work, using about the same words. As soon as the work was completed in the temple, the Lord blessed my Father with the assurance that Ray was happy and getting along all right.

Three Sweet Years in Delta

As soon as the family went to the temple in 1918, they moved the family to Delta, Utah, to obtain work in the sugar factory. It was a 300 mile trip. They moved in a covered sheep wagon and left Charles Dorsey in charge of their place in Enterprise.

Lyle described the trip: "We'd stop along the way and hunt rabbits, and one or two nights we had to camp, but most of the time we found a ranch or a town someplace where we could stay and feed our horses and have a place to sleep. After arriving in Delta, Utah, my father and my two oldest brothers, Lawrence and Vendon, went to work in the sugar factory."

Once they arrived in Delta they lived in their wagon for 2 or 3 days, until they found a little house to live in on Park Street, between the factory and Delta.

By October of 1918, sons Lawrence and Vendon had gone to Oakland, California, to work in the ship yards during W.W.I.

(Note: Lyle claimed in 1990 that they went to Delta in 1915, but old letters and Ervie's birth date, as well as a taped interview with Uriah and Maud in the 1950's confirm that they left right after their temple trip.)

Venona Dies

Tragedy struck again in 1919, in Delta, as Venona became deathly ill. She had broken her leg playing on a rope in their yard, to which a piece of wood had been attached. When the leg did not heal properly,James took Maud and Venona to Salt Lake City, but the doctors their offered no hope. Gangrene had set in. The family began fasting and praying for her return to health. And she began to rally. Once she seemed much better they went about their work with some degree of confidence. But her health once again deteriorated until she died on May 26, 1919. Lyle always felt guilt that her death had been due to the family's inattention once she had rallied. As a little 5 year old, she was much loved by her family.

James Uriah Saves Countless Lives

That same year the Spanish Influenza outbreak began to ravage the workers at the sugar factory. James Uriah and a Mr. Miller were assigned to escort those who were stricken with influenza to the hospital. He tells the story of saving lives:

"Yeah, the sugar campaign. Well, the men was all ready and they started coming down with flu. And so Barley come and asked me and Miller if we'd escort them down to hospital from the sugar factory. And they filled up the hospital and then they filled up the big hotel that was situated there. And then there was no other place to go, only the dormitories. We had 22 dormitories and they let them just for 4 men each dormitory. Each one was for four men. And we filled them up. When we first started, why they told us not to give them nothing but milk. But they was all dying no matter what they gave them. They was dying. So, we said, 'Well, we'll give them whatever they ask for, no matter what it is. They're going to die anyway.'

"The first one we took down he said he wanted a beefsteak, rare, he said, as big as a plate. So I said, 'Well I'll go over and get it while you're fixing him up here.' I went over and got it and went back. There was two of them. The other wanted a bottle of whiskey. Didn't have nothing but moonshine. So I got him the meat and the whiskey for the other one.

"Come back around with a couple more, we asked them how they was feeling. They was feeling pretty good, but they wanted another bottle and they wanted another beefsteak. So we got them it for them the same. I told Miller he'd get it this time. So when we went back, the others they wanted about the same thing, something they told us not to let them have. No matter what they asked for we give it to them.

"So when we come back the third time, these two we got in first was gone. And we got it back up to the mill the next time when we was up there, they was weak but they was ready to go to work. So from that time on so long as the flu lasted, I can't remember just how long it lasted, we'd take them down anything they wanted. No matter what it was we'd get it for them. We never lost a case. They all got well.

"Every one we took to the hospital and the other places there was doctors was working on them, they all died. I don't think there was any of them ever got well. They gave them the milk and that killed them.

"We was telling the superintendent about it and he said, 'Well,' he says, 'We'll have to report it to the doctors.' He said, 'It's the doctor's fault we're losing all of our men.' So he called them up on the phone and told them about it and they come right over to see us. And they wanted to know just what we'd done and we told them exactly what we'd done. We hadn't lost a case, so from that time on they started giving them what they wanted.

" He said, 'Well the doctor says last night there was a young fellow in there and he cried for wine, from the time he come in till he died, and I told the nurse not to give it to him. Next morning he was dead.' He said, 'Now, see, if I'd give him the wine, it'd have saved his life. No doubt.' Any thing that they craved was what was going through them. So we never lost a case all the time we was there.

"There was a big German; he was a tinsmith. He could make anything out of tin that you could imagine. And he was big and strong, and I said to him one evening, 'John, you'd better take something to guard off this flu.' He was going right on working and had lots of stuff to make. He said, 'I'm never afraid of nothing. Never sick in my life.' Next day he was coming around through, you could tell just by seeing him why he had that flu. You know their eyes begin to look hazy and dull and you could tell. And I said, 'John, come out and get in the car. We're going to take you down and treat you.'

"'No, there's nothing the matter with me.'

"'Yes, there is. I can see it. You're sick. You're getting sick.'

"'No,' he says, 'I ain't. I'm going to stay right on work.'

"I said, 'Well, I'll call around when we come back again.' We drove around, and it wasn't too long, you know, we had 500 men there. It didn't take long getting a car load and taking them down there. Come back and went over there to him and I tell you he was beginning to look pale. I asked him if he wasn't wanting to go.

"'No,' he says, 'I don't want to go to the hospital.'

"I says, 'Go ahead and trust these fellows. Go to the hospital.' And they took him down to the hospital and he was dead in the morning.

"That's when we was out [an enemy] with Germany. And he had to report every week where he was. So, when they come for the report that week, he was gone. And you know he had a money belt on him with $5000 in it.

"So that flu went on."

Flu in the Family

Maud said she got the same flu while she was gone with Venona to Salt Lake City. Lyle got it and barely survived his hospital stay. The flu was so terrible and widespread it wiped out whole families in some places. Lawrence and Vendon suffered terribly with it in Oakland. Vendon was so sick Lawrence had to support them both. Leah depended on a dear friend to nurse her back to health.

Financial Blues

After Venona's death, the family moved to a store home right next to the sugar factory. James' ex-wife, Leah was now in San Francisco, and corresponding with Maud. James Uriah went back to Enterprise, from where he wrote on Jan. 13, 1920. He had the financial blues. He couldn't raise any cash in the depressed Enterprise area. Their home was apparently in terrible condition

Ervin is Born

While he was in Enterprise, his son, Ervin Harvy, was born in Delta, Utah on Jan. 17, 1920.

As James noted, their 16 year old son, Lyle, had been farmed out and was living with Mr. Henry. They left him there one more year after they left Delta, as they needed his pay to help the family survive the next year. Lawrence was finding work where he could get it.

Vendon marries

Meanwhile, son, Vendon, had met and fallen in love with Vilate Staheli, a devout member of the Church in Enterprise, whom he married on May 21, 1920, in the St. George Temple. On July 18, 1921, they provided James and Maud with their first grandchild, Lola, born in Enterprise, Utah. (Note that this was 3 months before Maud delivered her last child.) On Nov. 11, 1922, Vilate gave birth to LeRoy Vendon also in Enterprise, which is where all of Vendon's children were born. Marvin J. on Oct. 20, 1923, Zelda on Nov. 17, 1924, Owen on June 27, 1926, Dean Lorraine on Jan. 25, 1930, Verna on Dec. 8, 1931 and Oral Ralph on Feb. 14, 1933.

Last Child

For three years the James Uriah Coleman family had worked in Delta for the sugar campaign. By Oct. 7, 1921, they had returned to Enterprise, except for Lyle, where Maud, now a grandmother, delivered their 12th child, and third girl, Leona Arvina. The last child, she became the treasured baby of the family for the short nineteen years of her life.

Hupton, Nevada

By 1922, James Uriah and Lyle began working at the White Star Plaster Company in Hupton, Nevada, leaving Maud to raise the children in Enterprise. He was there for three years . Their children began marrying.

On to Fallon

During the Depression years James Uriah and Maud moved to California, where they may have lived in Susanville for a while. They then moved to Fallon, Nevada, where they bought a small ranch. Lyle moved there in 1937. When they found out Nevada was offering an old age pension to folks who could prove they were old enough, they knew they had to try for it. But the altitude there was too high for Maud. For James Uriah the extreme cold in the winter and heat in the summer had been the reason they left Enterprise.

Maud Moves to Oakland

By the school year 1934/35, Maud had moved with her younger children to Oakland, California, not far from her sister, Leah, while James stayed behind, working for the CCC. On Oct. 25, 1936, he was in Camp Carson, a CCC camp in Fallon, Nevada, while Maud was still in Oakland.

On Jan. 1937, James U. was still at the CCC camp in Fallon. He fell on the ice that February and hurt himself. By Feb. 17th he was in the Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco.

Their Place in Fallon Burns

Time Alone in Fallon

On Dec. 21, 1937, he was finally granted his request for "old age assistance" and began receiving a monthly grant of $30 to begin in Jan. of 1938. This was conditional upon his continued residence in Nevada. As a result, James Uriah was still required to spend much time alone in Fallon, between the years 1937 to 1944 and perhaps even longer, according to Nevada law.

He made frequent trips to California to see Maud and family

Golden Anniversary

On Sept. 8, 1946, he and Maud celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Breaking His Hip

On Aug. 4, 1951, Maud wrote: "James U. Coleman fell and hurt his hip very bad. I was in the kitchen, heard him fall. I ran to him. He could not speak for a short time, then said he got up out of his chair, his feet were numb and gave way with him. He went down before he could catch himself. It was 4 hours before I could get him to his bedroom he was in such pain he could not move, or he moved, then I got him onto a wheel chair and wheeled him to his bed, which took us 1 hour more. He fell at 11am. It was 4 pm when I got him into bed. He could not rest or sleep all night the pain was so bad."

Shortly after 1953, they moved to Sacramento.

They celebrated their 60 wedding anniversary.

Another Broken Hip

By Oct.. 18, 1957, James U. had broken his hip again. Although he is suffering, Lyle wrote begging him to be there when he returned from his mission. Shortly after Lyle returned to Sacramento in August of 1959, James Uriah went home to his Heavenly Father on Dec. 10, 1959.


Lyle wrote that his father was "a lover of outdoor life," who "Brought joy and happiness to thousands of people in the field of music. Was very talented with the violin, accordion and mouth organ.

" Father and Mother lived in Sacramento the last five years of his life. He passed away Dec. 10th, 1959 and was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery until the day of resurrection."


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It is not to be reprinted or used for commercial purposes without written permission.

Copyright 1999 by Amy Coleman Green

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