Wednesday, June 24, 2015


WILLIAM D. COLEMAN, one of tbe respected citizens of Ohio County, was born in Bedford County, Va., on the 8th of October, 1822. His father, James Coleman, was a Virginian, born in 1789; married Miss Margaret Dowell in 1812; afterward served as a soldier under Gen. Wilkinson in 1814, and died in Campbell County, Va., in 1854. He followed the trade of a tobacconist for upward of thirty-four years prior to his death. John Coleman, the grandfather of William D., was a native of Ireland, and immigrated to America during the colonial period; he served as a soldier in the Continental army during the Revolution, as also did our subject's maternal ancestor, John Dowell, who was by birth a Scotchman. William D. Coleman left his Virginia home and came to Kentucky in 1838, and drove a team in Warren County for about a year, after which he traded in stock for five years, principally horses, which he shipped to Southern markets. In 1842 he married Henrietta D. Fox, who died in 1845, leaving two children: Gallia W. and Mary D.  Mr. Coleman soon after removed to Ohio County, where he leased land and turned his attention to farming, which vocation he has followed successfully up to the present time. In 1848 Mr. Coleman was married to his present wife, whose maiden name was May A. Shull. Time has proved them to be happily mated. Their union has been blessed with six children, five of whom are now living: Margaret E., James W., Peter S., Stonewall J., and Annie B. In 1849 Mr. Coleman bought 260 acres of slightly improved land, which he continued to improve and farm until 1861, when he entered the confederate army and fought under Gens. Beal, Morgan, and Lee, until the fall of the Confederacy. He then returned to what was once his home, but, of all of his former possessions, found nothing left except the land and his family, all else having gone with the "lost cause." Mr. Coleman is an uncompromising Democrat, and says, he "staked and lost all in the cause of the Rebellion." He at once set to work to repair losses, but again, in 1866, he suffered a loss of $3,000 by fire, which destroyed his dwelling and goods. His farm is one of the best improved in the county, and numbers 360 acres, all in cultivation. Mr. Coleman gives most of his attention to the raising of blooded stock. In 1873 Mr. Coleman was a candidate for election to the legislature; the election was gained by his opponent, J. W. Meadow, by 200 majority. In 1877 he was again defeated by J. W. Meadow, by a majority of fifty votes. Again, in 1883, Mr. Coleman was a candidate, and was elected by a majority of 269 votes, and during his legislative career introduced and passed four general and twenty-two local bills — most notably the bill entitled "A bill for the Ventilation of Mines, and the Protection of Miners." Mr. and Mrs. Coleman are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, in which Mr. Colpman has been a steward many years. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and has passed all the honors of the Ancient rite. As a liberal and public-spirited citizen, Mr. Coleman has done much for the improvement of the country, and he commands the respect and esteem gf all who know him.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Note:  William Dowell Coleman dies 18 Nov 1901 in Rockport, Ohio County, KY, and is buried at the Rockport Cemetery.

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