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Histories & Biographies

The following are excerpts from county histories and other biographical or autobiographical sources.

John Coldren

JOHN COLDREN, the present sheriff of Johnson county; was born Dec. 4, 1839. Came to Iowa in 1866, and settled on a farm in Union township. He was elected sheriff in 1877, and has held that office ever since. Mr. Coldren was married March 27, 1868, to Mary O. Stevens, of West Lucas township. They have three children: Clymer, Stevens and Paul. In politics he is a democrat. His election to a third term in the face of a powerful opposition is evidence of his great popularity among voters of both parties.

Source: Johnson County, Iowa, Containing a History of the County, and its Townships, Cities and Villages From 1836 to 1883 (Iowa City: 1883), p. 800.

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John Coldren

JOHN COLDREN was born January 20, 1822, in Washington township, Fayette county, Penna, was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools.

At the age of 21 years, he bought one half of the Red Lion store on Redstone Creek, engaged in merchandising for one year when he bough half interest in Arnold's Mills located a short distance from Fayette City, and operated them up to a year ago when he sold the property, and is at present engaged with a mill company at Fayette City.

He was married March 4, 1863, to Lurena Gould, a native of the county, a daughter of John Gould and Jane Trainor Gould, the former a native of Maine, and was one of the pioneer school teachers of the county.

John Coldren had no children of his own, but has raised two adopted ones: Frank Bean and Minnie Sample. Minnie married Robert W Hall.

Mr Coldren and wife are members of the Disciples church. He is a member of the F & A M, and owns a comfortable home containing ten acres of ground near Fayette City. He has held several township offices, and is a sober, industrious and upright citizen.

His parents were Jesse Coldren and Anna Stephens Coldren. His father was born in Maryland and removed from there with his parents to Virginia, and subsequently while he was yet a young man to Pennsylvania. He learned scythe and sickle making with Samuel Cope. Anna Stephens was the daughter of Levi Stephens. The Coldren family were originally Quakers.

Source: Gresham and Wiley, Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: 1889), p. 325 (Washington Township). [contributed to the USGenWeb Archives by Marta Burns].

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W. M. Coldren

W.M. COLDREN, head miller in Miner & Co.'s Mills, Miners Mills, was born in Lower Augusta township, Northumberland Co., Pa., February 5, 1860, and is a son of Peter and Louisa (Feaster) Coldren, natives of Pennsylvania. The father, who was a farmer, reared a family of seven children, of whom W.M. is the fourth. He spent his boyhood on the farm, received a common-school education, and at the age of nineteen engaged in the Turtle Creek Mills, Winfield, Pa., to learn the miller's trade; here he remained two years, and after one year spent at home, went to Lewisburgh, Pa., where he worked at his trade five years, and accepted his present position in 1887. This mill has a daily capacity of one hundred barrels of flour, forty tons of feed, five tons of buckwheat flour or thirty barrels of rye flour; the grains are obtained from Pennsylvania and the West, chiefly the latter, the wheat of the former being preferred, however. The products of the mill are disposed of chiefly in the coal regions of Pennsylvania. Mr. Coldren was married, August 2, 1883, to Anna L., daughter of John and Susanna (Hunty) Coldren, natives of Pennsylvania, and of German origin; they have one child, Gertrude A. He and his wife are members of the Baptist church of Lower Augusta township, Pa.; he is a member of the P.O.S. of A., and a Democrat in his political views.

Source: H.C. Bradsby, History of Luzerne County (1893) [contributed to the USGenWeb Archives by Dalice Fadden].

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William Henri Coldren

WILLIAM HENRI COLDREN (deceased). William Henri Coldren, a young lawyer of bright promise, was born on the property now owned by George Hogg in Luzerne township, Fayette county, Penna, and is a son of Jesse Coldren, who was born in Menallen township and is now a resident of Uniontown.

William H Coldren was reared on a farm, received his education at Dunlap's Creek Presbyterial Academy and at Kittanning. Her served as assistant bookkeeper at Fairchance Furnace for a few months, but soon abandoned commercial pursuits for the legal profession. He read law under the late Daniel Kaine of Uniontown and was subsequently admitted to the practice of law in the courts of Fayette county. In a short time after being admitted he removed to Pittsburgh, and entered upon the active practice of his profession. He was employed as attorney for the Pittsburgh & Western Railroad and in addition to attending to the business of this railroad company, he was at the same time building up a large and paying practice in the State and county courts. After eighteen months of successful practice, he died in Pittsburgh, January 16, 1883.

On June 21, 1876, he was united in marriage in Redstone township by Rev J T A Henderson to Miss Charlotte L Craft, a daughter of Elijah L Craft of Redstone township. His widow, an excellent woman, survives him and resides in Redstone township on property once owned by J N Craft.

In political faith Mr Coldren was an active, earnest and prominent worker of the republican party. In religious belief he was a zealous and useful member of the Presbyterian church of Pittsburgh. He was an influential member of the Royal Arcanum and was ever ready to work in lodge or church, public gathering or private enterprise. Of good personal appearance, he was courteous and affable, he was logical in argument, but brief and forcible in expression. He was cut down by death in the very opening of what promised to be a long and honorable career of usefulness and success.

Source: Gresham and Wiley, Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: 1889), p. 541 (Luzerne Township) [contributed to the USGenWeb Archives by Marta Burns].

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P. C. Johnson

P. C. JOHNSON, secretary and assistant treasurer of the Milton Iron Company, was born in Union county, Pennsylvania, April 22,1828. His grandfather, Christopher Johnson, was a native of New Jersey, settled in Union county in 1787, and died there in 1837. He served as captain in the Revolutionary war seven years. Jonathan C. Johnson, father of our subject, was a native of Union county, and married Elizabeth Coldren of Northumberland county. They were farmers by occupation, and removed from Union to Centre county in 1832, where the father died in 1874 and the mother in 1888. They reared nine children, eight of whom are living: Josiah, of Centre county; William E., of Illinois; J. C., of Lock Haven; Maria, Mrs. Levi Dixson, of Centre county; P. C., of Milton; Joel H., of Centre county; Daniel J., of Centre county, and Emily Elizabeth, Mrs. McMully, of Centre county. The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in Centre county, where he removed when four years old, and remained on the farm until he was twenty years of age. In 1857 he entered the employ of the Hecker Furnace as book-keeper, and has since been engaged in the iron business. He came to Milton in 1872, and was one of the organizers of the Milton Iron Company. In 1801 he married Margaret A., daughter of Samuel Lowrie, of Montour county, and they are the parents of three children: Newell Lowrie; William Howard, and James Curtis. Mr. Johnson is a member of Bellefonte Lodge, F. & A.M., a Republican in politics, and a member of the Presbyterian church.

Source: Bell's History of Northumberland County Pennsylvania, p. 986 [contributed to the USGenWeb Archives by Tony Rebuck].

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Harry E. G. Ney

[The first part of this article has been omitted.]

Harry E. G. Ney was born Dec. 25, 1848, in Middle Paxton township, Dauphin county, and was reared to farming, working for his parents until he began on his own account. In 1871 he came to Northumberland county, settled in Lower Augusta township, where he married and made a permanent home. From 1871 to 1874 he was employed as a switchman on the Northern Central railroad, at Selinsgrove, and after his marriage, which took place in 1875, he entered upon the mercantile business at Fisher's Ferry, where he was located for three years. In 1877 he opened a store at the country village locally known as Patricksburg (so called after an old-time schoolmaster named Pat-[205]rick), and he conducted that establishment for twenty-seven years, doing a general mercantile business. He sold out in 1904, and there has been no store at the place since. The postoffice at Patricksburg was established about 1891 and Mr. Ney became postmaster in 1894, serving until the office was discontinued, in 1899. He continues to reside at Patricksburg, owning the tract of sixteen acres upon which his home is located, as well as the seventy-two-acre farm (also in Lower Augusta township) where his son S. Nelson G. Ney lives. The property he occupies has been improved by him, and the frame dwelling now standing there was erected by him in 1877. The place formerly belonged to John Snyder. There are few men in this section of the county better known than Mr. Ney. In his various business connections he became known to a wide circle, and as township treasurer and supervisor he gave most efficient public service, proving himself a capable and trust-worthy official. He is a Republican in politics.

In 1875 Mr. Ney married Malinda Coldren, and they have had three children: Mary L. married W. E. Evert and they live at Fisher's Ferry; Ellen C. died in infancy; S. Nelson G., a farmer in Lower Augusta township, married Mary Eister, daughter of Henry Eister, and they have had two children, Harry and Ethel. Mr. Ney and his family attend the Baptist Church.

Solomon Coldren, Mrs. Ney's grandfather, was born Feb. 17, 1779, came to this county from Snyder county, Pa., and died March 31, 1843; he is buried at Fisher's Ferry. He was a farmer, owning the farm now in the possession of Henry Smith. To him and his wife Elizabeth (Minnier) were born the following children: Sarah, Mary, Harriet Jane, Lydia (who died young), Isaac, John, Jacob, Peter, Samuel, David, and James (1831-1899).

Peter Coldren, son of Solomon, was born Aug. 9, 1821, in Lower Augusta township, and there passed his entire life. He followed agricultural pursuits, owning the farm of eighty-seven acres now owned by Jefferson Lenig, who bought it from Harry E. G. Key (Mr. Coldren's son-in-law). Mr. Coldren was a Democrat in politics, and served his township as school director. He and his wife were Baptists, their family adhering to the same denomination. Mr. Coldren died Nov. 13, 1898, and is buried in the Baptist cemetery in Lower Augusta township. His wife, Louisa (Feaster), daughter of Henry and Margaret (Cornell) Feaster, was born Nov. 14, 1828, and died May 3, 1909. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Coldren, three of whom died young, the others being: Malinda, wife of Harry E.G. Ney; Silas, of Millersburg, Pa., who has been a track foreman on the railroad for twenty-four years; Ellen, wife of C. F. Dyer, of Shamokin; W. M., a miller, of Catasaqua, Pa.; E. Y. B., of Millersburg, who is associated with his son in the mercantile business there; J. C., a carpenter, of Shamokin; and C. D., a machinist, of Philadelphia.

Source: Floyd's Northumberland County Genealogy, p. page (Township) [contributed to the USGenWeb Archives by Tony Rebuck].

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