Nathan Coleman was one of the early settlers of Nemaha county and prior to his death resided on section 22, Gilman township. He was loyal to truth and right in all life's relations and in his death the community lost one of its best citizens. His birth occurred in Orange county, New York, on the 1st of May, 1827, and there his boyhood days were passed, the common schools affording him his educational privileges. He worked on the farm owned by his father, Abner Coleman, who also was a native of Orange county, New York, in which locality he died when his son, Nathan, was about ten years of age. In early manhood he had married Orpha Goldsmith, who was also born in Orange county, and at her husband's death she was left with five young children, two sons and three daughters, Nathan Coleman, of this review, being the third in order of birth. He remained in the Empire state throughout his minority and in Orange county, in 1851, was united in marriage to Miss Jane S. Hulse. They located in New York, whence they removed to Knox county, Illinois, in 1855, taking up their residence in Galesburg, where Mr. Coleman engaged in dairying for six years. They then removed to a farm and in 1871 they came to Nemaha county, Kansas, establishing their home upon a tract of unimproved land in Gilman township. With characteristic energy he began the development of the place and as the years passed added all the improvements and accessories of the model farm, so that his property became one of the most attractive and desirable in the neighborhood. He continued his active connection with farming interests until his death, which occurred October 29, 1896, when he was sixty-eight years of age. His widow, Mrs. Jane Serget (Hulse) Coleman, was born in Orange county, New York, November 21, 1825, and was of English lineage. The ancestry of the family can be traced back to three brothers who came from England to America and established a home in the Empire state. One of these was the great-grandfather of Mrs. Coleman. Her father, M. T. Hulse, was born and reared in Orange county, New York, and married Dolly Stewart, who spent her entire life in that state, dying at the age of forty-three years. Mr. Hulse lived for eighty-two years upon one farm and passed the ninetieth milestone on life's journey. In the family of this worthy couple were five children, three daughters and two sons, all of whom reached years of maturity. They were: Jane; Chauncey, now deceased; Dolly, Lewis and Emma, who have also passed away. By her marriage Mrs. Coleman became the mother of four children: Stewart, who married Loura Reeder and resides on section 21, Gilman township, Nemaha county; Thomas, who married Frances Weir and is running a farm in Gilman township; Orpha, at home; and Jennie, who died at the age of four years. Mrs. Coleman and her daughter, Orpha, occupy the old homestead on section 22, Gilman township, and the well developed farm of one hundred and sixty acres yields to them a good income.
In his political views Mr. Coleman was a Republican and to the questions of the day he gave earnest and careful consideration. The cause of temperance found in him a warm friend and he further promoted its interest through his membership with the Good Templars Society when in Illinois. His life was ever honorable and upright and he did all in his power to secure the advancement of his county along material, social and moral lines. He was numbered among its early settlers and was a prominent representative of its agricultural interests. He aided in locating the town of Oneida and gave to it its name. Its growth was largely due to his efforts and he made it a stock-shipping center, erecting the first shipping yards at that place. He was extensively engaged in stock dealing for a number of years and found that branch of business a profitable source of income. He did the grading for the first railroad switch in Oneida and left the impress of his strong individuality upon its public life. He was very progressive and public-spirited and continual advancement characterized his work along all lines. He organized the Farmers' Institute, was president of the same for five years and did all in his power to promote the welfare of the farmers in this section of the state. The cause of education found in him a warm friend and as a member of the school board for many years he was enabled to greatly promote its interests in Nemaha county. His life was indeed a busy, useful and honorable one, and as one of the early settlers of northeastern Kansas he aided in laying the foundation for the present prosperity of Nemaha county.
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