Guilford Dudley Coleman

Guilford Dudley COLEMAN (1832 – 1903)  was Alex’s 3rd Great Grandfather, one of 16 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Guilford Dudley Coleman was born on 22 February 1832 in Vassalboro Maine.  His parents were Dudley COLEMAN and Cynthia RICHARDSON .  He married Ellen Celeste WEBBER (twin of Emma) on 9 October 1855 in Vassalboro Maine.  After Ellen died,   GD married Mary J. Woods (Aunt Molly) on 7 Feb 1884 at the age of 52 in Anoka Minnesota.  G.D. died on 30 Nov 1903 in Anoka Minnesota.

G D Coleman Gravemarker — Oakwood Cemetery ,Anoka, Anoka County, Minnesota

Guilford Dudley Coleman – Obit

Ellen Celeste Webber was born on 3 August 1835 in Vassalboro Maine.  Her parents were Oliver WEBBER and Abigail HAWES. Ellen died on 31 Oct 1881 at the age of 46 in Anoka Minnesota.

Ellen Webber, Vassalboro, ME ca.1850 2

Ellen Webber, Vassalboro, ME ca.1850 aged about 14 or 15.  This photo , is on a thick piece of metal. I’m not sure what the photo technique was called. Years ago Chuck Russell’s dad held the frame on the picture using rubber bands! Hence the shadow lines. Good thing they weren’t over her face!

Ellen Celeste Coleman ca. 1870

Ellen Celeste (Webber) Coleman. About 1880.


Ellen Celeste (Webber) Coleman – Gravemarker Oakwood Cemetery Anoka, Anoka County, Minnesota

Mrs G D Coleman obit Anoka Oct 31

Ellen Coleman probate (1)

Ellen Coleman probate (2)

Ellen Celeste  Coleman – Oakwood Cemetery Anoka, Anoka County, Minnesota,

Molly Woods died 30 Mar 1926 in Boise, Idaho.

Mollie Woods Coleman obit. Anoka Union 14 Apr 1926

Children of Dudley and Ellen, all born in Anoka Minnesota

Name Born Married Departed
1. Dana Stowell Coleman 8 May 1857 Anna Maria Plank
28 Oct 1877 Anoka, MN
8 Feb 1928 Whittier CA
2. Esther Finnette Coleman 14 Mar 1861 Edgar Howard Fitz
12 Sep 1882 St. Paul MN
30 Apr 1923 Fairmont MN
3. Eleanor Jane Coleman 5 Jun 1865 Ernest Wight King
5 Nov 1885 Anoka MN
21 Dec 1955 Palo Alto CA
4. Ammi Cutter Coleman 16 Jun 1867 Never Married
“A very fine singer always”
28 Nov 1959 Whittier CA
5. Lucy Emma Coleman 19 Dec 1874 Dr. Aubrey Herbert Russell (dentist)
2 Jun 1900 Monterey MN
2 May 1952 Minneapolis MN
6. Nellie Webber COLEMAN 15 Sep 1876 Howard Irwin SHAW
4 Mar 1899 Lewistown, Montana
3 Jan 1947 Yerington, Nevada

Coleman Children  Oct 1903 when they all got together shortly before G. D. Coleman died.      
 Back Row: Esther, Ammi, Nellie
Front Row: Dana, Lucy, Eleanor

The Coleman brothers and sisters returned to Anoka in Oct 1903 as a reunion just prior to G. D. Coleman’s death.  You will notice that Nellie is wearing the same dress in her family photo with Howard and Eleanor and the photographer was the same, “Nelson, Anoka”  See (Howard Irwin SHAW’s page)

Guilford and Ellen must have known each other growing up in Vassalboro. Joseph Coleman, Guilford’s grandfather is listed next to Oliver Webber, Ellen’s father in the 1830 census.   Joseph is three families away from Oliver in the 1850 census and Guiford’s father Dudley is six familes away.

Ellen Celeste Webber Coleman was educated in a New England “Female Seminary” and wrote beautifully and expressed herself elegantly. Since her family disapproved of her marrying Guilford Dudley, my grandmother believed they eloped when they emigrated to Minnesota. He was young and poor. In Minnesota he was a farmer and a blacksmith.  He wrote in 1900 (age 68) that he couldn’t shoe 200 horses in four weeks like he used to.

Ellen was 18 years old when she wrote the letter below from Lowell, Mass May 18, 1854.  Within a few months, 9 Oct 1855 Vassalboro, Maine she was married to Guilford.

I think “Dear Friend Judith” was Judith Coleman, younger sister of her future husband Guilford.

Ellen Coleman letter 1854 a

Ellen Coleman letter 1854 a

When Ellen says she is at work in the same room as formerly, she has the best of overseers, there are but few Irish girls in the room, and she likes the eleven hour system,  it sounds like she is working in a factory (and used to work twelve hours a day).

The mill workers, young single women called Mill Girls, generally came from the farm families of New England.   By the 1850s, Lowell had the largest industrial complex in the United States. The textile industry wove cotton produced in the South. In 1860, there were more cotton spindles in Lowell than in all eleven states combined that would form the Confederacy.

The “Lowell Mill Girls” (or “Factory Girls,” as they called themselves) were female workers who came to work for the textile corporations in Lowell, Massachusetts, during the Industrial Revolution.  The women initially recruited by the corporations were daughters of propertied New England farmers, between the ages of seventeen and twenty five. By 1840, the textile mills had recruited over 8,000 women, who came to make up nearly seventy-five percent of the mill workforce.

Lowell Mill Girls

Lowell Mill Girls

During the early period, women came to the mills of their own accord, for various reasons: to help a brother pay for college, for the educational opportunities offered in Lowell, or to earn a supplementary income for themselves. While their wages were only half of what men were paid, many were able to attain economic independence for the first time, free from the controlling influence of fathers and husbands. As a result, while factory life would soon come to be experienced as oppressive, it enabled these women to challenge the myths of female inferiority and dependence.

The Lowell System combined large-scale mechanization with an attempt to improve the stature of its female workforce and workers. A few girls who came with their mothers or older sisters were as young as ten years old, some were middle-aged, but the average age was about 24.  Usually hired for contracts of one year (the average stay was about four years), new employees were given assorted tasks as sparehands and paid a fixed daily wage while more experienced loom operators would be paid by the piece. They were paired with more experienced women, who trained them in the ways of the factory.

Conditions in the Lowell mills were severe by modern American standards. Employees worked from 5:00 am until 7:00 pm, for an average 73 hours per week.  Each room usually had 80 women working at machines, with two male overseers managing the operation. The noise of the machines was described by one worker as “something frightful and infernal,” and although the rooms were hot, windows were often kept closed during the summer so that conditions for thread work remained optimal. The air, meanwhile, was filled with particles of thread and cloth.

The English novelist Charles Dickens, who visited in 1842, remarked favorably on the conditions: “I cannot recall or separate one young face that gave me a painful impression; not one young girl whom, assuming it to be matter of necessity that she should gain her daily bread by the labour of her hands, I would have removed from those works if I had had the power”” However, there was concern among many workers that foreign visitors were being presented with a sanitized view of the mills, by textile corporations.

The investors or factory owners built hundreds of boarding houses near the mills, where textile workers lived year-round. A curfew of 10:00 pm was common, and men were generally not allowed inside. About 25 women lived in each boarding house, with up to six sharing a bedroom.    Trips away from the boarding house were uncommon; the Lowell girls worked and ate together. However, half-days and short paid vacations were possible due to the nature of the piece-work; one girl would work the machines of another in addition to her own such that no wages would be lost but they would be lost if they stopped working.

These close quarters fostered community as well as resentment. Newcomers were mentored by older women in areas such as dress, speech, behavior, and the general ways of the community. Workers often recruited their friends or relatives to the factories, creating a familial atmosphere among many of the rank and file.  The Lowell girls were expected to attend church and demonstrate morals befitting proper society. The 1848 Handbook to Lowell proclaimed that “The company will not employ anyone who is habitually absent from public worship on the Sabbath, or known to be guilty of immorality.”

Ellen Coleman letter 1854 b


(I think the sign reads ” G D Coleman Blacksmithing”). Anoka, MN ~1880. Coleman on right. All others unknown

G.D. and Ellen emigrated from Maine to Anoka, Minnesota in 1856.   G.D. was a blacksmith and an owner and driver of fine horses.   He could drive his horse , Tony, by simple, quiet tones as “Turn to the left, Tony”, or “Turn to the right, Tony”.

G. D. Coleman, Nellie and Lucy Coleman, Horses-Tony and Old Kit, Anoka High School 1880 or 1881

G. D. Coleman, Nellie and Lucy Coleman, Horses-Tony and Old Kit, Anoka High School 1880 or 1881
Photo thanks to Chuck Russell

Guilford Dudley Coleman, Anoka, MN ca. 1880. Blacksmith

Guilford Dudley Coleman, Anoka, MN ca. 1880. Blacksmith  (Predates “Fear the Beard” Brian Wilson of the SF Giants by 130 years)

His grand daughter, Vera Mary Fitz wrote “We can be proud of our grandather.  Mother always praised him highly, so I have reverred his great physical and spiritual strength and integrity.”

These days Anoka is a suburb in Minneapolis

Ellen came to Minnesota as a bride with several nice dresses.  Ellen’s sister Esther sent her a dress of her own, the beauty of which is rarely seen.  It was a changeable silk of grey and pink made in the mode of that period, tight bodice with very full skirt, flowing sleaves with fringe of the same shade.

Ellen had excellent taste and she loved nice things, but she didn’t have them in Minnesota as she had had as a girl in Vassalboro.  Guilford Dudley was a good man and did the best he could to provide for his family.   He told his daughter Eleanor once that the Webbers didn’t want her to marry him.  The reason perhaps was that he didn’t have much money.  For he was a fine man in every way we knew.

In the 1860 census, Guilford, Ellen and Dana were living in Anoka, Anoka, Minnesota where Guilford was a blacksmith.

1 Dec 1862 Anoka, MN, Extract of Letter from Ellen to her mother Abigail.  Ellen wrote beautifully and expressed herself elegantly, though it appears frontier life didn’t entirely agree with her.

The prices of dry goods and groceries in short, everything, we need are really frightfully high.  Common factory cloth is 35 cents a yard, prints $0.23, flannel $0.75 delaines $0.35 and $0.40, etc.

But business is very good and wages high.  Guilford had 40 dollars per month offered him to drive a horse team this winter in the pinery, but concluded he could do much better to attend to his own business.

We have no fears of the Indians now.  About 200 of the Sioux are at Fort Snelling now, think we shall go down and see them this winter.  Many of them have been tried, found guilty and sentenced to be hanged, but the President will not give his consent.  Petitions are being sent asking him that justice should be done if the civil authorities do not execute them, the people are determined to sweep them from the face of the earth.  An old acquaintance of ours, now a soldier, stopped two days with us two weeks ago.  He was just from the Indian Country and of course we made many questions to ask, he says there have been 2000 people killed by them and Oh they have been so cruel.

The Dakota War of 1862, was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Sioux (also known as eastern Dakota). It began on Aug 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota. It ended with a mass execution of 38 Dakota men on Dec 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota.

Throughout the late 1850s, treaty violations by the United States and late or unfair annuity payments by Indian agents caused increasing hunger and hardship among the Dakota. Traders with the Dakota previously had demanded that the government give the annuity payments directly to them (introducing the possibility of unfair dealing between the agents and the traders to the exclusion of the Dakota). In mid-1862 the Dakota demanded the annuities directly from their agent, Thomas J. Galbraith. The traders refused to provide any more supplies on credit under those conditions, and negotiations reached an impasse.

On Aug 17, 1862, one young Dakota with a hunting party of three others killed five settlers while on a hunting expedition. That night a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley to try to drive whites out of the area. There has never been an official report on the number of settlers killed, although as many as over 800 settlers have been cited.

Over the next several months, continued battles between the Dakota against settlers and later, the United States Army, ended with the surrender of most of the Dakota bands. By late Dec 1862, soldiers had taken captive more than a thousand Dakota, who were interned in jails in Minnesota. After trials and sentencing, 38 Dakota were hanged on Dec 26, 1862, in the largest one-day execution in American history. In Apr 1863, the rest of the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota to Nebraska and South Dakota an the United States Congress abolished their reservations.

1866 letter from Ellen Webber Coleman to sister in law Elvira Coleman Gilbert copied 1916

1866 letter from Ellen Webber Coleman to sister in law Elvira Coleman Gilbert copied 1916 – Richmond was her brother who basically died of PTSD from the Civil War

Ellen was a wonderful bread maker.  She always made it with milk and her own yeast.  She was so generous towards those poorer than herself.

Nellie Coleman Shaw (My Great Grandmother) about 1879

Ellen had Nellie when she was 41 and died when Nellie was six.   According to Nellie’s niece, it was Nellie’s tender hearted, self sacrificing dispostion that made her believe her birth was the cause of her mother’s death.  Ellen was always delicate and after Guilford was struck by lightening she continued to fail in every way, even to losing her eyesight.  She played a game with the two little girls, feeling their hands and faces and guessing which was Lucy and which was Nellie.

After Ellen died, the older sisters played mother to the two littlest.  Eleanor taking Lucy and Esther taking Nellie.  Eleanor was already dating Ernest King.

Lucy and Nellie were inseparable as children

The little sisters hung around the blacksmith shop much of the time listening to stories the men told to “brother Coleman.”  The Coleman homestead was just one block from the main downtown of Anoka, so Lucy and Nellie used to wander down the block.  Mary Wood had a millinery store a block away.  She took to asking the little girls in for some candy or wash their faces and hands and to comb their hair.  Lucy and Nellie were impressed and would go home with the good news of Mary Wood and what she did.  Guilford started thinking maybe sh would be a good mother for the little girls so he courted and married her only to find out she was a very jealous person and almost insanely jealous of the two little girls.

Nellie Coleman Shaw – About 1883

Upon riding one day to Mollie’s relations in a sleigh, Guilford suggested because it was bitter cold “let’s put the little girls in the middle to keep them ward.”  Mollie had been riding next to Guilford, she changed places, threw the buffalo robe over the girls and sat madly with nothing over her and Guilford didn’t say a word.

Guilford would buy candy for the girls and Mollie would cry because “you didn’t buy it for me.”  Once when he had brought the some fruit, she carried on, screaming and yelling at the girls, threatening to leave them so they wouldn’t have a mother and went outside telling them she would probably lay down and die.  They were so frightened and believed her and ran to the shop to tell “Papa, Mama’s laying near the ash pile and she’s going to die — quick, save her!”  Guilford said nothing for a few momemts — looked up the lawn to see Mollie and calmly and softly said “let her rot.”

When bedtime came, the little sisters were upstairs to their bedroom,  They slept in a front corner and small bedroom,  In the winter it was so cold they could draw on the frost accumulated on the walls.  They would lay in bed and hug to get warm and pray that “Mama” wouldn’t come up .  They’d listen for her footsteps and if she came up, they’d pretend to be asleep.  If they fooled her, they’d hug each other in glee.


Coleman Family Home Anoka, MN –  left to right, Ammi Coleman, Dr. Aubrey Russell, Molly Woods Coleman (2nd wife of Guilford Coleman, seated), Guilford D. Coleman, Lucy Coleman Russell.

Here’s a better view courtesy of Chuck Russell.

Coleman House, Anoka, MN ca.1900

Coleman House, Anoka, MN ca.1900
Photo thanks to Chuck Russell

GD Coleman House and Blacksmith Shop, Anoka, MN 1900 far left-Ammi C. Coleman, Molly Woods Coleman, Lucy Coleman Russell, AH Russell, unknown man on wagon   Thank you to Chuck Russell

GD Coleman House and Blacksmith Shop, Anoka, MN 1900 far left-Ammi C. Coleman, Molly Woods Coleman, Lucy Coleman Russell, AH Russell, unknown man on wagon Thank you to Chuck Russell

GD Coleman's home and blacksmith shop were located at 200 Monroe Street Anoka Minnesota, today across the street from the old Anoka High School, now Sandburg Middle School.

GD Coleman’s home and blacksmith shop were located at 200 Monroe Street Anoka Minnesota,  a couple of blocks from the Rum River and less than a miles from the Mississppi.   The  old Anoka High School, then Sandburg Middle School is across the street  I wonder when that home in the middle of the block was built?

Sandburg Middle School held its school closing celebration event on Saturday, May 1, 2010. Last I read, The 106-year-old building that housed a middle school was targeted for training and other uses.

Minnesota is getting older. Even in places like Anoka County – where the overall population is stable or increasing – the number of school-age kids is shrinking.  Anoka-Hennepin School District had 2,000 fewer students in 2010 than it did in 2005 a loss equivalent to one elementary school a year.

The first portion of the building (what is now the center section of Sandburg, with the brick archway) was built in 1904, [just one year after GD’s death], as Anoka High School to serve the growing number of secondary students, which up to that point attended school in the old four room Irving School.

The site served many other purposes through the years after the junior high moved. From 1969 to 1975, it once housed the district offices, carpentry shop, Teen Parent Program and served as an “annex” for Franklin, Northdale and Ramsey students until additions or new buildings could be completed.   

In 1976, the school became Sandburg Middle School, the first middle school in Anoka-Hennepin. It began with grades five through seven and then changed to grades six through eight in the fall of 1992.

A public meeting was held in March 1893 to discuss a proposed new high school to cost $35,000 and officials learned that the majority of voters opposed the project. Bond issues to build the building were defeated by voters in 1895 and 1897 before voters approved (587 to 11) a bond issue of $30,000 in 1904 to build a new high school. Additions were added in 1929, 1939, 1956 and 1961 to accommodate population growth.

In 1954, the school was converted into a junior high school (Anoka Junior High School) to serve the entire district when a new high school was built at the current Fred Moore Middle School Center for the Arts site (to become Anoka Middle School Center for the Arts in fall 2010). During the transition years (1968-71) to Anoka High School’s current site (which opened in 1971), the junior high was moved to the old high school (current site of Fred Moore) and was remaned Fred Moore Junior High School.

The site served many other purposes through the years after the junior high moved. From 1969 to 1975, it once housed the district offices, carpentry shop, Teen Parent Program and served as an “annex” for Franklin, Northdale and Ramsey students until additions or new buildings could be completed.   

In 1976, the school became Sandburg Middle School, the first middle school in Anoka-Hennepin. It began with grades five through seven and then changed to grades six through eight in the fall of 1992.

G. D. Coleman House, Ammi Coleman (dark suit), AH Russell, Molly Woods Coleman (seated), GD Coleman, Lucy Coleman Russell, Anoka, MN 1900

G. D. Coleman House, Ammi Coleman (dark suit), AH Russell, Molly Woods Coleman (seated), GD Coleman, Lucy Coleman Russell, Anoka, MN 1900

Their chores included taking a big pail upstairs and each morning they’d make the rounds of the “pots” emptying them one by one into the big pail.  Lucy being the oldest and strongest had to carry the pail downstairs and out to the little house in the rear.  The back stairway was a steep and narrow one and one morning Lucy fell head over heels, getting the urine all over the stairs, her dress, hair and even in her mouth, with no sympathy from anyone but Nellie and her sympathy was squealed in a hurry.

Their clothes were few and pathetic.  Lucy was given a white pinafore apron which she loved.  She was permitted to wear it to a school program.  After school she had been told to go to the Woods home and before supper a calf got loose and everyone excitedly chased it.  Lucy forgot about the white apron and joined in the chase.  She caught it on a fence and tore it.  She begged Mrs. Woods to go home with her and she did telling Mollie it wasn’t Lucy’s fault so be “gentle” with her.  So Mollie ripped it off, folded it, put it in a box and sent it to a relative.  Lucy was crushed and begged to keep it, but Mollie was firm and mean and said she’d sent it to someone who would appreciate it.

“Aunt” Mollie was known as a mean step-mother to little Nelly and Lucy.  Later in life, Lucy’s child, Ruth Russell, wrote:

Neither Aubrey nor I warmed up to her very big effort to have us love her.  I’m sorry now as she was a pathetic, lonely soul and my mother forgave her saying ‘being a step-mother would be a hard role.’  She no doubt has all the Coleman pictures and history with her when she went to live with her nephew John Woods in Idaho.  He got her money, agreeing to provide well for her and to bury her in Anoka.  He was mean and she couldn’t get even money for a hair net from him and he denied her request for burial in Anoka.

G.D. employed his younger brother Seth as an apprentice in the Anoka blacksmith shop.

GD Coleman Blacksmith, Anoka, MN 1900 Unknown man, GD Coleman, Molly Woods Coleman, AH Russell, Lucy Coleman Russell and GD Coleman's favorite horse

GD Coleman Blacksmith, Anoka, MN 1900 Unknown man, GD Coleman, Molly Woods Coleman, AH Russell, Lucy Coleman Russell and GD Coleman’s favorite horse
Photo thanks to Chuck Russell

Children and Granchildren

G. D. & Ellen Coleman Children ca. 1871 Anoka, MN

G. D. & Ellen Coleman Children ca. 1871 Anoka, MN (figuring Ammi to be about 5)
Standing: Dana, Esther; seated: Eleanor, Ammi.

1. Dana Stowell Coleman

Dana’s wife Anna Maria Plank was born5 Feb 1855 in Wolcott, Wayne, New York. Her parents were Lewis Plank and Ann Groat. Anna Maria died 1 Sep 1934 in Whittier, Los Angeles, California.

In the 1870 census, Anna was living with her parents in Waterloo, Iowa where her father worked as an insurance agent.  In the 1860 census, she was living  in Wolcott, Wayne, New York with her parents where her father was a farmer

Dana Coleman (1857 – 1928)

In the 1900 census, Dana, Anna and Florence were living in Denver, Colorado where Dana was a lumberman.

Dana Coleman obit. Anoka Herald feb 26 1929

Anna Plank Coleman obit. Oct 3 1934 Anoka Union

Children of Dana  and Anna Marie Plank (5 Feb 1855 in Wolcott, Wayne, New York – 1 Sep 1934 in Whittier, Los Angeles, California)

i. Florence Maria Coleman  b. 8 Aug 1878 Anoka,  MN;  m. 20 Sep 1900 Denver CO to Ernest Ellsworth Day (6 Oct 1868 Mazepha, Minn – 12 Dec 1947 Whittier, Calif) (Congregational Minister)

In the 1910 census, Ernest and Florence lived in Cedar Falls, Black Hawk, Iowa where Ernest was a clergyman. They had moved to Whittier before the 1920 census. Ernest and Florence didn’t have children.

Aug 8 Ernest  and Florence Day with Anna and Dana Coleman

Ernest Day, Florence Day, Uncle Dana, Mama [Nellie], Eleanor [My grandma]

Florence Coleman Day, Nellie Webber Coleman Shaw, Eleanor King Shaw, Dana S. Coleman

ii.  Ellen Webber Coleman  b. 5 Feb 1883, Anoka, MN;  d. 1888 Pipestone, MN

Ellen Webber Coleman –             Age 2 1/2

Ellen Webber Coleman – Figure on top is a Lamb  “Our Beautiful Ellen Dau. of D & A Coleman. Born Feb. 17. 1884.  Died Aug. 28. 1889.  Aged 5 YRS. 6 MON.  Jesus said: Suffer little children to come unto me for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”   Oakwood Cemetery Anoka, Minnesota a few feet from her grandparents

2. Esther Finnette Coleman

Esther’s husband Edgar Howard Fitz was born in Apr 1858 in Minnesota. His parents were Rudolph Herr Fitz and Elmina Forbes Howard.  Edgar died 16 Jan 1939 – Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota.

Edgar was  a civil engineer and architect from St. Paul, came to work on a bridge spanning the river at Anoka.  “He went on Sunday to the church” where he met Esther Coleman.  they made their home in St. Paul and when their first child, Essie, was six weeks old they attended the wedding of Grandfather Coleman to Miss. Mollie Wood.  She was always called “Aunt Mollie.”  Office work proved too confining for E.H. Fitz so a few months later they moved to the farm in Martin County, later known as Cedar Park Farm.  When Dudley was two years old the farm was rented for a year and the family went to Great Falls, MT to join the King family.

In the 1900 census, Ester and E Howard were farming in Cedar, Martin, Minnesota.

Children of Ester Finnette Coleman and Edgar Howard Fitz

i. Essie Mina Fitz  (12 Dec 1883 St. Paul MN – 4 Jan 1971 Mountain View Cemetery Longmont, Boulder, Colorado Plot: Block 46A, L057S2SP001 ); m. 12 Sep 1906 Monterey, Minn, Cedar Park Farm to John Carter Malchow (17 Aug 1883 Lakefield, Minn. – Aft. 1940 census) John’s father was from Germany and his mother from Norway.

In the 1930 census, John was a retail hardware salesman in Brush, Morgan, Colorado.

ii. Lura Dulcie Fitz  (8 Oct 1885 – Jun 1886 Martin Co., MN)

iii. Rudolph Guilford Fitz  b. 26 Aug 1887 Triumph, Martin, MN – 6 Oct 1973 in Kirkland, King, Washington); m. 22 May 1915 Bethany, Oklahoma to Lura Katherine Witten (13 Nov 1891 Clay County, Texas – )

But God gives a song: The story of Dr. and Mrs. R.G. Fitz, pioneer missionaries to China and Alaska (Missionary books) by Maxine Fitz Fritz (Unknown Binding – 1973) Children born in Norman, Oklahoma and Tamingfu, Hopei (now Hebei province) China

Randolph and Lura sailed for China on the Kashima Maru on Oct 4, 1920.


For the Nazarenes, Bresee Memorial Hospital in Daming became an important ministry. The Women’s Foreign Missionary Society and California laypersons undertook the building project. C. J. Kinne, a Nazarene publisher who had spearheaded the fundraising, and who late in life married Susan Bresee, the daughter of Phineas Bresee, went to China to oversee the building’s construction. When completed in 1925, the hospital accommodated 100 beds. A nurses’ training school began soon after, with missionary nurses as instructors. The hospital was designed, as Kinne wrote, to be both a “‘Good Samaritan’ to relieve the sufferings of the people and an evangel of mercy to lead them to Christ.”

Both motives were there, both paradigms represented: that of ministering to people simply out of love, and that of evangelizing them through medicine. The social and evangelical components of the work were held in balance, though the hospital seemed to need to justify its existence in the years ahead by appealing to its evangelistic role. Despite fundamentalist pressures, the Nazarenes kept their medical, educational and other social work through the years in China.

Medical doctor R. G. Fitz arrived in 1920. He was in charge of the medical work for several years. But Fitz felt called to evangelism, and the mission secured other doctors, both Chinese and missionaries, to help him in the hospital.

The hospital’s workers were instrumental in initiating a revival that swept through the Nazarene mission in 1926-1927—right to the eve of a nationalist rebellion that swept the country.

Dr. C. E. West, in charge of the hospital during Fitz’s furlough, began to pray for revival while recuperating from smallpox.

Fitz returned to run the Daming hospital in the mid-1930’s.

In 1992 the government allowed the reopening of a church inside the city itself. About the same time, a Bible school led by former Nazarenes was opened in Handan. Eventually, as the Bible school graduates began to pass away, the children and grandchildren of these leaders continued and extended the ministry. They served as itinerant evangelists and Bible women, preaching and teaching holiness just as their fathers and mothers had done. A conservative estimate was that by that time there were 75,000 believers in the five Hebei Province counties in which the Church of the Nazarene had worked.

Wiese and Pattee, certain, though mistakenly, that the Nationalist government would soon defeat the Communists and open up the old field again, turned their attention toward the possibility of the church entering a new area. They contacted the National Christian Council in Shanghai about which sections of the country might be open for work. Upon the suggestion of the Council, the Nazarenes chose a field in southern Jiangxi Province around the cities of Ji’an and Kanhsien.

One strong factor in choosing this field was that Mandarin, the dialect the missionaries had learned in the North, was spoken in the area. Nazarenes beganwork in 1947. Katherine Wiese and Lillian Pattee soon joined their husbands. Others who arrived were R. G. and Lura Fitz and Mary Scott, from the old field, and newly-appointed missionaries Michael and Elizabeth Varro (daughter of the Fitzes) and Ruth Brickman.

In comparison to the work in the North, in which most of the converts were poor farmers, the membersin the southern field were from the business and professional classes. As the months wore on the missionaries sensed the political reality that the Communists would take over the entire country.

R. G. Fitz pioneered the Nazarene work in Alaska.

In retrospect, though Nazarene missionaries worked both closely and congenially with Chinese workers, the development of national leadership as a whole was slow. Missionaries held on to positions of leadership. In old China pastors had to petition for positions of responsibility in the field even after revivals and evangelistic fervor proved their spiritual worthiness and equality with the North American workers. Their advancement and the eventual indigenization of the entire work in mainland China was prompted by political and social necessities, not by deliberate act.

Lura arrived in Seattle from Shanghai in 15 Jun 1925 on the Empress of Russia.

Lura arrived in Victoria, Canada from Manila on the Empress of Canada on 22 Apr 1936.

In the 1940 census Rudolph G and Lura K were living at 1314 First Avenue, Fairbanks, Alaska where Randolph was a farmer with his own homestead. The address is in an industrial location, maybe a mailing address? The family was in China in 1935.

In his 1942 draft registration, Randolph was farming on Steel Creek Road Fairbanks, Alaska, about 5 miles northeast of town.

iv. Henry Dudley Fitz  (9 Oct 1889 Martin, MN – 19 Nov 1960 Farimount, MN); m. Pearl Iva Catlin (8 Nov 1885 in Minnesota – 11 Feb 1975 in Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota)

In the 1930 census, Dudley was purchasing agent at a gas engine factory in Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota.

v. Vera Mary Fitz  (8 Sep 1893 Martin Co, MN – 2 Feb 1972);  m. 16 Jul 1919 in Fairmont, Minn. to Clair Wilbur Musser (6 Mar 1898 – 4 Sep 1979)

In the 1930 census, Clair was an elevator manager in Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota.

vi. Howard Kenneth Fitz  (26 Jan 1897 Martin Co., MN – 24 May 1993 in Sioux Falls, Minnehaha, South Dakota) m1. 6 Dec 1920 Fairmount, Minn to Hazel V.  LaRoe (Larow) (b. 1902 Minnesota)  (one record states they divorced in 1927, but they were living together in 1930.)

In the 1930 census, Howard was a stock towman at Railway Motors in Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota.

In the 1940 census, Howard was living at 123 12th Street East, Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota and was married to Anna C. Groth  (b. Feb 1898 Illinois)  Her parents were John C L Groth  (immigrated from Germany in 1893) and Dora Hoeppen (immigrated from Germany in 1890).   There was a  eight year gap between Linnette b. 1926 and Doris b. 1934.

THANKSGIVING, 1917 Company E, 136th Infantry Camp Cody, Deming, New Mexico Howard K Fitz – Private First Class

vii. Irma Ruth Fitz  (15 Oct 1899, Martin Co., MN – 7 Oct 1969 in Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota) m1. 20 Jan 1917 Fairmount, Minn to Herman Henry Nordhausen (b. 16 Apr 1891  Illinois  – d. 13 Jun 1937 Fairmont, Minn) m2. 15 Mar 1938 Kimball Township, Jackson, Minn to Otto Bieberdorf (1 Mar 1896 in Oklahoma – 27 Nov 1985 in Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota)

In the 1930 census, Irma and Herman were farming in Kimball, Jackson, Minnesota.  Herman’s parents were born in Germany.

In the 1940 census, Irma and Otto were farming in Kimball, Jackson, Minnesota.  Otto’s parents were born in Russia and immigrated in 1891.

viii.  Nellie Coleman Fitz  (13 Aug 1901 Martin Co., MN – 22 Jun 1934 Fairmont, Minn); m. 12 Sep 1923 Fairmount, Minn to William Warren Carter (19 Aug 1899 Kansas City, Mo – 23 Apr 1980 in Minneapolis, Minnesota)

In the 1930 census, William was a printer in Fairmont, Martin, Minnesota


3. Eleanor Jane Coleman

Eleanor Jane’s husband Ernest Wight King was born 07 Dec 1861 in Neillsville, Clark, Wisconsin. His parents were John Franklin King (9 Apr 1831 Townton, Bristol, Mass – 10 Dec 1884 Neillsville City Cemetery, Neillsville, Clark County, Wisconsin, Plot: I-29) and Rozilla Marie Wight (1835  NY– Aft 1920). Ernest died 22 Nov 1931 in Yerington, Lyon, Nevada.

John enlisted Enlisted 26 Dec 1863 in Company I 14th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteer Regiment Four of its members received the Medal of Honor for service in the Battle of Corinth, October 3 and 4, 1862; among them the Color-Sergeant Denis J. F. Murphy (Green Bay), who, though wounded 3 times, continued bearing the colors throughout the battle.

Eleanor’s mother-in-law Rozilla Wight (1835 – aft 1920)

Ernest had moved from his farm home near Neilleville, Wisconsin to Minnesota to work in a machine shop in Minneapolis and later to have a machine shop of his own in Anoka, Minnesota. They met on the ice and often enjoyed skating together.

1938-From left – Aunt Lucy, Aunt Eleanor, Aunt Gladys, Nellie, Ben, Pheobe’s daughter Nellie Higgins, Uncle Ammi, Pheobe, Winn and Howard Shaw

Ernest W. King served in the Montana legislature while living in Lewistown and later while living in Bozeman. During the latter session he was Speaker of the House and was in line for nomination for Lieutenant Governor on the Republican ticket. However he became interested in the mining boom in Rawhide, Nevada, so left Montana to get in on that, his wife joining him later after Ruby and Gladys had been married and Dana graduated from High School. (Maybe around 1900??)

In the 1900 census, Ernest was a mine superintendent in Gilt Edge, Fergus, Montana. Guy S Hoisington, a school teacher was lodging with the family. Ernest and Eleanor had moved from Wisconsin before June 1893 when Dana was born.

In the 1910 census, Ernest was a mine owner in Bozeman, Montana.

In the 1920 census, Ernest was a foreman at a lead mine in Mina, Mineral, Nevada.

In the 1930 census, Ernest was a civil engineer in Yerington, Lyon, Nevada

Children of Eleanor and Ernest

Children of Eleanor Jane (Coleman) and Ernest Wight King  Standing left  Ruby King, b.1886, Anoka, MN. Gladys King, standing right, b. 1888, Triumph, MN. Phoebe King, seated , b. 1895 Great Falls, MT. Dana Coleman King, b. 1892, Great Falls, MT.

Far Left Gladys (King) Law, far left.  Ruby Ellen (King) Hogan, standing in middle.  Man on right unknown. Mother, Eleanor J. (Coleman) King, seated.  Ammi C. Coleman, Eleanor’s brother, seated. Brother, Dana Coleman King, standing in front of Ruby. Sister, Phoebe King, holding stuffed animal. Ca. 1907 Montana

i. Ruby Ellen King  (9 Oct 1886 Anoka MN – 9 Apr 1969 in Yellowstone, Montana);   m. 20 Feb 1910 Bozeman, Montana to George Riley Hogan (20 Feb 1910 Bozeman, MT. – 28 Sep 1971 in Billings, Yellowstone, Montana)   They are buried at Stanford Cemetery, Stanford, Judith Basin County, Montana.

In the 1930 census, George was a stock farmer in Lavina, Golden Valley, Montana.

ii. Gladys Molly King  (9 Jun 1888 Triumph MN –  12 Jan 1962 Boulder CO);  m. 30 Mar 1912 Bozeman, Montana to Benjamin Burton Law (17 Dec 1878 in Virginia – 14 Mar 1933 in Montana)

In the 1930 census, Benjamin was a District Court Judge in Bozeman, Montana.

– Benjamin Burton Law (12 Aug 1913, Bozeman, MT – 9 Apr 2001 in Menlo Park, California)

– Dana King Law (28 May 1915, Bozeman, MT – After 1992) Address: 712 26th Pl S, Arlington, VA, 22202 (1992)

– Carolyn Eleanor Law  b. 11 Jul 1919 Bozeman, MT;  m. Leonard Ernest Cordes 21 Jun 1941, Whittier, CA.   Eleanor Miner took  her niece Carolyn under her wing during World World II when Len was deployed in the Pacific.

– Dorothy Frances Law b. 26 Jan 1921, Bozeman, MT

In the 1940 census, Gladys, her daughters Carolyn and Dorothy and her mother Eleanor were living at 621 South Grand Avenue in Bozeman, Montana.

Inglewood 1944 – Len’s Sister, Leonard, Michael, Carolyn

iii. Dana Coleman King b. 12 Jun 1892 Great Falls, MT;  d. Aug 1915 Reno, NV (drowned while swimming) Dana went to Rawhide and worked in the mines for a year, preparatory to his college course of mining engineering at the University of Nevada in Reno.

iv. Phoebe Helen King  (20 Mar 1895, Great Falls, MT – 25 Apr 1971 in San Francisco, California)  m. 15 Dec 1919 to Winfield (Winn) Charles Higgins (10 Jan 1895 in Utah – 4 Apr 1971 in San Francisco, California)

Phoebe painted the landscapes that are in Nancy’s dinning room. In the 1930 census, Winn was a high school teacher in Ontario, Malheur, Oregon.

In the 1940 census, Winfield was  living at 857 North Virginia Street, Reno, near the University of Nevada campus and teaching vocational agriculture.  In 1935, the family had been living in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

By 1942, the family had moved to a new home also next to campus at 333 15th Street, Reno

Eleanor and Ernest continued to live after their marriage (1885) till after Ruby was born (1886) when the father went west to Great Falls, Montana. After Gladys was born (1888) the mother traveled west with the two little girls and moved onto a homestead. After proving up on it the family moved to Great Falls where Ernest King served as superintendent of the water works and city engineer till he was asked to take charge of the Gilt Edge Mine where the family, now including Dana (1892) and Phoebe (1895) moved. After three years there, they moved to Lewistown, Montana, for better school facilities, and later to Bozeman where the Montana State College was located. Here Ruby and Gladys attended, Ruby graduating in Domestic Science and Gladys specializing in Music and Art. Ruby and Gladys were both married in Bozeman, having met George Hogan and Ben Law while living there.

Phoebe stayed in Bozeman with Gladys and Ben until she was graduated from high school when she went to Nevada and entered the University of Nevada a year after Dana had started his course there. At the beginning of his third year Dana was drowned while swimming in Manzanita Lake on the University of Nevada campus with some of his fraternity brothers.

Phoebe continued at the college, graduating from the Normal (teaching) course after which she taught school for two years in the one room country school east of Fernley, Nevada. Then she taught at the tiny school of three white children and two Indians at the Simon Mine where her parents were located. He father was in charge of the mine there.  She had become engaged to her college classmate, Winfield Higgins, just before he had gone into training at Camp Lewis, Washington and later went overseas to do his part in the war. (WWI) The armistice was signed when he was on his way to the front, so he did not have to see action in battle. He returned to the US the next spring, got busy on the homestead in Smith Valley and built the four room house where he would bring his bride. She was glad to give up her teaching job, so the pair traveled to Reno and were married (1919). They lived on the ranch for four years.

Win was asked to teach Agriculture and some other subjects in the high school in Wellington, Nevada, in Smith Valley where Phoebe’s parents now lived, having given up the pursuit of mining. (Ernest King would have been 62 years old then). The family moved in with Phoebe’s parents and a second daughter was born there.

E. W. King was made secretary of the Walker River Irrigation District, also secretary of the Lyon County Farm Bureau, so he and his wife moved to Yerington, Nevada where they lived till his passing on and where she lived a few years more till she went to Montana to live with her widowed daughter Gladys.

4. Ammi Coleman 

Never Married.  A fine singer always.  According to a letter written by his brother Dana, Ammi was named after a neighbor, Ammi Cutter. In the 1900 census, Ammi was a bookkeeeper at a water company in Great Falls, Montana. In the 1910 census, Ammi was a cashier at a miller in Great Falls Ward 1, Cascade, Montana. In the 1920 census, Ammi was a bookkeeper at a smelter in San Diego, California.

Ammi Coleman in Great Falls Montana Flower Parade.   His postcard says he cannot run the machine himself.


Uncle Ammi and Nellie – These pictures have been to Portland and Great Falls

5. Lucy Coleman

Lucy grew up in Anoka.   She returned to Anoka in 1912 with husband, Dr. A. H. Russell. Moved to Duluth in 1919, then to Minneapolis in 1922.

Nellie and Lucy Coleman, Anoka, MN 1898

Nellie and Lucy Coleman, Anoka, MN 1898

Lucy Emma Coleman Russell in 1893 when she would have been about nineteen

Aubrey Herbert Russell – Minneapolis 1899

Lucy’s husband Aubrey Herbert Russell was born 1 Apr 1876 in Hastings, East Sussex, England.  His parents were Francis T. Russell and Frances F. [__?__].  He emigrated with his family to Winnipeg, Canada in 1881. Then to Minneapolis in 1891.. Graduated from U of Minn, College of Dentistry in 1902. Practiced dentistry in Anoka 1912-1919. Office on Main St.  Aubrey died 19 Nov 1941 in Minneapolis.

Children of Lucy Emma Coleman and Dr. Aubrey Herbert Russell

i. Aubrey Herbert Russell  (8 Oct 1904, Minneapolis, MN – 4 Dec 2000, Bismark,North Dakota)  m1. Myrtie Virginia Rainey 29 May 1940 Minneapolis, MN  (divorced 7 Dec 1946)  m2. 10 Jun 1947 Mora, MN. to Ellen Florence Stromberg

In the 1940 census, Aubrey Jr. was living with his parents at 317 West 34th Street Minneapolis and working as a clerk in a railway office.

Aubrey Russell Jr., 96, Bismarck, died Dec. 4, 2000 in a Mandan care center. A private family service will be held on Wednesday, with the Rev. W. Kendall Johnson of St. George’s Episcopal Church, Bismarck, officiating. Burial will be in Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis.

Aubrey Herbert Russell was born Oct. 8, 1904 in Minneapolis, the son of Dr. Aubrey H. Russell, Sr. and Lucy (Coleman) Russell. He was raised in Deer Lodge, Mont. and Anoka and Duluth, Minn. He graduated from Duluth Central High School in 1922 and began employment that year with the Soo Line Railroad in Minneapolis. He also served on the Soo Line Credit Union’s auditing committee.

Aubrey married Ellen Stromberg on June 10, 1947 in Mora, Minn. They raised in Minneapolis, Bloomington and Edina, Minn. In 1969, he retired from the Soo Line as an auditor. He and Ellen moved from Edina to Bismarck in 1985.

Aubrey’s lifelong interests were classical music, reading, and the family’s pet cats and dogs.

Aubrey is survived by his wife, Ellen, Bismarck; one son, Dr. Chuck Russell and his wife, Cindi, Bismarck; two daughters, Vicki Gilmore and her husband, Rod, Mandan, and Beth Acuna, Eden Prairie, Minn.; three grandsons, Chris and Andy Russell, Bismarck, and Eric Scherrer, Sacramento, Calif.; one sister, Ruth Russell Joseph, Minneapolis; and a niece, Janyece Clausen, Richfield, Minn.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and one grandson, Christopher Scherrer.

The family prefers no flowers. (Eastgate Funeral Service, Bismarck)

ii. Ruth Nellie Russell  (7 Jun 1907 Deerlodge, MT – 29 Oct 2003 in Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota);  m. 9 Sep 1934 Melrose, MN   Albert Francis Joseph (4 Mar 1904 Melrose, Minn. – 21 Mar 1983 in Hennepin, Minnesota)

In the 1930 census, Albert was living with his parents and was a clerk for a steam railroad in Minneapolis.  His father Albert Sr. was the yard master.  By 1940 Albert was still a clerk for the railroad.  He and Ruth were living at 3631 1st Avenue South, Minneapolis which is still standing today, a block west of the Interstate 35W freeway.

Ruth corresponded with my grandmother Eleanor Miner writing long letters for many years.  They only met once when the Russells came to their house in Inglewood on a trip west.  Ruth Joseph, might be last burial permitted at Oakwood Cemetery (2003)..


6.  Nellie Webber Coleman   (See Howard Irwin SHAW‘s page)


Coleman Family Tree compiled 1958-1961

Guilford Dudley Coleman – Added by: Chuck Russell

Ellen Celeste Webber Coleman Added by: Chuck Russell

This entry was posted in -5th Generation, College Graduate, Historical Monument, Line - Shaw, Storied and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Guilford Dudley Coleman

  1. Pingback: Oliver Webber | Miner Descent

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  5. Margaret Peterson says:

    Could you please contact me. I am related to the Coleman’s. I am going to Anoka next week to do some research and will share what i find with you. Maggie

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  11. margaret peterson says:

    looking for Mark Miner..have new Colman pictures

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  13. Pingback: Nellie Coleman 1890/91 Letters | Miner Descent

  14. If possible, I’d like permission to use the historic photo that you have of the Coleman Blacksmith with Horse Carriage out front. Our small Museum and Mine are located in Shullsburg Wisconsin. Your photo would be enlarged to approx. 3ft. x 2ft. and showcase early Pioneers life. If you would like to discuss, my cell # is 608-459-0691. Thank You!

  15. Chuck Russell says:

    Mark, Did you ever receive the dvd and original, Shaw family photos I sent you in May? I’d be very disappointed if they were lost.

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