Andrew and Sarah E. Coolman


From: 1887 History of Huntington County, Rockcreek Township.

ANDREW COOLMAN, the subject of this sketch, was born near the town of Warren, Huntington Co., Ind., July 31, 1840, the third in a family of ten children born to William and Mary Ann (McKee) Coolman. William Coolman was a native of Montgomery County, Ohio, and in early life married Sophia Harvey, she died a few years later. He subsequently married Mary A. McKee, and in 1835 moved to Huntington County, Ind., settling east of Warren, having been one of the earliest pioneers in the southern part of the county. Being possessed of limited means, he was obliged to sell his team to pay for his land, and his hardships during the first few years spent in the country were such as would quickly discourage the bravest hearted of the present day. He made a good farm, however, and lived to see the wilderness of Salamonie developed into one of the most fertile and highly favored regions of Northern Indiana. His death occurred in 1874, at the age of sixty-seven years. His wife preceded him to the grave, dying in 1859. Andrew Coolman grew to manhood on a farm and early became familiar with the hard work of clearing and chopping, having, while yet a mere child, frequently assisted his father in the rugged task of removing the forest growth and preparing the rough ground for cultivation. His early educational training was received in the old back woods school house, where, by close application, he obtained the rudiments of an education which, supplemented by subsequent reading, has made him a comparatively well posted man. He remained under the parental roof until the call to arms for the defense of the Union resounded throughout the country, at which time, 1861, he entered the army as a member o Company D, Thirty-Fourth Indiana Infantry, with which he shared the fortunes and viscissitudes of war in many hard campaigns and bloody battlefields. He reenlisted February, 1864, at New Orleans, and from that time until February 4, 1866, served with distinction as a brave and trustworthy soldier. During his long period of service, four years and five months, he was always ready for duty, participated in fifteen engagements, and was held a prisoner for six days, having been captured in his last engagement, a short time prior to Lee's surrender. On leaving the army, he returned home to invest his savings in eighty acres of land, upon which he at once went to work improving a farm. By industry and economy he has been enabled to add to his original purchase, and at this time owns quite an area of valuable land in Rock Creek Township. He was married February 25, 1875 to Miss Sarah E. Reed. She was born in Preble County, Ohio, December 1, 1845, and departed this life on the 13th day of August, 1883, leaving one child, Charles H., born July 5, 1876. Mr. Coolman married his present wife, Sarah E. Shoemaker, February 28, 1884. She was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, September, 1861, and is the mother of one child, William A., born November 30, 1884.

From: Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, Indiana 1901

There is probably no one better known to the residents of Huntington county, Indiana, and vicinity than the gentleman whose name appears above. Born and reared in this county, he has become so closely identified with the history of the community as to make his biography indispensable to a record which treats of the men whose influence and example have been instrumental in promoting the public welfare, and who are really the backbone of the county. Mr. Coolman was born in Salamonie township, July 31, 1840, his parents being William and Mary Ann (McKee) Coolman, who located in this vicinity during the early part of the past century and took an active part in the development of the country. The father was born June 6, 1807, and the mother December 29, 1815, in Butler County, Pennsylvania. They were married August 8, 1833 and three years later came by wagon to Indiana, locating in Salamonie township in February, 1836. They entered eighty acres of land and put up a log house, in which they lived for many years, forcing a living from the soil and striking decisive blows for the higher civilization of the future. As time passed and they prospered in life they added another eighty to their homestead, the last purchase being in Jackson township, Wells county. Twenty acres of this was afterward sold and the balance cleared off, thirty-five acres being left in its original state. William Coolman was a public spirited, enterprising citizen, and did much to push the interests of his western home, laying out roads, establishing section lines and helping in every way to do that which would work for the future good of the little community. He was a republican and a member of the United Presbyterian church, known and liked by the inhabitants of the entire county, where his upright conduct had won him universal esteem. He was twice married, his first wife being Sophia Harvey, a native of Ohio, who bore him two children, both of whom died in infancy. She died and he was married to his second wife, the mother of our subject, before locating in Indiana. This union resulted in the birth of ten children, namely: Daniel, who was born January 10, 1835, and married Margaret Dalrymple, is now dead, leaving two children, David and Rosa May: James, born September 19, 1836, is a farmer of Huntington township, this county, and married Loretta Lewis, by whom he has four children, Lizzie, William, Walter and John; Andrew, our subject; Catherine E., born August 18, 1842, married Jonathan H. Gephart, a farmer of this township; William, born December 12, 1844, died January 10 following; Margaret, born September 4, 1846, married Lemuel Colbert, a wealthy farmer of Salamonie township, who is represented on another page of this work; Jacob, born January 29, 1849, is a merchant of Huntington and also owns a fine farm in Marion County; Martha Ann, Born January 12, 1851, married Levi Huffman, of Wells County; Josiah, born November 29, 1854, is a prominent farmer of this township and married Eliza Ann Eubank; and David Henry, born January 26, 1860, is a well-known agriculturist of Wells County. The mother passed away in 1869 and the father five years later.

In 1861 Andrew Coolman enlisted, on September 8, in Company D, Thirty-fourth Indiana Volunteers, at Warren, under Captain Jonathan Jones and Colonel Steele, serving four years and five months and taking part in many of the fiercest battles of the Rebellion. Among the engagements in which he participated were the following: Helena, Arkansas; Island No. 10: New Madrid, Missouri; Champion Hills: Siege of Vicksburg; Black River; Jackson; Grand Gulf and numerous others, including the last battle of the war (Pallito Prairie),where the Mexican battle was fought by Gen. Taylor. He was taken prisoner but was so fortunate as to be retained only six days, and so escaped the horrors of the southern prisons. He was discharged at Rio Grande in February, 1866, was mustered out at Indianapolis and returned home on the 20th of the same month.

While he was in the army he saved all his money, sent it home and purchased eighty acres of land where he now lives. Indiana was a wooded country, and his land was covered with a heavy growth of timber and underbrush. He made a clearing, built a log cabin of one room, eighteen by twenty-eight feet in dimensions, and as the land was new, set about making a home according to what his ideas of a rural home should be. He has always been a hard worker and compelled Dame Fortune to smile on his efforts, and today has a charming home surrounded by broad acres of well tilled land which yield handsomely in return for the labor expended. He has added to his possession from time to time until he now owns one hundred and ninety-eight acres, twenty-five of which are in timber, and is one of the most prosperous farmers of this section.

February 28, 1875, he married Sarah Elizabeth Reed, a native of Ohio and daughter of Josiah and Lucinda (King) Reed, who came from Ohio to Salamonie township to make their home. Mrs. Coolman died and he was married August 14, 1883, to Sarah Elizabeth Shumaker, daughter of Archibald Shumaker, of this county. By his first wife Mr. Coolman has one son, Charles Henry, a resident of Warren. By his second marriage there were five children, viz: William A., Dessie May; Ernest A.; Blanche, who died in early life; and Mary Ann. Mr. Coolman is Prohibitionist and is a very popular man in his township. He was chosen as trustee and made a most acceptable record. He is a member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church.


To return to, click here.