COLEMAN, Robert B.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 651-652
Probably few of the enterprising farmers and merchants of Winnebago County [IL] have met with more uniform success in their business undertakings than this gentleman, who is now living in retirement in Pecatonica. For 30 years a general merchant, the inception of his business during the early history of the village was marked by success, which constantly increased in number of its inhabitants.
Mr. COLEMAN was born in Chester Township, Morris County, NJ, 22 Dec 1824, and is the son of Jabish and Sarah (BUNN) COLEMAN. His father was born on Long Island and came to this county in Oct 1839, entering land with his son at Dixon and remaining on the farm thus purchased until he died, at the age of 75. Mrs. Sarah COLEMAN, who was a native of NJ, was a daughter of John BUNN, who came from Germany to this country when quite young and entered the army during the Revolutionary War, serving until its close and receiving a pension on account of a wound received in the hand; he died at the age of 90. The mother of our subject attained to the venerable age of nearly 95 years, when she passed away at the home of a daughter in Hancock, IL. Her family included five children, three of whom are living at this writing (1892).
When the father sought a home in Northern IL in 1839, our subject accompanied him hither, and for three years thereafter carried mail on what was known as the Rockton & Savanna route. His journey to this State was made overland with a team from NJ to Wellsville [Columbiana County], OH, thence by steamboat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, thence to Galena, where a team was hired at $5 per day to convey the family to Winnebago County. In that early day, Chicago and Mineral Point [Green County], WI, were the principal markets for produce, and journeys to those places were frequently taken. It was by no means easy to exchange grain and vegetables for good cash, and the mining towns were the best places to go for this purpose, as gold and silver could be there procurred.
The wife of our subject was known in her maidenhood as Miss Emily F. THOMPSON, and was born near Hudson [Summit County], OH, in 1828, and died in Pecatonica 25 Mar 1878. Her parents, J. W. and Emily (MILLS) THOMPSON, were pioneers of Winnebago County, and died at the home of Captain A. W. THOMPSON when about 90 years old. They were the parents of 11 children, six of whom now survive. Mr. and Mrs. COLEMAN had three children, but one along survives: Lizzie, who was born in 1860; she married Joseph WRIGHT and has one daughter, named Berdena.
After his marriage, Mr. COLEMAN resided on the land which he entered from the Government and continued to devote his attention to its improvement until 1856, when he removed to Pecatonica, and buying a stock of goods, entered the mercantile [p 652] business. He continued thus engaged with marked success until a number of years ago, when he disposed of his store and retired from active business interests. Formerly he was an extensive property owner, but at present has sold all his landed possessions, excepting one and a half sections in MO, his home in Pecatonica, and several other lots in this thriving village. In his social connections, he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the A. W. Rawson Lodge, Free & Accepted Masons.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.