Rochelle Herald, Rochelle, Illinois
Wednesday, April 14, 1920
Postmaster John Coleman Dies Suddenly At His Home
The many friends of John Coleman were shocked on Thursday afternoon to learn of his sudden death which occurred at his home about 2 o'clock.
Mr. Coleman was apparently in good health when he left the Post Office for his home at noon. After eating a hearty dinner he laid down for a short nap, which was his usual custom. The other members of the family returning to school and their other duties, leaving him alone in the house. About 2 o'clock a neighbor called at the home and on entering discovered Mr. Coleman lying on the floor, and on going to him found that life was extinct. His family physician was called and the family were notified.
Death was pronounced by the physician due to acute indigestion, causing heart failure. Indications were that death resulted instantly and without a struggle. The fresh coal on the furnace fire showed that he had been to the basement to attend the furnace and it is supposed he was stricken shortly after returning to the first floor where he was found.
The news of his death spread about the city like wildfire causing sadness in many homes here and vicinity where he had spent his entire life. He was known throughout this section as "Honest John Coleman" and he numbered his friends by the hundreds.
John Coleman was a son of the late Michael and Mary Coleman. He was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, May 7, 1860. When six years of age his family moved to Ogle County, Illinois and settled on a farm in Lynnville Township. He was married to Helen Sullivan May 4, 1892. They resided on a farm in Lynnville township until September 1912 when they came to Rochelle to reside. Mrs. Coleman passed away the following August.
He is survived by five children, Mrs. Stephen Kirby and Eugene of Chicago; Bryan, who is in the U.S. Navy service, now stationed at Honolulu; Irene and Walter who reside at home, three brothers and one sister, Edward of Rochelle; James and Martin of Dement Township and Mrs. D. F. Sullivan of Rochelle.
In 1910 John Coleman was elected to the state legislature as the minority member from this district, serving for two terms, making a record with great credit to himself and the people he represented. In November 1913 he was appointed postmaster of this city which position he occupied at the time of his death.
The funeral services were held from St. Patrick's Church Saturday morning at 9:30 every seat in the church being occupied which testifies to the high esteem in which he was held.
Requiem high mass officiated by Rev. Father Bourke assisted by Father Finn of Rockford and Father Quinn of Dixon. Father Finn, a former pastor at his church preaching the sermon. The interment was at the South Cemetery.
Among those present at the funeral were Edward Coleman and daughter Miss Kate of Colo, Iowa; Dr. and Mrs. A. B. Culhane, of Rockford; Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Reynolds, Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Harmon, Fairdale, Nebr.; Michael Egan, Rockford; Mr. Peacock, Mrs. Kehoe and Mrs. Conklin, Cherry Valley; Mr. and Mrs. George Higgins, Rockford; Mr. Harry Peck, Chicago; Representative John Devine, Dixon; Hon. James Wilson, Polo; State Senator John Atwood, Rockford and Postmasters Hylan, DeKalb,; Rohman, Sycamore; Roselar, Ashton; Hogan, Dixon; Clavin, Sterling; Avey, Mt. Morris and Walkup of Oregon.
Contributed by Peg Arnold
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