Long since Dr. Coleman, now a member of the medical fraternity of Washington, left the ranks of the many to stand among the successful few. He is a man of strong individuality and marked personality and is a recognized leader of public thought and opinion, his influence being marked in professional, military and fraternal circles. For many years a leading and representative citizen of Miami county, he well deserves representation in this volume for his history forms an integral part of the annals of Troy.

    The ancestry of the family may be traced back to Noah Coleman, who came from England to America in the year 1630, taking up his abode in the Massachusetts colony. His son, Noah Coleman, married Hannah Gunney, and their children were Noah, John, Ebenezer and Nathaniel. Dr. Noah Coleman, of the third generation, married Mercy Wright, and their children were Mary, Sybil, Noah, Ozias, Daniel, Asaph and Zenas. Dr. Coleman removed to Colchester, Connecticut, and there spent his remaining days. He served as a surgeon in the Second Connecticut Infantry for four years, from January, 1777, until January 1, 1781, and by reason of that service became one of the original members of the Society of Cincinnati in the state of Connecticut.

    Dr. Asaph Coleman, his fourth son, married Eunice Hollister, and their children were Julias, Eunice, Asa, Pamelia, Clarissa and Maria. Dr. Asaph Coleman held two commissions as surgeon, as a member of the Connecticut troops in the war of the Revolution.

    Dr. Asa Coleman, the father of our subject, is a native of Glastonbury, Connecticut, and became one of the pioneers and distinguished citizens of Miami county Ohio. He married Miss Mary Keifer, a native of Sharpsburg, Maryland, and they became the parents of the following children: Horace, Pamelia, Augustus Henry, Asa, George Edwin and Julius Adams.

    Their eldest son, Horace Coleman, was born in Troy, Ohio, December 7, 1824, and in the public schools acquired his education. Among his teachers were Maciah Farfield, Uriah Fordyce, Benjamin F. Powers, who taught a select school giving instruction in the languages, George D. Burgess, and Robert McMurdy. Dr. Coleman spent one year in the preparatory school of Kenyon College, in Gambier, Ohio. When on the way to Gambier his father took him in a carriage to Columbus, with the intention of sending him by stage to Mt. Vernon, but when Dr. Coleman, Sr., applied for a passage he was informed that every seat was taken both inside and out of the coach. He felt very much annoyed at this, but just at that time Mr. Neal came up and said: "Doctor, what is the trouble?" When informed, he replied, "I will fix your boy. General William Henry Harrison is at Mr. Alfred Kelley's and we are going to send him to Mt. Vernon by special stage coach, which is now at the door." He then offered to take Horace on the same trip, and with Mr. Neal they entered the coach and went to the residence of Mr. Kelley for their distinguished passenger. There were six in the coach, including the boy Horace, who occupied the back seat with General Harrison during the day's journey.

    During the spring and summer months Horace Coleman remained upon his father's farm and aided in planting corn, following the shovel plow and doing other light work in connection with the cultivation of the fields. Subsequently he spent two years as assistant to John B. Fish, engineer and surveyor. Their principal work was the building of the Troy and Dayton pike on the west side of the Miami river, and they also worked on the Troy and Greenville pike, doing other work in their line on ditches and farms. When he was seventeen years of age his father determined the course of his future life. Going to the library and taking there from a book on human anatomy, Dr. Coleman gave it to his son with the remark that every morning after breakfast he would question him on his previous day's study. This course was followed with but little interruption for two years, and, becoming deeply interested in the subject Horace Coleman determined to devote his life to the practice of medicine. He had for a fellow medical student, for one year, his friend Simon E. Hustler. Later our subject entered the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, where he pursued his first course of lectures during the school year of 1844-5. In 1848-9 he pursued his second course, at the close of which the degree of doctor of medicine was conferred upon him. While he was pursuing his medical studies in Cincinnati he had the pleasure and honor of being present at the reception given to James K. Polk, in 1845, and to the one extended Zachary Taylor in 1849. These receptions were held while the two gentlemen were passing through Cincinnati on their way to Washington to be inaugurated president of the United States.

    The interval of four years between Dr. Coleman's college courses was spent in study and in the practice of medicine, a part of the time being passed at Fredericksburg, Miami county. After his graduation he continued practice in Troy, being associated for a part of the time with his father and also for a part of the time with Dr. George Keifer, his uncle. In the summer of 1850 he removed to Logansport, Indiana, sending his family and household goods by canal, while he made the journey in a doctor's gig. In a short time he was actively engaged in an extensive practice there and so continued until he was commissioned surgeon. For three years of the time he was in partnership with Dr. Graham N. Fitch, who was colonel of the regiment of which the Doctor became surgeon. The latter was commissioned by Governor O. P. Morton, of Indiana, surgeon of the Forty-Sixth Regiment of Indiana Volunteers on the 7th of October, 1861, and was on active duty with that command in all of its important engagements up to the surrender of Vicksburg and the evacuation of Jackson, Mississippi. He resigned July 31, 1863. He was detailed for service as medical director of the Twelfth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, commanded by General A. P. Hovey, was medical director of the district of eastern Arkansas under General L. F. Ross and was surgeon in charge of the field hospital of the Thirteenth Army Corps at Jackson, Mississippi. In December, 1863, he removed to Troy, there remaining until commissioned by Governor John Brough, of Ohio, as surgeon of the One Hundred and Forty-seventh Regiment of Ohio Volunteers, on the 2d of May, 1864. He was on duty with that regiment during its term of service and was mustered out with it on the 30th of August, 1864. Soon afterward, on the 8th of June, 1865, he was again commissioned by Governor Brough as military surgeon for Miami county, his duty being to examine and give certificates of exemption from the draft in compliance with the statutes of Ohio. He was appointed an examining surgeon by the pension department on the 6th of February, 1866, and served in that capacity until September 14, 1889, when he resigned by reason of his appointment as qualified surgeon in the bureau of pensions, which position he holds at the present time, in the autumn of 1900. He was commissioned by President U. S. Grant, on the 5th of February, 1870, as an assessor of internal revenue for the fourth collection district of Ohio, and discharged with marked ability the important and responsible duties of the position until the change in the internal revenue laws discontinued the office of assessor.

    In the military organizations which have had their rise among those who wore the blue upon southern battlefields during the Civil war, Dr. Coleman has been very prominent. He became a charter member of A. H. Coleman Post, No. 159, G. A. R., which was named in honor of his brother, who was one of the gallant officers of the Union army. He also holds a membership in Sedgwick Regiment, No. 3, Union Veterans' Union, of Washington, District of Columbia. He is a member of the Ohio Commandery of the military order of the Loyal Legion, of Cincinnati, and was a charter member of the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, of Washington, District of Columbia.

    In Masonic circles Dr. Coleman has also attained distinction. He was made a Master Mason in Franklin Lodge, No. 14, F. & A. M., of Troy, in 1846, and served as its worshipful master. For four years he was master of Tipton Lodge, No. 43, F. & A. M., at Logansport, Indiana, and was a charter member and the first worshipful master of Orient Lodge, No. 272, F.& A.M., of Logansport, with which he became identified on the 20th of May, 1861. He held charters from the grand lodge of Indiana for a military lodge during the war of the Rebellion and also served as its worshipful master. He is likewise a representative of Capitular Masonry, having taken the Royal Arch degrees in Franklin Chapter, No. 24, of Troy. He is past high priest, both of this chapter and of Logansport Chapter, No. 2, R.A.M., of Logansport, Indiana. He passed the circle of Cryptic Masonry and was created a Royal and Select Master in Franklin Council, No. 14, of Troy, of which he is past thrice illustrious master. He demitted from that organization to become a charter member, and was made the first illustrious master, of Logansport Council, No. 11, R. & S. M., at Logansport, Indiana, May 18, 1858. At the date of his enlistment, October 7, 1861, he held office in the grand chapter of Indiana and was thrice illustrious grand master of the grand council of the state. He received the degrees of knighthood in Reid Commandery, No. 6, of Dayton, Ohio, November 26 1847, when William H. Reper was eminent commander. Subsequently he became a charter member of Lafayette Commandery, No. 3, of Lafayette, Indiana, on the 19th of September, 1856, and is also a charter member and past eminent commander of Coleman Commandery, No. 7, K. T., of Troy. He has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish rite in the northern jurisdiction, valley of Ohio. In Masonic circles he is widely known, having the high regard of his brethren of the craft, for his life stands in exemplification of its ennobling principles. On the 18th of August, 1875, he received a diploma as a member of the Masonic Veterans' Association of Ohio, by reason of his having been an active contributing member for over twenty years. Dr. Coleman became a member of Troy Lodge, No. 43, I. O. O. F., in December, 1845, and of that organization is past noble grand. His name is still on its membership roll and he is a valued representative of the fraternity.

    In his political views the Doctor is a zealous and earnest Republican. He joined the party on its organization and up to the present time has been one of its effective and untiring workers. He has done efficient service in its behalf as chairman of the county committee and a member of the state central committee. After winning a substantial victory as chairman of the county committee during the second Republican campaign and when Abraham Lincoln was declared elected president, he determined to attend the inaugural ceremonies, and did so. He had the satisfaction of occupying a position directly in front of the president and could distinctly hear every word as Chief Justice Taney administered the oath of office and every word of the president's inaugural address. He was a delegate to the national convention held in Chicago, which nominated Grant and Colfax, being a close personal friend of Schuyler Colfax, and used all honorable means in his power to secure his nomination, and was given much credit for the work done in that direction, his efforts being largely instrumental in securing the desired result. He attended the inauguration of President Grant, occupying a seat in the senate gallery and also witnessed all of the imposing ceremonies connected with the occasion. Dr. Coleman's fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have frequently called him to public office, honoring him with such positions as were in their power to bestow. He has served as city councilman both in Logansport, Indiana, and in Troy Ohio. While a member of the Troy council he was chairman of a committee authorized to purchase cemetery grounds, and has the satisfaction of knowing that the purchase which he urged was made and has proved to be a good one. He was subsequently president of the board of cemetery directors whose duty it was to secure the service of the best available cemetery engineers to assist in the platting of the ground. While the question of a name for the cemetery was being discussed and names were selected from which to choose, a Mr. Whitaker, a member of the Eleventh Ohio Infantry, was the first person buried in the new cemetery, Rev. William Young officiating, and while at the side of the grave Dr. Coleman suggested to him that the cemetery should be called Riverside. After a moment's thought the minister suggested the name and gave his reasons for believing that it would be an appropriate and suitable one. The board of trustees unanimously adopted it and it has since been known as the Riverside cemetery. Dr. Coleman also served as a member and president of the board of education of Troy, and the cause of education found in him a warm friend, who performed effective service in its behalf.

    His parents were devoted members of the Episcopal church, and his aged grandmother was a thorough church woman who took great pains in instructing the Doctor, when he was very young, in all that pertains to the teachings of the church. He has never renounced his faith, but became a communicant of the Episcopal denomination and served as vestryman of the church at Logansport and as vestryman and warden of Trinity church, at Troy, Ohio. On the 4th of December, 1872, he became a life member of the American Bible Society.

    When about seventeen years of age the Doctor joined the Lafayette Blues, a noted military company of that day. At the great Henry Clay political meeting, held at Dayton, Ohio, in 1844, the Lafayette Blues acted as body guard to the Kentucky statesman, and the Doctor well remembers the great effort required to keep back the surging crowd from the orator as he stood alone on the platform on the corner of the principal street to review the mammoth procession,--there to see and be seen by all.

    On the 7th of November, 1847, Dr. Coleman wedded Miss Mary Louisa Aldrich, a daughter of Colin Aldrich, a native of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Her mother, who bore the maiden name of Rebecca Furnas, was a native of South Carolina and a daughter of Thomas Wilkison Furnas, who, with a colony of Quakers from South Carolina, emigrated to Troy, Miami county in 1804. The marriage of Dr. Coleman was blessed with the following children: George Oliver, Horace, Walter, Jessie Louisa, Edward, Mary Rebecca and Warren. Of these George died July 25, 1851, and Walter on the 7th of September, 1860, but the others are still living.

    During all the passing years of an active and useful career Dr. Coleman has continued to engage in the practice of his profession and is regarded as one of the best medical examiners in the bureau of pensions. On the 2d of January, 1897, having complied with the recent act of congress, he secured the license required by said act to practice medicine and surgery in the District of Columbia. While in Troy, Ohio, he served as a director in the First National Bank for fourteen years. He possesses marked judgment and discernment in the diagnosing of disease, and is peculiarly successful in anticipating the issue of complications, seldom making mistakes and never exaggerating or minifying the disease in rendering his decisions in regard thereto. He is a physician of great fraternal delicacy, and no man ever observed more closely the ethics of the unwritten professional code or showed more careful courtesy to his fellow practitioners than does he. Almost as a sacred trust he seems to hold his professional offices, and he never forbears to go forth to the relief of those afflicted, showing clearly that his is an abiding sympathy and that he withholds not his hand from the poor and needy. At this point it would be almost tautological to enter into any series of statements as showing our subject to be a man of broad intelligence and genuine public spirit, for these have been shadowed forth between the lines of this review. Strong in his individuality, he never lacks the courage of his convictions, but there are as dominating elements in his individuality a lively human sympathy and an abiding charity, which, as taken in connection with the sterling integrity and honor of his character, have naturally gained to Dr. Coleman the respect and confidence of men.     Photo of home    

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