Oren H. Coleman update 10/18/2016

Oren H. Coleman was born on July 25, 1836, in Rensselaer County, New York, the son of Massachusetts or New York natives Eli and Hannah (Berry).

In 1840 there was one Eli B. Coleman living in Sand Lake, Rensselaer County, New York. By 1850 Oren was living with his family on a farm in Hancock, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Oren eventually settled in western Michigan. Oren was 24 years old, stood about 5’8” with grey eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and probably residing in Big Rapids, Mecosta County when he enlisted in Company B on May 13, 1861. Oren was in the Georgetown Seminary hospital sometime in the summer of 1861. He was a Quartermaster’s “waiter” from July of 1862 through August, and was driving an ambulance from September of 1862 through February of 1864. It is not known if he ever rejoined the regiment or was still driving an ambulance when he was wounded by a gunshot to the right hand during the battle of the Wilderness, probably on or about May 6, 1864. He was in any case, subsequently sent to the field hospital where his left middle finger was amputated at the second joint. He was then sent to Lincoln hospital in Washington, DC, where he remained about month before being transferred to Chestnut Hill hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He remained in Philadelphia until he was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864. (He may have lost a finger as a result of his wound.)

It is not known if Oren returned to Michigan after the war, and in fact it appears he remained in Pennsylvania, settling in Conshohocken, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania where he was living in 1872 when he first applied for a pension; and indeed he received a pension no. 118,311, drawing $6.00 per month by 1900.

He married Pennsylvania native Isabella Ann Kennedy (1851-1921) on February 10, 1866, in Conshohocken, and they had at least four children: Marette or Marsilla (b. 1867), Lily (b. 1869), a daughter (b. 1873), Isabelle (b. 1880) and Violet or Viola (b. 1883). (Isabella could neither read nor write in 1870.)

For some years he worked as a tanner, although by 1870 he was working as a teamster (listed as “Owen”) and living with his wife and daughter in Conshohocken, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. By 1880 he was apparently working as an ice and coal dealer or delivery man and living on East Dauphine Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife and children; also living with them was Mary Canada, a sister-in-law and three boarders. By 1890 he was residing at 2541 E. Dauphin Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and by 1900 and 1911 he was living at 2510 E. Dauphin Street.

Oren was listed as an ice dealer when he died on February 19, 1912, at his home at 2510 E. Dauphin Street of mitral stenosis. He was buried on February 22 in Holy Sepulcher cemetery in Philadelphia.

In 1912 his widow applied for and received a pension (no. 739027). She was residing at 9503 E. Norris Street in Philadelphia when she died in 1921.