Thursday, November 15, 2012

Jane Smith Coleman

Two photos of Jane Smith Coleman.  Also see the post from October 7 for another photo of Jane Smith Coleman.



Jane married George Coleman 29 January 1857, at Lehi, Utah.  While there, three little girls were born: Mary, Sarah May, and Betsy Ann.  Since Jane had learned weaving extra well before leaving Scotland, she wove 40 yards of cloth before her son George was born.  She wove cloth for her own family and for her neighbors.  She also crocheted baby bonnets for her own and some for sale.

In 1863 George Coleman moved his family to Smithfield, Cache County.  Here Jane’s daughter Emma Jane and four sons, George, Alexander, Walter and John, were born.  In 1877 the family moved to Escalante, Garfield County, Utah.  The next year a baby girl was born and was named Maggie Rebecca.  When this child was three years old, she fell off a load of brick that was being hauled to build a new house.  The fall resulted in her death.  This was a source of much grief to Jane.  She was glad when her husband decided to move to Wayne county.

The family settled in what is now Teasdale in a log house.  Jane Smith Coleman was the first school teacher in Rabbit Valley, teaching at Loa in the winter of 1882 and 1883.  In 1885 she taught in one room of her home at Bullberryville and in 1886 at the Teasdale meeting house.  She took for pay anything the parents of the children could afford to give.  She was very industrious and possessed considerable ability in business matters.  She also took pride in her three-story home and decorated it nicely, painting it inside and outside.  For many years it was one of the best homes in the country.

Jane started a little store, since there was none in the town.  She also kept travelers, and as her husband was Bishop, she entertained many church visitors.  It seemed that there was not much time when the family was alone.

When the Relief Society was organized January 20, 1884, Jane S. Coleman became President, and was president for 12 years.  During her term the church had the campaign to save and glean wheat and put it in the Tithing Office.  This wheat was used after the First World War to send to the starving people of Europe.  During her term as Relief Society President, she would drive around to the various places in the county with a horse and buggy.  She was the second president of the Teasdale Ward Primary and the third Postmaster of Teasdale, Utah.

Jane was fond of flowers.  Her windows were always filled with them and at one time in the 1890’s she had a hot house full of beautiful plants.  Finally the work of caring for them was too much for her, and she had to dispose of all the plants that she could not put in her large windows.

She kept bees for a number of years, and took care of them herself.  She was also the postmistress from 1897-1905.  About 1898 she sold her store to George and Willard Brinkerhoff of Thurber.  The goods were moved to a new store building.
During all the time she was engaged in these various kinds of labor she found time to work in the church.  She taught in the Sunday School, the YLMIA and was Stake Relief Society President for 12 years.  She and her counselors made their visits regularly throughout the Stake.  In those days it took almost a week to make the trip to Cainesville and Hanksville, for it had to be made in a wagon over very rough roads.

Jane usually wore a taffeta skirt, which rustled as she walked.  She wore a watch on a chain which was pinned on her left breast.  She was neat and clean.  She was a very pleasant person, and always gave the impression of having plenty of time to visit with callers. 

For some time Jane and her husband had felt that they would like to do the work for their dead kindred.  A little had been done at various times, but in 1905 they decided to give more time to this work.  They accordingly sold their property and moved to Manti.  This couple was able to get ordinances performed for about three thousand of their dead kindred.
Jane Coleman was the mother of nine children, five daughters and four sons.  She also reared two granddaughters, Jane and Mary Wilson, from the time they were babies until they were grown.  These two girls moved with her to Manti.

In 1918 her health began to fail and she came to live with her daughters, Mary and Sarah May, in Teasdale.  Shortly afterwards she was stricken with paralysis and became almost helpless.  This was a great trial to her, but she bore it cheerfully and retained her faith in the gospel.  She died about midnight, 20 January, 1924 and her body was taken to Manti for burial beside her husband.              

--This history written by Barbara C. Pace in 1998                                                                                                                  

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