With the recent passing of Ivan Blaine Neilson, I decided to prepare a history for his mother Edna Coley Neilson. Especially since I just recently came in possession of a number of new photographs of the family. Some day I will write a history of her parents, my Great Great Grandparents, but I am hoping some more photos of them will appear in the upcoming months.
Edna Coley was born 23 November 1900 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah. She was the second of ten children, my Great Grandmother Lillian being the oldest, born to Martha Christiansen and Herbert Coley.
I don’t know much about Edna’s personality. I have been told by numerous people that Edna was the preferred child of Martha and was often doted on to the the dismay of the siblings. I don’t know that tells me much of her personality though.
Edna married Gerold Andrus (1903-1984) 17 April 1921 in Richmond, Cache, Utah. The next month, 15 March 1921, Harold Christian Andrus was born. Gerold and Edna were only married for a very short time, a shotgun wedding and a shotgun divorce.
Edna married Olof Alma Neilson (1891-1960) 23 July 1923 in Logan, Cache, Utah. They were sealed 30 July 1924 in the Logan LDS Temple. I don’t know if Harold was adopted legally or not, but Harold went by Harold Christian Neilson the rest of his life. The only father he knew was Olof and Olof treated Harold as if he was his own son.
Olof and Edna would have what appears to be ten children together. The records certainly show ten children, but I believe one of them is a duplicate, or mistakes in names leading to a duplicate child. Nobody is alive to confirm either so I will list all ten but point out where I believe the duplication exists.
Alma Russell “Russell” Neilson born 23 Jun 1924 in Richmond. He married Gloria May Olson on 9 Oct 1946 in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple.
Olga Helen “Helen” Neilson born 28 July 1926 in Richmond. She married LeRoy “Roy” Hulse Draper 25 May 1943.
Olof and Edna, Harold, Russell, and Helen Neilson (14 May 1927)
To Lillian and Joe, when she (Helen) was 10 months old
Olof and Edna Neilson holding Russell
Martbamary Neilson born and died 2 July 1927 in Richmond. He does not have a tombstone if he is buried in Richmond.
Hebert Neilson born 25 November 1928 and died 26 November 1928 both in Richmond. He has a tombstone in Richmond.
Aenotta Neilson born and died 1 September 1929 in Richmond. This and the next child were either twins or just variations on a name. Only a documentation exists for the next child.
Jennetta Neilson was born 1 September 1929 and died 2 September 1929 in Richmond. Jennetta also has a tombstone where Aenotta does not, you would expect Aenotta would since they were supposedly twins.
Ole Neilson was born and died 19 October 1932 in Richmond. He was buried 20 October 1932 in the Richmond Cemetery and has a tombstone.
Ivan Blaine Neilson was born 26 April 1935 in Richmond. He died 16 January 2013 in Yuma, Yuma, Arizona. He was buried 25 January 2013 in Smithfield, Cache, Utah. He married Gloria Gilgen 8 June 1954 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah. They were later divorced. He remarried to Rebecca Anne Pitcher 4 September 1981 in Smithfield.
Ivan Blaine Neilson
Lastly, Martha Mary Neilson was born and died 6 July 1937 in Richmond. She is buried in Richmond.
Lillian, Edna, Martha (sitting) Coley in the 1940’s
Harold Christian Neilson
Russell and Gloria Neilson
1955 Coley Reunion, Richmond, Utah
I named the people in the reunion photo here.
Olof passed away of a heart attack at about 9:30 am 13 April 1960 at home in Richmond. He died almost instantly. He was buried in Richmond on 15 April 1960.
Edna’s mother passed away 14 August 1961. The family gathered for the funeral 17 August 1961 for the funeral. The photo below was taken that day in the Richmond Cemetery.
Art, Golden, Wilford, Roland, Lloyd, Edna, Hannah, Carrie, Lillian, Ivan Coley at their mother’s funeral in 1961
Edna, Will Thomson, Lillian in the mid 1960’s
Edna lived close to her sister, Lillian Jonas, now Bowcutt, and Lillian makes regular reference to Edna in her journals. The thing that stands out to me is how close they were in that Edna would regularly aid or stay with Lillian. Also, Lillian makes regular reference to Edna’s attending the temple in Logan.
Harold took his own life 9 March 1966 in Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona. His body was brought back to Richmond for burial.
Edna lived in Richmond until she passed away 6 April 1983 in Richmond. Her funeral was held 9 April 1983.
Edna’s funeral program