Edna Coley Neilson

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, Helen, and Russell Neilson

Olof and Edna, Harold, Russell, and Helen Neilson (14 May 1927)

To Lillian and Joe, when she was 10 months old.

To Lillian and Joe, when she (Helen) was 10 months old

Olof and Edna Neilson holding Russell

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.

Russell Neilson

Russell Neilson

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

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

Lillian, Edna, Martha (sitting) Coley in the 1940′s

Russell Neilson

Russell Neilson

Harold Christian Neilson

Harold Christian Neilson

Nelen Neilson

Helen Neilson

Russell and Gloria Neilson

Russell and Gloria Neilson

1955 Coley Reunion, Richmond, Utah

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

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

Edna’s funeral program

1955 Coley Reunion

I have these two photos of the 1955 Coley Reunion in Richmond, Cache, Utah.  These two pictures are obviously of the same group, the black and white one of much better quality, but I thought I would include the color one since it can add a dimension to the black and white (since it is pretty blurry).  The first picture seems like it was just for Coley descendants, but then spouses sneak in to the picture, so I really do not know what was the thinking for the shot.  The second photo has a few more people I will need help naming, especially the younger ones.  Let me know if there are corrections.  (Click on the photos to see them closer)

Back (l-r): Blaine Thomson, Olof Neilson, Lloyd Coley, Ivan Coley, Art Coley, Golden Coley, Lillian Bowcutt, Hannah Thomson, Gay Coley, Betty Coley, Edna Neilson.  Middle: Verda Coley, Carrie McMurdie, Clara Coley, Bill Thomson, Kathy Coley, RaNae Coley, Martha Coley, Gary Coley, Dean Coley, Stephen Coley.  Front: Shirley Coley, Lillian Thomson, Mary Coley, Janice Coley, Joy Coley, Nina Coley, David Coley, Susan Thomson, Doug Thomson.

Back: Blaine Thomson, Olof Neilson, Lloyd Coley, Ivan Coley, Bill Thomson, ?(child held by Bill), Hannah Thomson, Gay Coley, Betty Coley, Edna Neilson.  Two men in front of doors: Art Coley, Golden Coley.  Second row from back: ?(held child), ?, ?(partially obscured woman in front of Blaine), Verda Coley, Carrie McMurdie, Clara Coley, RaNae Coley, ?, Martha Coley, ?, Steven Coley.  Second row from front standing: Shirley Coley, ?, Evan Jonas, Lona Jonas, ?.  Back row of sitting children:  Dean Coley, Gary Coley, David Coley (partially hidden), Stephen Coley, Bob Jonas.  Second row of children sitting: Kathy Coley, ?, Doug Thomson, ?.  Front row: Lillian Thomson, ?(child held by Lillian), Ren Bowcutt, Lillian Bowcutt, Mary Coley, ?, Joy Coley, Janice Coley, Nina Coley, Susan Thomson.

Now comes the fun part of linking everyone together.  I will only link together those in the photo, so this is not the entire family.

Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).

Lillian Coley Jonas Bowcutt (1898 – 1987), daughter of Martha, married to Ren Bowcutt (1883 – 1966), previously married to Joseph Nelson Jonas(1893 – 1932).

Evan Reed Jonas (1928 – 1999), son of Lillian, married to Lona Rae Jensen Jonas (1930 – 2012).

Edna Coley Andrus Neilson (1900 – 1983), daughter of Martha, married to Olof Alma Neilson (1891 – 1960).

Carrie Christiansen McMurdie (1906 – 1992), daughter of Martha, married Joseph Lorus McMurdie (1905 – 2000).

Hannah Marie Coley Thomson (1909 – 1982), daughter of Martha, married to William Surgeoner Thomson (1903 – 1985).

William McBlaine Thomson (1928 – 2001), son of William and Hannah, married to Lillian Moss Thomson.

Susan and Doug Thomson, children of William and Lillian Thomson.

Ivan Stephen Coley (1912 – 1994), son of Martha and not pictured, married to Clara McMurdie Coley (1914 – 2012).

Clarene RaNae Coley, daughter of Ivan and Clara.

Oley Lloyd Coley (1918 – 1998), son of Martha, married to Verda Anderson Coley (1918 – 2013).

Alice Maxine, Betty Jean, Lloyd Dean, and Nina Rae Coley, children of Lloyd and Verda.  (Is Verda Gay in the picture?)

Arthur Christiansen Coley (1921 – 2004), son of Martha, married to Mary Popwitz Jonas Coley.

Stephen Coley, son of Art and Mary Coley (Is Ronald Gary in the photo?).

Bob Jonas, son of Irwin John Jonas (1921 – 1944, son of Joseph Nelson Jonas and Lillian Coley Jonas Bowcutt) and Mary Popwitz Jonas Coley.

William Golden Coley (1924 – 2009), son of Martha, married to Shirley Hall Coley.

Shirley Kathleen (Kathy), Joy Ann, David Lynn, and Janice Coley, children of Golden and Shirley Coley.

Do you know the ? individuals in the photo, if so, please let me know.

1961 Coley Film

I stumbled upon a photo of a Great, Great Uncle, Wilford Herbert Coley, posted on a website. I e-mailed the lady who posted the picture and she forwarded my e-mail to her brother. As it turns out, the family has a number of film reels taken from the early 1960′s. I asked him to share any that he thought I might be interested in.  He indicated that one was from a funeral and it seemed to include extended family.  He could only identify his grandfather, Wilford Herbert Coley, in the film.

On a hunch, I sent him this photo and informed him that it was taken 17 August 1961 at the burial of my Great, Great Grandmother, Martha Christiansen Coley, in Richmond, Utah.  This is Wilford’s mother and I knew he was at the funeral.  I also knew that if the family was into filming events, this could very well be one such event to catch.

Art, Golden, Wilford, Roland, Lloyd, Edna, Hannah, Carrie, Lillian, Ivan Coley at their mother's funeral in 1961.

He responded to me stating the film was from the same funeral and it actually covered the carrying of the casket from the hearse, some scanning of the crowd, and then the final shots of the 10 siblings standing together in which this photo was taken. He shared the converted video from the film with me yesterday.

The 10 siblings in the picture above and film are as follows from left to right.
Arthur Christiansen Coley (Art), 1921-2004
William Golden Coley (Goldie), 1924-2009
Wilford Herbert Coley, 1903-1966
Roland Charles Coley, 1915-2005
Oley Lloyd Coley (Lloyd), 1918-1998
Edna Coley Neilson, 1900-1983
Hannah Marie Coley Thomson, 1909-1982
Carrie Christiansen Coley McMurdie, 1906-1992
Lillian Coley Jonas, 1898-1987
Ivan Stephen Coley, 1912-1994

The film starts out with children carrying flowers out of the church.  I am pretty sure this is the old Richmond, Utah South Ward Building (demolished after the 1962 earthquake).  I do not think we will be able to identify any of these girls because of how cloudy and short the video is at this point.

The film then moves to the Richmond, Utah Cemetery viewing the place where Martha will be laid to rest.  Two girls appear in the background, again probably too short a span of time and too fuzzy to identify them.

We jump to the casket being carried by 6 men, the 6 male siblings.  On the far side of the casket from right to left are Roland, Wilford, and Art.  On the near side from right to left are Lloyd, Golden, and Ivan.

In the background right as the pallbearers appear with the casket are two girls dressed in white.  The taller of the two are Connie Gittins (Wilford’s granddaughter) and an unknown girl.

A young unidentified girl walks in front of the group bearing the casket.

Then we start the first scan of the crowd counter-clockwise from the south.  These are the individuals:
Wilford Coley
Short boy in white that Bob Jonas steps in front of
Bob Jonas in white shirt
Steve Coley in white shirt
Gary Coley revealed when Steve Coley steps aside
Art Coley
Mary Coley (Art’s wife and Bob, Steve, and Gary’s mother)
Lillian Coley Jonas
Carrie Coley McMurdie
Edna Coley Neilson
Hannah Thomson
Tall guy in background (probably Lorenzo “Ren” Bowcutt?)
Lady in white in background
Tall thin man in background
Shorter man in foreground, very short time

Then we move to the 10 siblings back and forth as mentioned above in the photo.

Since this website would not let me upload the video, I had to upload it on YouTube.  Be sure to open it in full screen and to have your mouse on the pause button so you can look more carefully.  Here is the link to the video:

Martha’s Coley’s funeral movie clips.

If anyone can add more information, I certainly welcome it.  I hope we can identify every person in the video but I think I hope for too much.  After all, this was taken 40 years ago!  Nevertheless, the video is interesting to see people living and moving who are now all gone from mortality.

For those interested, here is a copy of Lillian Coley Jonas’ journal that includes this funeral.  Martha died on the 14th of August 1961.  I also include the other two journals we have for her.

Lillians 1961 Journal

Lillians 1962 Journal

Lillians 1963 Journal