Pearl Ellet Colebank was born April 16, 1891 to Ellet and Mary Virginia Roll Colebank on their farm near Crescent
City, Illinois. Pearl was 5 years old when he and his family moved to a dairy farm near St. James, Minnesota. He
attended rural grammar school through the 3rd grade. When Pearl was 9 the family moved to the John Rels farm
they had bought in Fieldon Township 5 ½ miles south of Madelia, Minnesota. Pearl continued his education in the
rural grammar school in Fieldon Township. Pearl grewup on his parent’s dairy, crop and stock farm in Fieldon
Pearl remained single in his twenties, working as a farm hand at various farms in the Madelia area. It wasn’t until
1927 when, at a dance above the S & L Store in Mankato, Minnesota, that he met the girl who was to win his heart.
(Years later his daughter Nadine attended beauty school in the very same room).
The young lady’s name was Mary Wynafred Bobbitt, daughter of Frank and Minnie Myrtle Snodgress Bobbitt. She
was born February 15, 1909 at Thurman, Iowa. Mary (known as Wynafred) attended grammar school at Thurman
through the 4th grade. When she was 9 her parents moved to Minnesota and she completed 8th grade in North
Pearl and Wynafred were married by a judge in St. Peter, Minnesota on November 25, 1927. Wynafred’s brother
C. O. Bobbitt stood up with them. Pearl was 36 and Wynafred 18 when they were wed. For several years Pearl
and Wynafred worked as a team on various farms, Pearl as a farm hand and Wynafred as a cook. Pearl played
the violin and Wynafred accompanied him on the Hawaiian guitar. They often played at rural house parties.
Pearl was 54 and Wynafred 36 when they had their only child,Nadine Pearlette Colebank, born December 7,
1945. Nadine grew up in Madelia where Pearl and Wynafred owned their own home. They attended the Madelia
Presbyterian Church. Pearl worked on the construction of the Bird’s Eye food processing plant in Madelia and
when it was completed worked in the plant as stationary equipment operator and maintenance man. Pearl was
also head of the union at Bird’s Eye (now Tony Downs) where he worked until he retired. Wynafred assisted
doctors with home baby deliveries in the Madelia area. After Pearl died she worked as a cook in the Madelia
Hospital for 9 years prior to retiring.
Wynafred was a jolly outgoing person. She loved to sew and cook. Wynafred, a large woman, always looked neat
in the tailored clothes she made. Pearl loved to bowl and they always had a bountiful garden.
Pearl died at age 79 on November 27, 1970. Wynafred married Clifford Thomson on September 10, 1972 at the
First United Presbyterian Church in Madelia. She died in her home in Madelia on April 23, 1982. Pearl and
Wynafred are buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Madelia, Minnesota.
The only child of Pearl and Wynafred Bobbitt Colebank was:
NADINE PEARLETTE COLEBANK – born December 7, 1945 in Madelia, Minnesota. She married James Norman
Olson in 1969 and they were divorced in 1975. Nadine and James had two children, Stephen Kirby Olson and
Marynda Jolene Olson. Nadine owned and operated her own beauty salon in Madelia. Nadine died of ovarian
cancer on November 1, 1995 at age 49.
Reprinted with permission from "From Whence Came the Colebanks", p. 260, by Warren Colebank, copyright
|PETER COLEBANK, father of
JAMES COALBANK, father of
JAMES D COLEBANK, father of
ELLET COLEBANK, father of
PEARL ELLET COLEBANK
Mary Wynafred Bobbitt Colebank age 14 mos
Pearl Colebank as a young boy
Rosabelle and Pearl Colebank 1897
|Pearl and Wynafred on their wedding day,
November 25, 1927. Pearl was 36, Wynafred 18.
Pearl and Wynafred's home in Madelia, Minnesota, facing west.
Wynafred on her18th birthday in February, 1927
Wynafred's graduation photo
|Pearl and Wynafred on an unknown anniversary
Wynafred, Nadine and Pearl on Decoration Day, May 30, 1949
Wynafred and Pearl in 1942
Pearl and Wynafred's newspaper obituaries.
|Click on the above link to enter Pearl and
Wynafred's photo album