JAMES DAVID COLEBANK
PETER COALBANK, father of
JAMES COLEBANK, father of
JAMES D. COLEBANK
James David Colebank was born on January 24, 1827 to James and Mary Goodwin Coalbank/
Colebank in Monongalia County, West Virginia. Mary Morris was born July 2, 1820 to Griffith and
Hannah Springer Morris in Green County, Pennsylvania near Point Marion. James D. grew up on
Crooked Run where he was born, a creek which drains the western slope of Monongalia County into
the Monongahela River at a point just south of the West Virginia, Pennsylvania line in Cass District of
Monongalia County, West Virginia.
James D. was 22 and Mary Morris 29 when they were married on March 22, 1848. Their first home was
on a farm on Crooked Run. James and Mary raised Eliza Colebank, the daughter of James' sister Mary
Ann Colebank. They took her at the age of 6 in 1850 the year their first child was born. In the 1850
census they had moved to a farm on Robinson Run near Maidsville, about 4 miles north of
James and Mary named 3 of their children by initials only: L G, L N and L S Colebank. L N came to be
known as Ellen, and some wrote Elgie for L G, but L S was always L S. Their little twin boy Josephus
died July 11, 1860 at the young age of 2 years and 10 months old.
In October 1862, James D bought a 73-acre farm in the Stewartstown Community which is a couple
miles south of Point Marion, Pennsylvania, for the sum of $1499. On May 8, 1863, his wife Mary died at
the age of 43. She was the mother of 9 children, 8 of which were living. Next year on April 22, 1863
James D.'s daughter Margaret died at age 3 years and 5 months. Mary and her two children Josephus
and Margaret are buried in the Morris family cemetery. The Morris Cemetery is in Dunkard Township,
Greene County, Pennsylvania about a mile south of Point Marion on a farm, on the west bank of the
Monongahela River. It is a long steep climb from the farm buildings up to the cemetery. When I was
there in 1973, it appeared that the land where the cemetery is located had been cleared at one time,
but now trees grow among the headstones.
The following year (1864) James D Colebank married Caroline Elizabeth Hess. Caroline was the
daughter of Peter Hess and Evalina Chipps. James D was 37 and Caroline 19 when they got married.
It's likely Caroline was hired as a housekeeper and a romance developed from there. When Caroline
married James she became stepmother to his 8 children ages 5 through 14.
In 1865 the family moved to Metnamora, Illinois by steamboat via the Monongahela, Ohio, Mississippi
and Illinois Rivers. In May of 1867 James D bought a 120-acre farm 3 miles east and 2 miles south of
Eureka, Illinois near Panther Creek for $600 cash in hand. His twin daughter Josephine died in 1869
at the age of 12. In 1871 they moved to a farm near Onarga, Illinois.
Four years later on January 23, 1875, James D Colebank died of cancer of the stomach at age 48. He
is buried in the Onarga Cemetery at Onarga, Iroquois County, Illinois. In the Pioneer Insurance
Company Office in Onarga there is a bronze plaque on which is engraved the name of their first policy
holder, "James D. Colebank.' Ironically, he died before receiving his policy.
Caroline was left a widow at age 30 with 5 children, ages 2 through 16, and 6 months pregnant at the
time of her husband's death. She moved into the village of Onarga soon after her husband's death.
Caroline was a self-supporting widow for 27 years, no easy task in those days when jobs for women
outside the home were non-existent. Caroline washed and ironed clothes for others to make a living.
She died in 1902 in Onarga, Illinois at the age of 57. She is buried beside her husband.
James David Colebank was a driver -- intensely practicing the work ethic and expecting the same from
every member of his family. In his life span of 48 years he married twice, fathered 14 children and
owned 3 farms. He was the most prolific of all the Colebanks I have recorded.
Copied with permission from "From Whence Came The Colebanks", by Warren Colebank, copyright
1989, pages 162 and 163.
The children of James D. Colebank and Mary Morris were:
L G Colebank - born 1850, Monongalia County, West Virginia, died 1921, Madison, Kansas. Married
Nancy Evaline Adsit on May 4, 1876. (See L G Colebank page)
L N (Ellen) Colebank - born 1851 Monongalia County, West Virginia. Died 1919 Madelia, Minnesota
L S Colebank - born 1852 Monongalia County, West Virginia. Married Martha Jane McIndoo. Died 1944
in Madelia, Minnesota (See L S Colebank page)
Ellet Colebank - born 1854 in Monongalia County, West Virginia. Married Virginia Roll on January 18,
1880 in Iroquois County, Illinois, died 1939, Madelia, Minnesota. (See Elett Colebank page)
Morris Colebank - born 1855 Monongalia County, West Virginia. Married Rachel Price; then married
Charlotte J. Hulbert. Died Delphos, Kansas in 1924. (See Morris Colebank page)
Josephus Colebank (twin) - born 1857 Monongalia County. Died age 2 in same.
Josephine Colebank (twin) - born 1857 Monongalia County, died 1869 at age 12, probably in
Woodford County, Illinois.
Martha Jane Colebank - born 1859 Monongalia County, West Virginia. Died 1935 in Madelia,
Minnesota. Married John William Roll. (See Martha Jane Colebank page)
Margaret Colebank - born 1860 in Monongalia County, West Virginia. Died in 1864 at the age of 3 in
The children of James D. Colebank and Caroline Hess were:
Mary Colebank - born Woodford County, Illinois; died 1947 in Iroquois County, Illinois. Married Anthony
Empey on March 23, 1886, then married Andrew Empey. (See Mary Colebank Empey page)
Grant Colebank - born 1868 in Woodford County, Illinois. Married Jessie A. Daugherty on March 22,
1890 in Iroquois County. Died 1970 in Iroquois County, Illinois. (See Grant Colebank page)
James Colebank - born February 4, 1871 in Iroquois County, Illinois. Died February 11, 1965, same
county. Married Chloe May Larkin on October 30, 1900 in Iroquois County, Illinois. (See James
Colebank II page)
Sarah Colebank - born February 21, 1873, in Iroquois County, Illinois, married Thomas N. Lewis, died
1960 same county.
Evaline Colebank - born April 29, 1875 in Onarga, Iroquois County, Illinois. Married Albert Larkin, died
May 18, 1968, same county. (See Evaline Colebank Larkin page)
Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County Pennsylvania, Vol I
(II) George Dilliner , son of Augustine Dillinger , was the first white child born in Greene County,
Pennsylvania , where he lived and died. He had some little schooling from one of the itinerant teachers
of the day, who persuaded him to drop the "g" from his name, leaving it Dilliner, as at present. He
continued framing the tract originally located by his father, married and left issue: 1. Jacob , born June
4, 1804 , died November, 1887 ; was owner of the old homestead farm; married Elizabeth Beatty . 2.
George Jr., supposed to have died in Illinois , 3. Albert , died in the west, 4. Samuel , settled in Fayette
county, Pennsylvania, at New Geneva , where he died. 5. Allen 6. Ambrose settled one mile above the
homestead and is now living (1912 ) at Point Marion, Fayette County, Pennsylvania , aged ninety-seven
years. 7. Eliza Frankenberry , of Fayette County, Pennsylvania 8. Mary married James Coalbank and
moved to Monongalia County, West Virginia .
|Onarga Township Cemetery in Onarga,
Iroquois County, Illinois. James D. and
Caroline Hess Colebank are buried here.
Hannah Springer Morris, mother of Mary Morris
Mary Morris Colebank, first wife of James D
Fanny Morris, niece of Mary Morris Colebank
|Birth record of Josephus and Josephine
L N Colebank