Rev. I. B. Coleman
Rev. I. B. Coleman

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

REV. I. B. COLEMAN. Rev. Isaiah B. Coleman was born at Stephentown, in this county, on March 7, 1809 He was the fifth child and fourth son of Calvin Coleman, and a grandson of John Coleman, who was one of the pioneer settlers in the western part of the town. Until he attained the age of eighteen or nineteen years, Mr. Coleman passed his life at home on the paternal farm, meantime enjoying the benefits of such education as the district schools of his locality afforded.

With a mind eager for knowledge, industrious and ambitious, he soon fitted himself for teaching, and his nineteenth year found him in charge of a district school in Sand Lake, where he taught one term. He then passed to the charge of the school at West Sand Lake where he taught four or five terms. From there he passed in turn to the school on Oak Hill (in the town of Sand Lake); the school at Snyder's Corners, in Greenbush ; the school south of Oak Hill, and to those at Alps (in the town of Nassau) and West Stephentown, making in all ten successive years of faithful and acceptable service as a public instructor.

In the year 1834, May 10th, Mr. Coleman was licensed by the Free-Will Baptist Church at Stephentown Centre, with which he was at that time connected, to preach the gospel, and on the 25th day of March following he was regularly ordained as an elder of the Free-Will Baptist Church. He commenced preaching for the church on Oak Hill, but his first regular pastoral charge was the Stephentown church.

Elder Coleman was one of the organizers of the Free-Will Baptist Church at West Stephentown, and became its pastor in 1844, a position which he has continued faithfully to fill ever since, with no stated salary, trusting alone to the liberality of his people, and without other compensation or reward than the free-will offering of the people and the consciousness that he was performing the Master's work cheerfully and conscientiously. He has been active in the organization of other churches in the county, is an honored and beloved member of the denomination, and has twice served as a delegate to the General Conference of the body.

In the year 1836, Mr. Coleman established a store at West Stephentown, which has been kept by himself or son till his son's death and since by his grandson. He has also filled the position of postmaster at that point for thirty years.

On May 1, 1834, Mr. Coleman was united in marriage to Anna V., daughter of Isaac Dunham, one of the early settlers of the town of Nassau. Two children were born of this union, - Elbert I. Coleman, who located at West Stephentown, and died on Oct. 23, 1878, leaving a family; and Isaac De Witt Coleman who was a member of the 125th New York State Volunteers in the late war, and who was killed near Petersburg, Va., on June 5, 1864, while bravely battling for his country's rights.

It will not be improper for the writer to add, that Elder Coleman is highly respected in the community in which he has passed his life, and bears a reputation for integrity and uprightness which all may envy.

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