Dr. P. C. Coleman

P. C. COLEMAN, M. D. is numbered among the early residents of D., county, having come to the city of Colorado in January, 1883, when the town was about twenty months old. His public-spirited interest in the general progress and improvement has led to active co-operation in many movements that have been of direct benefit to this section of the country and in the line of his profession he has attained considerable distinction and rendered to his fellow townsmen signal service. Dr. Coleman is a native of Rutherford county, Tennessee. The family is of Scotch-Irish descent. His maternal grandfather was a native of county Donegal, Ireland, and on crossing the Atlantic to the new world settled in Virginia near the present town of Abington. He was of Scotch-Irish lineage. The Coleman family also came from a similar stock and were Kentuckians at an early period in the development of that state. Chiles Coleman, the paternal grandfather of Dr. Coleman, was born near Lexington, Kentucky, and spent his entire life there, following the occupation of farming throughout his business career. In his family were four sons and two daughters.

Walter Preston Coleman, the eldest son, was born on the old homestead near Lexington, Kentucky, and in 185o removed to Rutherford county, Tennessee, where he engaged in teaching school for several years. Then determining upon the practice of medicine as a life work he entered the medical department of the University of Nashville, graduating from this institution in 1852, subsequent to which time he entered upon the practice of medicine at his home in Rutherford county, being thus engaged up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1870. He was a classical scholar, a man of broad mind and literary attainments as well as of superior culture and strong convictions. He was regarded as the most influential man of his locality, leaving the impress of his individuality for good upon public thought and action. He was also accounted the leading physician of his section of the state. An elder of the Presbyterian church for many years, he took a helpful part in church work and was very liberal with his means in the advancement of the church work and of all public enterprises. In 1851 he was married to Miss Fannie Jane Black, a native of Rutherford county, Tennessee, and a daughter of Samuel Black, an old settler of that country and a prominent educator. Among his pupils at one time was James K. Polk and also others who afterward became prominent in the political and business life of the nation. Mrs. Fannie Jane Colman died in 1863. By her marriage she had become the mother of four children, three sons and a daughter, of whom the sons lived to be grown. Following the death of his first wife Walter Preston Coleman was married again, his second union being with Miss Sallie Neilson of Rutherford county, whom he wedded in 1865, and who still survives him.

Preston Chiles Coleman, son of Walter Preston Coleman, was born in Rutherford county, Tennessee, January 2, 1853. His early education was acquired in the common schools of his native state and at the age of eighteen years he began the study of medicine, reading at night and at such leisure times as his labors on the home farm afforded. After about two years of this desultory reading he went to Nashville and attended a course of medical lectures at the medical department of the University of Nashville. This was in the session of 1872 and 73. At the close of the school year he resumed work upon the farm and thereby acquired a strong physical development resulting in vigorous health. He next entered the medical department of the University of Louisville, where he pursued his second course of lectures and was graduated from that institution in the spring of 1874. Dr. Coleman may have been influenced in his choice of a profession by hereditary training and environment, for he descended from a line of ancestry among whom were leading physicans. Most of his relatives were physicians both in the lineal and collateral lines and some of them attained distinction in the profession, notably the Yandells of Louisville, who are his cousins.

After obtaining his diploma Dr. Coleman located at his old home in Rutherford county, Tennessee, and took up the work as his father had left it. There he practiced until 1883, when becoming imbued with the desire to make Texas his home he settled in Colorado, then a far western city. In the meantime he had lost his young wife, whom he married in 1876, two years after his graduation. She bore the maiden name of Betty Mitchell and died in 1882. She became the mother of two children, Mary Enid, and Walter Addison. After settling in his new home and determining to make it a permanent location, Dr. Coleman was again married, in April, 1885, his second union being with Miss Lucy Ham of Tyler, Texas. To them have been born three children, Stephen Reaves, Eleanor Preston, and Lucy Mildred.

Not long after taking up his abode in Colorado Dr. Coleman joined the county medical society and on entering upon practice he had also joined the Tennessee State Medical Association, never missing a meeting during his entire residence in Tennessee when it was possible for him to present. He has made a similar record in connection with the Texas State Medical Association, manifesting a zeal and devotion to its work, equaled by few. He joined this organization in April, 1885, and has attended each annual meeting to the present time, having to travel several hundred miles in order to do this, especially when the meetings were held in Houston or Galveston. Moreover he has shown unswerving devotion to the interests and welfare of the association, working in the various capacities to which he has been assigned. He has been chairman of different sessions and has served on various committees and for four years was on the judicial council during the stormiest period in the existence of the association. He has indeed fairly won the honors bestowed upon him by an admiring and appreciative constituency and he has contributed valuable papers to several of the departments, all of which have been published in the transactions of the association and a number of them have been reproduced in the Texas Medical Journal, New York Medical Record and other leading medical journals. In 1892 Dr. Coleman was elected first vice president of the Texas State Medical Association, and in 1895 was elected president, and has served as a delegate to the American Medical Association, of which body he is an active member. In meeting with his professional brethren he has constantly broadened his knowledge and promoted his efficiency and his labors in his profession have been most effective in checking the ravages of disease and restoring health.

Since 1896 Dr. Coleman has been engaged in the cattle industry. His ranch on the Colorado river in the northwestern part of Mitchell county contains twenty-two sections, on which he has one of the best herds of short-horn and Herefords cattle in Mitchell county. This he supervises in addition to carefully attending to the duties of his profession. He is a most conscientious physician and in addition to caring for a large private practice he has been chief examiner for the New York Mutual, Equitable, New York Life and many other leading insurance companies for twenty years. He is today the oldest physician living in Mitchell county and his reputation for skill in the practice of medicine and surgery extends for many miles around. Dr. Coleman has for many years been a devoted member of the Presbyterian church and was made an elder in the Southern Presbyterian church as the successor of his father at the latter’s death. His life has indeed been one of great usefulness and untiring activity. He is numbered among the self-made men of Western Texas, for he started out without pecuniary assistance, possessing, however, strong determination and laudable ambition to achieve success in the world. When he came to Texas he barely had money enough to pay the expenses of the trip and it was after reaching Colorado that he laid the foundation for his present prosperity. Throughout the period of his long residence in this section of the state he has responded to every call for the alleviation of human suffering, possessing a humanitarian spirit that has prompted him to give able service even when he knew that no pecuniary reward might be won. He is a man of pleasant address and genial disposition and during the years of his residence in Texas has done much to promote the interests of the state and to raise high the standards of professional excellence.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 379-381.