Biography of John Coram

One of the most extensive landowners and stockmen of Camas prairie is John Coram, who, through his well directed efforts has achieved a most creditable success in his business career and has not only won a handsome competence but has gained the confidence and respect of all, by reason of his honorable methods and reliability. A native of Bristol, England, he was born August 1 , 1841, his parents being William and Jane (Dunn) Coram, both of whom were natives of England. They were married in that country and in 1847 emigrated to Canada, becoming respected farming people of the British domain. The mother died there in 1853, at the age of thirty-two years, leaving her husband and two children to mourn her loss. Mr. Coram reached the advanced age of seventy-four years.

John Coram obtained his education in Canada, and became a seafaring man. He was upon the ocean from 1860 until 1883, occupying the position of engineer on a steamer. On December 21, 1861, when on the steamship Columbus, in Central America, he was shipwrecked, the vessel running ashore and dashing to pieces against the rocks in the night. On the 27th of July 1862, he was on the fated steamer Golden Gate, when she was lost by fire while en route from San Francisco to Panama. Two hundred and thirty passengers were lost. Mr. Coram escaped death by swimming ashore, but he can never forget the terrible disaster. The boat ran toward shore, but he did not leave his post until the flames enveloped the sixteen foot ladder upon which he had to depend if he escaped. He was badly burned, but rushed through the flames, jumped overboard into the water and swam ashore, a distance of about five hundred yards. The marks of that catastrophe he still carries with him in the scars of his burns. During his “life on the ocean wave” he experienced many hardships and dangers and visited many portions of the world, so that he has a broad and comprehensive knowledge of the globe and can relate most interesting anecdotes of his voyages and the sights he has witnessed in foreign ports.

In 1883 Mr. Coram came to Camas prairie and took up one hundred and sixty acres of land, since which time he has engaged in raising cattle, horses and hogs, of the Durham, Shire and Poland-China breeds, respectively. He and his brother have had as high as four hundred head of cattle, one hundred head of horses and one hundred and fifty head of hogs at one time, and have added to their landed possessions until their farm property aggregates eighteen hundred and sixty acres of the rich productive land of Camas prairie. They have met with almost phenomenal success in their undertakings since coming to Idaho sixteen years ago, the rich land affording them excellent returns for their labors, while in their stock-raising industry they have been equally prosperous. They are gentlemen of excellent business ability and marked energy and well deserve to be ranked among the leading citizens of this section of Idaho.

Mr. Coram of this review was married in November 1884, to Miss Mary Catherine Carrothers, a native of Westminster, Canada. Their children are: Maude V., Olive G., Cassia M., Jessie I. and Edwin. They are an interesting family and have many friends in the community. Mr. Coram belongs to the Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities, takes a deep interest in educational affairs and gives an earnest and hearty support to all measures calculated to advance the material, social, moral or intellectual welfare of the community in which he resides.

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Bristol England, Canada,

Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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