Biography of Hal R. Coleman

Hal R. Coleman, attorney at law with offices in the Central National Bank building in St. Louis, was born in Warren county, Missouri, December 25, 1878, a son of the late Daniel T. Coleman, a native of Kentucky and a grandson of Jesse and Mary Ann (Trout) Coleman, who were likewise Kentuckians by birth. They came to Missouri in 1841 and here Jesse Coleman devoted his attention to farming and stock raising. He also served his country as a soldier in the Mexican war. The Coleman family comes of English and Scotch ancestry, the progenitor of the American branch being Captain Benjamin Coleman, who arrived in the new world in the seventeenth century, settling in North Carolina when that state was still numbered among the colonial possessions of Great Britain. He served as a captain in the Fifth North Carolina Continental Regiment and on the 30th of April, 1777, was taken a prisoner at Charleston. On the 12th of May, 1780, he was made brevet major of the Second Regiment. He afterward became an active member of the Society of Cincinnati and he passed away in Trimble county, Kentucky, in 1804, at the age of fifty-three years, his birth having occurred on the 23d of May, 1751. (See History of North Carolina Troops in the War of the Revolution, pp. 42 to 92.) Representatives of the family removed from North Carolina to Kentucky and thence to Missouri, thus becoming actively identified with the pioneers in the westward movement, which resulted in reclaiming wild and undeveloped regions for the purpose of civilization.

Daniel T. Coleman was a soldier of the Civil war, serving under General Morgan throughout the entire period of hostilities between the north and the south. After leaving college he gave his attention to agricultural pursuits and stock raising and on attaining manhood he took over a part of the old homestead which his father had preempted from the government. Mr. Coleman was a stanch democrat in his political views, but never sought nor filled public office. However, he always manifested a keen and active interest in electing good men to positions of public honor and trust and in many ways aided in promoting the welfare and progress of the community in which he lived. His father, Jesse Coleman, attained the ripe old age of eighty-nine years, while Daniel T. Coleman reached the age of eighty-three years when death called him on the 6th of July, 1920. They were leaders in founding the Hickory Grove church, one of the first Christian churches established in Missouri and Warren county.

In early manhood Daniel T. Coleman married Sarah Price, a native of Missouri and a daughter of Job and Sarah (Bryant) Price, both representatives of old Virginia families that sent their members to aid in the pioneer settlement of Missouri. Job Price was an own cousin of General Sterling Price of Civil war fame and he devoted his life to farming and the raising of stock and before the abolition of slavery was the owner of a large number of slaves. In fact he was one of the wealthiest citizens of his part of Warren county, Missouri, having his property in slaves and land. His daughter, Mrs. Daniel T. Coleman, passed away in 1908 at the age of seventy-five years. By her marriage she had become the mother of eight children, five sons and three daughters, namely: Jessie L., born in 1868, is the widow of Rev. Harold Monser, a minister of the Christian church, who was the son of the Rev. J. E. Mouser and a widely known and prominent. clergyman of Missouri. Mrs. Monser resides at Decatur, Illinois, and is the mother of three children-John, Paul and Mary Mouser, her second son having been an ensign in the United States navy. Leon P. Coleman, the second member of the family of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel T. Coleman, was born in Warren county, Missouri, in 1869 and Is now a resident of Little Rock, Arkansas, where he is engaged in the real estate business. He married Lois Jones of Versailles, Morgan county, Missouri, who died at the birth of their only child, Lois, who also died at the birth of her only child, Jean Volle. The third child of Daniel T. Coleman, Mary, was born in 1870, and is the wife of Spencer Tyler, member of an old St. Charles county, Missouri, family now residing at Malden, Dunklin county, Missouri. They have four children-Gilbert Coleman, Jessie, Daniel and Mary Ruth Tyler. Dr. Charles B. Coleman, the fourth of the family, was born in 1872, and is a practicing dentist of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. He married Ruth Hinkley, of Belleville, Illinois, and they have two children-Daniel Bernard, now attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Boston; and Thelma, now a student at the University of California. Dr. William Walter Coleman, the fifth of the family, was born in 1874, is a practicing physician and served as a captain in the Ninety-second Regiment Texas and Western Troops in the World war. He married Nellie Dunham and they have one son, Walter Dan, their home being in Lincoln, Illinois. The sixth member of the family is Frank B. Coleman, who was born in Warren county, Missouri, December 22, 1876, and is a prominent attorney of St. Louis, who was graduated from the Washington University with the class of 1901. He also attended Normal School at Warrensburg, Missouri, and the State University and prior to entering upon the practice of law taught school for five years in Missouri. He married Irma Hard, of Oneida, New York, and they have three children, Marian Anna, Dorothy Jean and George Block. Mrs. Frank B. Coleman is a representative of one of the oldest New England families, her people having settled in Connecticut in the early part of the seventeenth century, the ancestry in the maternal line being traced back to Captain John Gallup. The seventh member of the family is Hal R. Coleman, of this review. The youngest, Anna C. Coleman, born in 1881, is the wife of Oscar Henry, a resident of Warren county and to them have been born three children, Daniel, Frank and Elizabeth Ann.

Hal R. Coleman, after attending the public schools of his native county, continued his education in the Missouri State Normal at Warrensburg find in the William Jewell College, in the Missouri State University and in the Washington University of St. Louis. In the last named institution he pursued his professional law course until 1904, when he turned his attention to journalism and was assistant editor of the St. Louis Chronicle, while later he was connected with the Knoxville Sentinel, Knoxville, Tennessee. He then entered upon the practice of law in St. Louis in 1906 and through the intervening period has continuously followed his profession with good results. He ever prepared his cases with thoroughness and care and the clearness of his reasoning and the soundness of his logic are strong elements In the attainment of success. He is a member of the legal staff of the United Railway Company of St. Louis and belongs to the St. Louis Bar Association.

On the 14th of October, 1919, Mr. Coleman was married to Miss Marie Isabelle Menkens, of Webster Groves, Missouri, the wedding being celebrated at the Webster Groves Presbyterian church. She is a daughter of Theodore and Jennie (Hinkley) Menkens. Her grandmother in the paternal line was a member of the Primm family (originally De La Pryme) one of the early French families of Carondelet, now St. Louis. Her great-grandfather was mayor of Carondelet, at which time the town was composed entirely of French settlers, and earlier progenitors of her line came from Fort Chartres, with the Laclede and Chouteau expedition that founded St. Louis in 1764. (See Missouri History Society Column, vol. IV, 1913, article on “Judge Primm.”)

The Primms were descended from Alexander De La Pryme, a gentleman of the town of Ypres, France, who was granted a patent of gentility by the Roman pontiff for meritorious services under Phillip of Alsace in the second crusade. The family, having embraced the reformed religion, were forced to leave the continent by Cardinal Richelieu after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and settled in England. Abraham De La Pryme moved to the Isle of Man in 1725 and his second son John, immigrated to America, settling in Virginia in 1750. He married an English woman and reared a family of four sons, one of whom, John, was a colonel in the Revolutionary war and took part in the siege of Yorktown, and witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis to Washington. He afterward settled in St. Clair county, Illinois, in 1803. In deference to the prejudice existing against French names at that time, the “De La” was dropped and the spelling changed to the present form, “Primm.” In 1812 Colonel John Primm moved west with his family, the eldest of whom, Peter, was the father of Judge Wilson Primm, a noted lawyer, judge and mayor of Carondelet during the old French days in St. Louis. Peter Primm was married to Marie Angelique Le Roux D’Esnavel, whose father was one of four brothers named Le Roux D’Esnavel, three of whom fled from France during the reign of terror in 1793, and the other was colonel in the Body Guard of Louis XVI and was guillotined, after the attack on the Tuileries, August 10, 1792. Only gentlemen of three generations of nobility could serve on the King’s ‘Military Staff.

Both the De La Pryme and the Le Roux D’Esnavel families belonged to the nobility of France. The Pryme coat of arms- is on poignard and crossed quarterly crest across. Motto, “Animos Certavit” (He has fought courageously). The Le Roux D’Esnavel bears six quarterings, surmounted by a Marquis’ coronet. (See Missouri Historical Society collections, Vol. IV, 1913, p. 130). See registers a La Billothgne National a La Paris, France: also Archaelogin, Vol. 40 De La Pryme. Also Colonel Henry Insman “The old Santa Fe Trail” (Macmillan Company, Ch. 8, p. 114). Also records in Old Cathedral, St. Louis, Missouri, and Scharf’s History of St. Louis and Billon’s Annals of Old St. Louis; also Missouri Historical Society Collections, Vol. IV, 1913.

Jean Baptiste Wilson Primm (Judge Wilson Primm) married Marguerite Guion and had several children, one of whom, Virginia Isabelle, married Theodore Menkens, whose son Edward Theodore Menkens, father of Mrs. Coleman, married Jane Wiggins Hinkley, of Belleville, Illinois, May 13, 1884. Judge Primm was the founder of the Missouri Historical Society and Law Library of St. Louis, and the author of many well known works on the history of old St. Louis. (See Missouri Historical Society Collections, Vol. IV, 1913). Jane Wiggins Hinkley was descended from the Hinkley family. The first of whom we have authentic record is Samuel Hinkley, born in Lenterden, Kent county, England, in 1595, and descended from the Norman family of “Hengele,” who went to England with William, the Conqueror. One of the Hengeles, there are records to show, was a lord high sheriff of Warwickshire, England, and entertained Queen Elizabeth on one of her journeys, was knighted by her, and the coat of arms is still in existence in the English branch of the family and also in the American branch. A town in Leicestershire, England, one hundred miles northwest of London is called Hinkley to this day. Thomas Hinkley, son of the lord high sheriff of Warwickshire and known in history as Governor Hinkley, was born in 1618, came to New England in 1634 and lived and died in Barnstable. Massachusetts. He was a lawyer by profession, fifty years in public office as deputy to the colonial court, assistant governor, magistrate, governor of Plymouth Colony, commissioner of the Virginia colonies of New England, etc. There is an unbroken line of record on down through the Indian fighting days of New England. Some o the Hinkleys served in the Revolutionary and Mexican wars. Russell Hinkley married Jane Townson Leverich of Newtown, Long Island, New York, January 6, 1846, and was the father of Jane Wiggins Hinkley and grandfather of Mrs. Hal R. Coleman. He settled in St. Clair county, Illinois, in 1833 and was in his youth connected with L. B. Wiggins Company of St. Louis, later the Wiggins Ferry Company and was for many years a prominent banker and mill owner of Belleville, Illinois

Mr. and Mrs. Coleman have one child, Jacqueline Lorraine, who was born in St. Louis, March 31, 1921. She was named after Jacqueline (Primm) Poepping, daughter of Judge Wilson Primm and she is noted for her musical talent. During the World war Mr. Coleman served on the draft board and was an applicant for active army service in the field artillery, at the officer’s training camp at Fort Taylor, Kentucky, but the armistice was signed before he had a chance to go to the front. He finds his recreation in tennis, golf, canoeing and horseback riding, and for pastime has written numerous short stories published in well known magazines. He Is fond of music and art and has visited most of the noted European art galleries. His political endorsement is given to the democratic party and he has always kept in touch with the vital political problems of the age, yet has never sought nor desired office. He belongs to the City Club, the St. Louis Amateur Athletic Association, the Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen of America, and is also a member of the Central Presbyterian church. All who know him bear testimony to the sterling traits of his character and his entire record has been in harmony with that of an honorable and honored ancestry.



Stevens, Walter B. Centennial History of Missouri (The Center State) One Hundred Years In The Union 1820-1921 Vol 6. St. Louis-Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1921.

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