(Edna Coleman – July 6th, 1969, 66 years old, Wallowa, Oregon)
Edna Winifred Weaver was born on November 25th, 1902 in Wallowa, Oregon to Elijah and Mary Pearl (Hulse) Weaver. She was the second born of twelve children.
At the age of 18, on October 28th, 1921, Edna married Harry Kennison in Enterprise, Oregon. The couple made their home in Wallowa’s Lower Valley where Harry worked building roads. He was one of the road builders on the Minam Canyon road that links Wallowa county with Union county.
This great picture of Harry and Edna was taken in 1922 in Shaniko, Oregon. Harry was doing road work down there, so they were living in this sheep wagon.
On the 4th of July, 1923, Harry and Edna’s first child was born, my grandmother, Shirley Marcilee Kennison. Edna was 20 years old. A Dr. Gregory delivered the baby, but Edna had been so toxemic that she was unable to wear shoes for several months before the birth. The baby was born and she was fine but Edna wasn’t doing very well, so the doctor stayed with them at their home for a few days after the birth to help Edna recover.
Son Harry Alvin Kennison, Jr. came along in 1926, and the couple’s youngest daughter, Laurena Winifred Kennison in 1930.
On December 14th, 1934 the family’s life was to change forever when Harry had a sudden heart attack and passed away at the age of only 31 years. My grandmother, Shirley, was the oldest child. She was 11 when her dad died and had to run by herself on a dark night to bring the doctor back to their home. That story always broke my heart a little bit each time I heard it.
After Harry passed away, the family was very poor and got some type of assistance from the county. It was not at all the same as the welfare system is today and was apparently random items brought to their home from time to time. One of the items that the family was given at one point was bed sheets. Their house has a dirt floor, which was not so uncommon in those times and I always heard stories how Grandma’s dirt floor was always swept so clean and hard packed that you could eat off of it. Well, the family didn’t need any sheets, so Edna took them and hung them up on the walls and the ceiling to help keep the dirt out. She was very resourceful, from all accounts that I have heard.
Edna’s parents gave the a milk cow, but they had no place to keep it at their home, so it stayed at her parents house. Shirley, being the oldest, was sent over to her grandparents to milk that cow every morning. There is a family story that her two young uncles, the twins Doc and Marshall, (who were younger than Shirley), thought that the cow should be theirs instead. One morning when Shirley went to milk, the three of them got in a fist fight. Apparently she came home with a black eye but the boys were the worst for the wear!
On February 5th, 1940, at the age of 37, Edna married Trell Haney Coleman in Union, Oregon. From all accounts, Trell was a wonderful man and the family adored him.
(Edna and Trell Coleman, July 1963, Wallowa, Oregon.)
They were married for 29 years before Trell passed away on June 29th, 1969. Edna followed less than a year later on April 29th, 1970. She is buried in the Cemetery at Wallowa.
Wallowa County Cheiftan Newspaper
Enterprise, Wallowa County, Oregon,
dated Thursday May 7, 1970
Edna Coleman Services Held
Mrs. Edna Winnifred Coleman of Wallowa passed away on Wednesday, April 29, 1970 in a La Grande hospital where whe had been a patient for ten days.
She was the daughter of Elijah and Mary Weaver and was born Nov. 25, 1902 at Wallowa where she had lived all of her life. On Oct. 28, 1921 she was married at Enterprise to Harry Kennison who passed away Dec. 14, 1934. On Feb. 5, 1940 she was married at Enterprise to Trell Coleman who passed away June 29, 1969.
Her survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Alvin (Shirley) Sannar and Mrs. Ray (Laurena) Vance, both of Ketchikan, Alaska; one son, Harry Kennison of Baker and one stepson, Edward Coleman of Enterprise; two sisters, Mrs. Chas. (Blanche) Schaeffer of Wallowa, and Mrs. Francis (Myrtle) Armon of Perry; five brothers, Wayne Weaver of Pagosa Springs, Colo., Lloyd and Martin Weaver, both of Wallowa, Kenneth Weaver of Yakutat, Alaska, and Selby Weaver of LaGrande; and seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were held Monday at 2 p.m. at the Wallowa Christian Church, conducted by the Bollman Funeral Home with Rev. Gary Johnson officiating. Mrs. Wanda Sorweide was organist, and Mrs. Catherine DeBoie sang “In The Still of The Night” and “In The Garden.”
Casket bearers were: Keith L. Weaver, Beryl Weaver, Gregory Weaver, Lowell Armon, Dallas Armon and Mike Holloran. Interment was in the Wallowa Cemetery.
Please pass on any stories about Edna and her life so that I can add them here. I know some of you remember her~!
“This is my Aunt Edna..Dad’s sister..and all of you that attended Wallowa High School..Trell Coleman was our favorite janitor!!! Such a kind caring man..” ~ Janice Weaver McLaughlin
(Edna is my great-grandmother, the mother of Shirley Marcilee (Kennison) Sannar.)