Sunday, November 5, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: November 5, 1898 – John Winston Coleman, Jr.

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
John Winston ("Squire") Coleman, Jr., author and historian, eldest son of John Winston and Mary Shelby (Payne) Coleman, was born on November 5, 1898, in Lexington, Kentucky. He grew up on the family farm in Fayette County and received his early education in Lexington at Miss Ella M. Williams's Private School and at Morton High School, where he graduated in 1916. Coleman attended the University of Kentucky and received a bachelor of science degree in 1920 and a master's degree in mechanical engineering in 1929. Between 1920 and 1924 he worked in Louisville for American Telephone & Telegraph; in Albany, New York, for Fort Orange Paper Co.; and in Hazard, Kentucky, for Green & Taylor Electric Company. He returned to Lexington in the spring of 1924 and, with John W. Davis, formed a residential construction company that functioned until 1936. Coleman then moved to Winburn farm on 240 acres in Fayette County he had inherited from his parents, and began farming. He sold the land in March 1966 and retired to the city of Lexington.

Coleman began researching, collecting, and writing Kentucky history in 1932 and became renowned for his work in state and local history, especially on the Bluegrass region. He wrote more than 150 pamphlets and articles on various Kentucky topics and more than twenty books; the first, Masonry in the Bluegrass, was published in 1933. His better known works are Stage-coach Days in the Bluegrass (1935), Slavery Times in Kentucky (1940), A Bibliography of Kentucky History (1949), The Springs of Kentucky (1955), Historic Kentucky (1967), and Kentucky: A Pictorial History (1972). He belonged to an informal group of historians called the Book Thieves that met monthly. Coleman's private collection on Kentucky history included approximately 3,500 books, pamphlets, manuscripts, maps, atlases, and more than two thousand photographs and negatives. Coleman donated most of his large collection of Kentuckiana to Transylvania University.

During his life, Coleman received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including doctor of letters from Eastern Kentucky University , doctor of literature from University of Kentucky (1949), and doctor of law from Transylvania University (1969).

Coleman married Burnetta (Zumwalt) Mullen on October 15, 1930. He died on May 4, 1983, and was buried in the Lexington cemetery .

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Coleman, J. Winston. Here I Have Lived : A Brief Summary of My Life Story. Lexington, Ky.: Winburn, 1982. Print.
B C6771he, Special Collections Research Center - Biography Collection

Davis, Virginia. J. Winston Coleman, Jr. : A Biographical Sketch with a Review of His Writings. Lexington, Ky.: Winburn, 1979. Print.
F456.C66 D38 1979, Young Library - 4th Floor

Coleman, J. Winston. The Squire's Memoirs : Life Story. Lexington, Ky.: Winburn, 1976. Print.
B C6771sq 1976, Special Collections Research Center - Biography Collection

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