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Fred Ellsworth Coulter
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Birth: Aug. 15, 1912
Marshall County
Iowa, USA
Death: Feb. 5, 2004
Grundy County
Iowa, USA

Fred Ellsworth Coulter was the first child of Fred Earl Coulter & Verna Opal Kurtz. e graduated from Conrad High School in 1929. He married first on September 13, 1934, at Galena, Illinois, to Florence Rosamond Waltermire, daughter of Edwin Quinn Waltermire & Sarah Louisa Gould. Florence was born May 18, 1909, and died June 16, 1988. They had two children: Dorinne and Larry.

Fred married second on January 7, 1989, at Conrad, Iowa, to Mrs. Mary Belle (Burgess) Jones West, daughter of Robert Washington Burgess & Ida Estelle Purdy. Mary was born March 26, 1916, and died July 31, 2004. She and Fred enjoyed 15 happy years together before his death in 2004.

The first photo shows Fred and Florence in Alameda, California, more than a year after their 1934 marriage. The second photo shows Fred and Mary in the Methodist Church at Conrad, Iowa, on the day of their wedding there in 1989.

Freddy's Secret Marriage!
The year was 1934--the height of the Great Depression. Married women were often denied jobs that could be filled by out-of-work men who had families to support. Some married women were even fired from their jobs for that reason. Junior, 22, proposed to his girlfriend Florence, 25. She said she wanted to marry him, but she didn't want to risk losing her job at the telephone company in Marshalltown. So they decided to elope, but not tell anyone. Both were adults, so they didn't need their parents' written consent.

Junior didn't have a car of his own, so he borrowed his father's sedan and used a pretext of driving to northeastern Iowa to view the autumn leaf colors. They chose Independence, county seat of Buchanan County--far from their hometowns of Conrad & Marshalltown. But they got there too late; the courthouse was closed; they couldn't get a marriage license. Thwarted, they returned home.

The next week they tried again, using the pretext they wanted to see more of the autumn colors. In Fred Sr's sedan, they drove out of state this time, across the Mississippi River to Galena, Illinois, where they wed on Thursday, 13 September 1934.

Back home, they kept their marriage secret for over a year. Junior went to California to Boeing Aircraft School and became an airplane mechanic. But he missed his wife, who continued to work at the telephone office in Iowa. So they revealed their marriage to everyone. Flo quit her job and the happy couple lived in Oakland, California for about a year before returning to Iowa, where the Freds, Senior & Junior, farmed together for nearly three decades, until Fred Sr died March 3, 1964

Unopened! On 15 August 1912, pregnant Verna Coulter was bottling homegrown grape juice at Coulterdale Stock Farm north of Marshalltown, Iowa, when she went into labor. She set aside the last bottle she filled to be saved until the baby's wedding day. But the bottle, with a white porcelain cap, was never opened, since Freddy married secretly in 1934. By now, over a century since it was bottled, the grape juice has probably turned to vinegar! 
Family links: 
  Fred Earl Coulter (1886 - 1964)
  Verna Opal Kurtz Coulter (1890 - 1920)
  Florence Rosamond Waltermire Coulter (1909 - 1988)
  Mary Belle Burgess Coulter (1916 - 2004)*
  Fred Ellsworth Coulter (1912 - 2004)
  Joyce Alice Coulter (1916 - 1917)*
  Doris Elaine Coulter Dickenson (1918 - 1986)*
  Darleen Lucille Coulter Vajgrt (1927 - 1986)**
*Calculated relationship
Conrad Cemetery
Grundy County
Iowa, USA
Plot: Section 4, Lot 53
Created by: steven coulter
Record added: Sep 25, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21760810
Fred Ellsworth Coulter
Added by: steven coulter
Fred Ellsworth Coulter
Added by: steven coulter
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