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 Aaron Archie Coulter

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Aaron Archie Coulter

  • Birth 31 Dec 1860 Marshall County, Iowa, USA
  • Death 18 Sep 1945 Marshalltown, Marshall County, Iowa, USA
  • Burial Conrad, Grundy County, Iowa, USA
  • Plot Section 1, Lot 2
  • Memorial ID 21632343

Aaron Archibald Allison Coulter was the 3rd son of Samuel Coulter & Maria Bash. Aaron's first name was after Moses' brother in the Bible; Archibald Allison was a respected neighbor in Marshall County, Iowa. Aaron usually went by A.A. Coulter. The first photo is the earliest portrait I've seen of Aaron, circa late 1870s, with--I believe--his older brother Mose on the right. This was before Aaron grew his familiar moustache. I was only able to identify my grandfather Aaron in this unlabeled tintype because I was almost a dead ringer for him at the same age!

At age 20, Aaron married on 29 June 1881* to neighbor and fellow Presbyterian, Etta Crecelius; 5 children: Guy, Ella, Fred, Arch, & Lois. Since Aaron was under 21 when he married, he had to get the written consent of his parents.

Aaron was a farmer and a horse breeder. He toured the Midwest with his champion stallions which brought him stud fees. Several were big Belgian draft horses. One of his best Percheron studs was the huge Cher Ami, which translates to Dear Friend.

Aaron died in his sleep of a fatal heart attack. His wife Etta had quietly arisen in the night to go use the bathroom; then she slipped quietly back into bed so as not to waken what she though was her sleeping husband. She didn't realize until she got up in the morning that she had been sleeping beside a dead man.

The fourth photo is one of the last photos of my grandmother, Etta Crecelius Coulter, widow of Aaron A. Coulter. Grandmother spent her last winter in sunny California with her daughter Ella Diller in Pasadena. As a special treat, Ella took her to a live radio broadcast in Hollywood of the popular Tom Brenneman's Breakfast Club. As the oldest lady in the studio audience that day, Grandmother Etta Coulter, 83, was interviewed on the radio by Mr. Brenneman and honored with an orchid corsage, captured in the portrait seen here.

Etta died May 7, 1946 in Marshalltown, Iowa, following an operation for colon cancer, and was buried beside her husband at Conrad, Iowa, east of the graves of her parents, George and Elizabeth (Keller) Crecelius. Resting beside Etta is her granddaughter Darleen Lucille Coulter Vajgrt & Darleen's husband Leonard.

*The June 29, 1881 wedding took place at the bride's father's two-story farmhouse just west of Conrad, Iowa (kittycornered from the Conrad Cemetery). Etta had noticed that her father's honeybees were swarming, and she determined to obtain the swarm to have a source of honey in her new married home. As soon as Aaron arrived, in his Sunday best clothes, she hurried him upstairs and had him change into some of her brothers' work clothes. They went outside and secured the swarming bees. Back inside the house, they rushed upstairs to change back into their wedding duds. As they were coming down the stairs to greet their arriving guests, Aaron & Etta were making last-minute adjustments to their outfits. Aaron's older sister Jerusha Suter had just arrived with her husband Lew and their small children. "Well, Aaron!" said Jerusha disapprovingly, "You could at least have waited until after the ceremony." Aaron & Etta both blushed deeply!

The Early Bird Gets the Worm---A True Family History Sidebar
Born in 1944, I was the youngest of 24 grandchildren of Aaron & Etta Crecelius Coulter. Grandfather died in 1945; Grandmother in 1946; so I don't remember them. I asked my mother about them, and she had an interesting observation about her father-in-law, A.A. Coulter (1860-1945). She said that before most meals, he would come early to the dining room, and sit at his usual place. As soon as any food was put on the table, he would help himself & start eating.

Mother---the third of six children---had been raised to wait until all the food was on the table, all the family was seated, and grace had been given, before you began eating. (She raised her three children the same way.)

Since Aaron was the middle child of eleven, I'm guessing he learned at an early age, in the 1860s, that "first come, first served" was a popular saying for good reason! He wasn't going to leave the table hungry!

Aaron Coulter, the Good Samaritan, a true family tale:
In 1880, my grandfather, age 19, went from his parents' farm into Conrad to buy supplies. From working in the town's limestone quarry, Aaron had become very strong and muscular. Conrad was booming, with lots of transient workers, building the new Chicago-Northwestern Railway tracks along the south edge of the town.

As Aaron crossed the bridge over Wolf Creek, he heard a woman screaming, as her husband beat her in front of their modest house. Ever chivalrous, Aaron stopped his horse, jumped down from his wagon, and ran over to the couple, grabbing the intoxicated man's arms to stop the beating. And the also-inebriated wife's response to this good Samaritan's help? She grabbed a nearby broom and struck Aaron repeatedly atop his head, yelling at him to leave her husband alone. The man turned his attention to beating Aaron!

Outnumbered, young Aaron beat a hasty retreat to his horse and wagon, muttering, "Go ahead and beat her to death!"

The lesson learned? Mind your own business!

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  • Created by: steven coulter
  • Added: 18 Sep 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21632343
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Aaron Archie Coulter (31 Dec 1860–18 Sep 1945), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21632343, citing Conrad Cemetery, Conrad, Grundy County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by steven coulter (contributor 46608391) .