Archive for May, 2012

I just returned from the City of Beacon Memorial Day parade. While waiting for the parade to start I talked to a WW II vet who reminded me of my father. He is 93 years old and was in the U.S. Navy. He said he was in the Battle of Sicily. I hope he tells his stories, he has lots to tell. I offered him a bottle of water – it was very hot. He said – no, he was old school, like a camel – didn’t need it. He comes to the parade every year – not just because he is a vet, but because his son died in Vietnam and his name is read at the Beacon Memorial Day ceremony.

I decided to post some pictures of the Colberts and Whelans who served. They all made it home. I couldn’t find pictures of everyone. If anyone has a picture, send it to me and I’ll update this post. The missing pictures include: Mike and Jackie Colbert;  Pat McNamara,  Bill Graf and Vincent Cooper. I don’t know how many cousins served, but there were a lot.

Here are the pictures I found:

Larry Colbert – Pan Am Africa – Air Transport Command

Larry Colbert – U.S. Navy

Uncle Joe – U.S. Navy (with his brother Larry)

Aunt Angela – U.S. Navy Nurse

Uncle Vincent – U.S. Army

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I always wondered why the Colberts rented for so long. As far as I knew my father, Larry Colbert, was the first in the family to own a home.  Actually another Larry was the first.

Lawrence Coleman, or Larry as he was called, arrived in New York in 1851 and lived with his sister Mary Coleman Colbert and her family until he married. The Colberts and the Colemans all lived on East 121st Street in Harlem. Larry seems to have worked mainly as a laborer, sometimes as a driver. He and his wife Julia Sullivan opened up an account at the Emigrant Savings Bank in 1875 and saved until they had enough money to buy a house.

On October 27, 1885, Larry and Julia purchased the house at 106 East 121st Street for $4,750.00. The building was wood framed and 2 stories. It looks like there were 2 apartments and Larry and Julia rented out both of them and lived in an apartment a few blocks away.  They may have had a mortgage, but in those days people often put down as much as 50%. By 1900 when they moved in to one of the apartments, they owned the house free and clear.

106 East 121st Street

Larry died in 1906, two years after his wife and left no will. Letters of Administration were issued to his son, Lawrence F. Coleman. According to the paperwork the son filed, Larry’s house was valued at $8,000.00 and he had personal property of $1400.00. Lawrence Jr.  must have sold his father’s house. When he died a year later he had no real propety, but he did have personal property of $11,000.00.

Larry Coleman’s real property was valued at $8,000.00

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