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Below is a family biography included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Elza V. Coldren, M. D., who has been engaged in the practice of medicine in Topeka since 1882, is one of the best known members of the profession in the city. He was born at Marion, Ohio, September 22, 1841, and is a son of Reuben and Mary Ann (Newhouse) Coldren.

Reuben Coldren, father of our subject, was prominently engaged in the lumber business for many years, but at the time of his death in April, 1890, was living a retired life. His union with Mary Ann Newhouse resulted in the following offspring: Lemuel T., of Spokane, Washington; Alwilda, widow of George Bowman, who was a banker at San Jose, California; Aurelia J., wife of George Swartz, of Kansas City, Missouri, who is extensively engaged in lumbering in Louisiana, the town of Swartz being named after him; Isaac J., of Coffeyville, Kansas; and Edward, who died at Boone, Iowa, in February, 1870, and is buried there.

Elza V. Coldren received his early education in a seminary at LaGrange, Indiana, and the Des Moines (Iowa) High School. He then read medicine in the office of Dr. A. J. Willie at Nevada, Iowa, and attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, graduating therefrom in February, 1864. In 1861 he had enlisted in the “Silver Band” as a musician, enlisting as a member of the 10th Regiment, Iowa Vol. Inf., Colonel Purcel commanding. While in the service, he continued his study of medicine and was appointed assistant surgeon at Estie Hospital at Keokuk, continuing as such until he was mustered out in 1864. He was in the engagement in which his regiment was ambushed by the guerilla forces of Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson and 18 members of his company killed.

Doctor Coldren first started in practice at Nevada, Iowa, and after three years moved to Hazelgreen, Wisconsin, where he practiced continuously for 17 years. He came to Topeka, Kansas, in 1882 and has met with remarkable success as a general practitioner. He is a member of the Kansas State Medical Society, American Medical Association; Academy of Medicine and Shawnee County Medical Society, and is a member of the medical staff of The Jane C. Stormont Hospital. Politically he is a supporter of Republican principles.

In 1865, Dr. Coldren was joined in marriage with Jane Ellen Simpson, a daughter of Anthony and Elizabeth (Bronson) Simpson, her parents being natives of Yorkshire, England. They came to America and were prominent citizens of Dubuque, Iowa, Mr. Simpson being largely engaged in lead mining. Our subject and his wife are parents of the following children: Clarence E., a member of the DeWolfe Hopper opera company, who was married in 1892; Aline, who married George Brenning, of St. Louis, Missouri, and has two children, George and Lorine; and Lorine, who married A. M. Officer, of Topeka, and has two children, Aline and Margaret. The Doctor and his family reside in a pleasant home at No. 1018 Polk street.

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This family biography is one of 206 biographies included in History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold, 1905.  For the complete description, click here: Shawnee County, Kansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Shawnee County, Kansas family biographies here: Shawnee County, Kansas

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