up over a chicken nest to break into
the house through the window. Mama
always said that she nearly froze to
death that first night, and she never
got warm after that.
Granddaddy Coleman had 174
acres, and he was 1 of 10 children:
Tillman, Wade, Ferst, Gary, Ina,
Chloe, Fanny, Berta, Moses, and
Butler. Eventually, all the brothers
and sisters either died or moved away,
and Daddy ended up with all of the
property which is where Walmart is
THE EARLY YEARS
My brother Dan was born in 1923
and was injured at birth. He couldn’t
walk or talk well, but he had an
The first memory I have is going
to Jacksonville, FL. My mother
was really sick with the flu, and
they thought she was not going to
live; in fact, it was in the paper that
she wasn’t going to live. Aunt Ina
came and got me and took me to
Jacksonville where she lived, and
I don’t know how long I was down
there, but I do have a faint memory of
that trip, and I think I learned to talk
while I was there. They said that I
was kind of slow beginning to talk, but
when I started, I had a big vocabulary.
I’d just been holding it back, I guess.
I remember that Uncle Jim, Ina’s
husband, worked on the railroad. I
guess he was a conductor.
Aunt Ina had a radio, and she had
a vacuum cleaner that I was scared
to death of. I mean I scattered when
she cranked that thing up. So when I
came back home to Lyons, I had been
down in Florida so long that when
Aunt Ina left, I ran around the house
calling “Mama!” looking for her. I
think it kind of hurt Mother’s feelings,
but I guess I was down there long
enough that I thought Aunt Ina was
We didn’t have electricity.
102 Toombs County Magazine
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT The Coleman farm was
located where Walmart and Lowe’s currently are
on Hwy. 280. Mose with his brother Dan. Mose and
cousin Orvelle who took him to school every day.
Mose’s grandaddy, also Moses M. Coleman, sitting
on Emmett Coursey’s car in Lyons, circa 1918. He
owned 174 acres that made up the original farm.