William McKinley Coller
- Born: 5 Aug 1895, Snover, Sanilac County, Michigan
- Marriage (1): Ethel May Miller on 19 Jul 1917 in Flint, Michigan
- Marriage (2): Hazelle Nelson
- Died: 9 Nov 1975, Ocala, Marion County, Florida at age 80
- Buried: 12 Nov 1975, Highland Memorial Park, Ocala, Marion County, Florida
William McKinley Coller was also called "Bill".
INFORMATION FROM SOCIAL SECURITY APPLICATION
Address: Box 363, Owosso, Michigan
Age on Last Birthday: 58
Date of Application: May 1, 1954
Date of Birth: August 5, 1895
Father's Full Name: William E. Coller
Mother's Full Name; Ada Cains
Business Name of Employer: Periodical Publishers Bureau, Inc.
616 Hammond Bldg., Detroit, Michigan
Place of Birth: Snover, Sanilac County, Michigan
INFORMATION FROM WWI DRAFT REGISTRATION
Address: R.D. No. 1, Snover, Michigan
Date of Birth: August 5, 1895
Citizenship: Natural Born Citizen
Employer: Self Employed
Employer Location: Lamotte Township
Dependents (Parents/Immediate Family): None
Married or Single: Single
Previous Military Service: None
Claim Exemption: No
Color of Eyes: Grey
Color of Hair: Dark Brown
Registration Precinct: Lamotte
Registration City or County: Sanilac
Registration State: Michigan
Registration Date: June 5, 1917
What follows is an attempt to make sense out of a sequence of events. The basic facts are correct, but may be interpreted differently.
Ethel Miller and William Coller were married on July 19, 1917. A 1917 plat map shows William owned 40 acres adjoining his father's land. Just north of William's original 40 acres was an additional 40 acres owned by Jesse Coller. On November 8, 1918 William received a check for $3836.77 from Commercial State Bank. Around this time William bought Jesse's property giving him a total of 80 acres according to a 192x plat map. It appears that the money from the bank was a mortgage used to buy Jesse's property. Eldon was born September 19, 1919 on the farm and this is where the family lived in the 1920 census. The home was a broken down building and the land was not good farmland. William, Ethel and Eldon ended up moving in with her parents at 1422 Richfield Road (now Davison Road). Harvey, Ethel's father, built a dormer on his house and a room in the attic where they could live. William was working at the Buick plant in Flint and selling insurance. Eldon came down with polio in 1925 and was on the road to recovery in 1927. In 1927 the family was living at 214 W. Dartmouth Street in Flint and William was selling insurance. Their marriage ended when Ethel divorced Bill in 1929. She then married Ed Welsh in 1930.
Most of the 80 acres mentioned above are covered in various types of pine trees and there are areas of sandy soil. There was also a cypress swamp at one time, but it is now gone.
Eldon, Bill, Ethel and Alice (Ethel's mother) went on a driving trip through Canada and the northeastern states in 1923. In 1924 the four of them toured the southern states. They drove a 1923 Chevrolet Superior Touring Car and a the tent could be setup beside the car and space included the car interior.
Karen Coller Curell remembers Bill as being tall and slender and working in the insurance business.
Marcella Criner was a student who stayed with Bill and Hazel Coller when they lived in Owasso. Hazel was Bill's second wife. This is her recollection:
So glad to hear from you. I used to live with your grandfather and his wife, Hazelle, in the early 1940s while I was a student at Owosso (MI) High School. I always loved him. He was such a nice man. And he had a high regard for me, too, I know, even though he nicknamed me "Wild Bill" because I did every errand so speedily!! I helped Hazelle check her students' papers every night, ran errands to the store, and helped clean house every Saturday morning before I went home for the weekend. Was paid $1.00 plus my room and board for that. And I was glad to get it!! One other important job was for me to help Billy find his pipe almost daily. He'd drop it down and forget where it was.
Billy and Hazelle lived in three different houses in this area. I lived with them in two. The first was a rented apartment only a block from the high school where Hazelle taught. The second was a duplex home they bought just half a block away from that apartment building, so it was still within walking distance for her. After I went on to college, another girl lived with them, as I had done.
Marcella and Billy convinced Hazelle to sell the duplex and buy a brick farm house plus acreage north of town. Hazelle had to ride to school on the same bus as the school kids. She hated that fact. They bought the place the same year my husband and I bought ours. Billy laughingly offered to sell the house to us for the price they had paid. Of course, having just gone into debt for this one, we turned down the offer. We didn't have enough money coming in to make the payments on that one, I'm sure. And, yes, all of the places are still here and lived in. The farm house has been altered--- the large porch has been torn off.
Marcella had Bill's family Bible and many pictures.
William McKinley Coller's death certificate states that he died at Monroe Memorial Hospital located in Ocala, Marion County, Florida on November 7, 1975. The cause of death was chronic pulmonary emphazema. He was survived by his wife, Hazelle Nelson, and they lived at 315 S.E. Watula Avenue, Ocala, Marion County, Florida. He was buried in Highland Memorial Park on November 12, 1975. The funeral home was Hiers Funeral Home. He was a retired insurance broker.
Noted events in his life were:
1. Picture: Highland Memorial Cemetery: Ocala, Marion County, Florida. This headstone marks the grave of William and Hazelle Coller.
2. Picture, Abt 1915, the Buick Plant, Flint, Michigan. This is a picture of the Buick assembly plant in Flint, Michigan about 10 years before William McKinley Coller worked there. William Coller would sell insurance to people while working at the Buick Plant.
3. Picture, 1920, Lamotte Township, Sanilac County, Michigan. This plat map shows the 80 acres owned by William McKinley Coller where he and Ethel attempted to start a farm.
4. Picture: William and Eldon Coller, 1922.
5. Residence: 214 West Dartmouth, Flint, Michigan, 1927. This was found in the 1927 U.S. City Directory for Flint Michigan. It lists William, Ethel and Eldon living together. William was an insurance agent.
6. Picture: Bill and his father William Ellsworth Coller, 1940, Ottawa, Canada. This is a picture was taken in front of Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada.
7. Residence, 1942, Owosso, Michigan. According to his 1942 WWII draft registration card he lived at 416 North Water Street with his wife Hazelle. He still had to register at 46 years old.
8. Residence, 1946, Owosso, Michigan. This information was in his mother's 1946 obituary (Ada Mary Caines Coller).
9. Residence: Box 363, Owosso, Michigan, 1954. Address on Social Security application dated May 1, 1954
10. Picture: William Coller land boundaries: Snover, Michigan. The boundaries here are from a 1917 plat map of Lamotte Township, Sanilac County, Michigan. It shows William McKinley Coller owning 40 acres. In 1920 William bought an adjacent 40 acres owned by Jesse Coller giving him 80 acres for farming. Click on the image for better viewing.
11. Picture: Kearsley Park Evangelical Church. This is where Ethel Miller and William Coller were married, It is located at 1801 Lewis Place, Flint, Michigan. It is about half a block from the church to the home of the Miller family which no longer stands.
12. Picture: 1923 Chevrolet Grand Touring automobile. Bill, Ethel, Eldon and Alice Miller toured the northeastern United States in 1923 and southeastern United States in 1924. They drove a 1923 Chevrolet Grand Touring car like the one in this picture.
13. Picture: 315 S.E. Watula Avenue, Ocala, Marion County, Florida, 1975. 1 This is where William and Hazelle lived.
William married Ethel May Miller, daughter of John Harvey Miller and Alice Paulina Leary, on 19 Jul 1917 in Flint, Michigan. The marriage ended in divorce in Jan 1929. (Ethel May Miller was born on 20 Nov 1899 in Liberty Township, Putnam County, Ohio, died on 31 Jul 1973 in Armada, Michigan 2 and was buried in Bruce-Armada Cemetery, Romeo, Michigan.)
Noted events in their marriage were:
1. Divorce, Jan 1929, Flint, Genesee County, Michigan.
Ethel May Miller and William McKinley Coller were married in Flint, Michigan at the Evangelical Church by Rev. L. H. Hayes.
William next married Hazelle Nelson. (Hazelle Nelson was born on 27 Jan 1895 in Michigan, died in Nov 1985 in Ocala, Marion County, Florida and was buried in Highland Memorial Park, Ocala, Marion County, Florida.)