The Descendants


John Milton Irvine



Last Change: 16 April 2017




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Irvine ancestors:


     John Irvine, I - Gen 1

     George Irvine - Gen 2

     John Irvine, II - Gen 3

     John Milton Irvine - Gen 4

     Jane Delphine (Biles) Irvine - Gen 4


Clara Delphine (Irvine) Coles (1891 - 1988)

(SSN: 107-09-4717)


Irvine Generation 5

Descendant # 3


Coles, Fred John 1978 Clara (Irvine) Coles Dec.jpg


1.  Clara’s parents: John Milton and Jane Delphine (Biles) Irvine, the latter being paragraph 4.C.6.f. of the Alexander Patterson Biles page.


2.  Clara’s birth: 9 November 1891 at the old Irvine homestead at Homets Ferry, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. 


Clara’s death: 7 February 1988 in a hospital at Johnson City, New York; interred in the Biles Cemetery above Homets Ferry, Wyalusing Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.


3.  Clara’s formal education:




School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree








4. Clara’s marriage:


a.  To whom: Fred John Coles (photos) (more info)

(SSN: 105-14-9255) of Endwell, New York


(1.  Fred’s parents: Paul and Minnie (Wachel) Coles


(2.  Fred’s birth: 14 June 1890 at Delvan, Wisconsin


Fred’s death: 4 February 1981 at Binghamton General Hospital, Binghamton, Broome County, New York; interred Riverhurst Cemetery, Endicott, New York. In rapidly failing health, Fred was taken to Binghamton General Hospital, Binghamton, New York on 27 January 1981, where he died 6 days later, 4 February 1981.  A memorial service was held Monday, 9 February at Kennedy Funeral Home, 21 N. Chenango St., Greene, New York with Reverend Nathan Robestraw, Pastor of the Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Greene, officiating.


(3.  Fred’s formal education:




School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree








(4.  Fred’s 1st marriage:


(a. To whom: Clarissa Clara Sprague (photos) (more info)


(1) Clara’s birth: 1880


Clara’s death: Early December 1954 from an infection (according to Fred) that was precipitated by a cat scratch; interred Riverhurst Cemetery, Endicott, New York.


(2) Other biographical notes on Clara:


On 25 December 1908 Clara Sprague resided at 8 Depot Street, Potsdam, New York.


(b. When & where married: 25 December 1912 at 16 Allen Street, Lestershire, New York (where Clara Sprague resided at least as early as Mar 1910) with Reverend Benjamin P. Ripley, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, officiating.  Ralph J. Sprague and Emma L. Melody were listed as witnesses on their marriage certificate.  Notable attendees included Mr. And Mrs. Joel E. Sprague, Ralph Sprague, and Mr. and Mrs. Joel Sprague.


(c. Children:




(5.  Fred’s employment history:




Employer, location, job



Self employed as a residential contractor, building many homes in and around Endicott, New York.


(6.  Fred’s addresses before marriage:















(7.  Other biographical notes on Fred:


(a. Fred was one of the feistiest and most colorful people imaginable.  He was also an avid hunter and fisherman and loved to travel.  He and his 2nd wife would frequently take day trips in their car.


(b. Fred and his 1st wife, Clara (Sprague) Coles, were both residents of Binghamton, New York before marriage.  After marriage they resided at 671 Riverside Drive, Johnson City, New York.


b.  Marriage date & location: 4 February 1956.


5.  Clara’s employment history:




Employer, location, job








6.  Clara’s addresses:










238 Hudson Street, Johnson City, Broome County, New York.


7.  Clara’s organizational affiliations:




Organization, offices held








8.  Other biographical notes on Clara:


Clara’s mother, “Dell” (Biles) Irvine, died just three months and ten days after her birth, so Clara’s recently widowed Aunt, Adelia “Deal” (Biles) Fuller (Para 4.C.6.a. of the Alexander Patterson Biles page), accepted Clara’s father’s request to raise Clara at Deal’s home in Sayre, Bradford County, Pennsylvania.  However, in 1899 (at age 8) correspondence indicates Clara was extremely homesick and residing away from Deal.  Since Clara never knew her biologic mother, she always referred to Deal Fuller as “Mamma,” and kept a framed portrait photo of Deal on her bedroom wall the remainder of her long life.  Clara also considered Deal’s two children, Charles Hartley Fuller (b. 1874) and Mary Louise Fuller (b. 1882), as her older bother and sister.


A few years after taking Clara in, when her own children were all grown and gone from her home, Deal moved in with her unmarried younger sister, Emma (“Em”), so Emma could help care for Clara while Deal earned a living caring for the sick.  Clara lived with her two aunts for the remainder of their lives.  She had some very happy memories of her early years in Wyalusing Township, Pennsylvania; she also had some serious eye problems during that period that plagued her the rest of her life.


In December 1928 Clara resided with Jennie Congdon at 143 Court Street, Binghamton, Broome County, New York.  In September 1931 Clara resided at 28 ˝ Exchange Street, Binghamton, New York.  In September 1932 she resided at 120 Murray Street, Binghamton.  In August 1934 she resided at 21 Pine Street, Binghamton.  In April 1953 she resided at 11 Jay Street, Binghamton.  In December 1966 she and Fred resided at 3008 Robins Street, Endicott, New York 13763, in a house bequeathed to her by George P. and Mary Louise (Fuller) Allen.


Clara married relatively late in life to Fred John Coles.  Since 1961 both were members of Binghamton Grange # 1072.  They resided for several years in the home Clara inherited from the Allens at 3008 Robins Street, Endwell, New York, vacationing winters in Seffner, Florida.


In the summer of 1966 Fred built his last home for Clara and himself on property he and Clara purchased from Clara’s niece, Margaret (Biles) Bryant and Margaret’s husband, Lincoln Bryant adjacent to the Bryant residence on Genegantslet Road outside Greene, New York.  Address: 530 County Road 2, Greene, New York 13778-9571.  They occupied that house in the Spring of 1967 and resided there the remainder of their lives.  After Fred died Clara’s niece (and Margaret Bryant’s sister), Marian Elizabeth Biles, who had never married, moved in with Clara to help her keep house.  Clara bequeathed the house to Marian, so when Clara died, Marian continued to live there.


Of related interest, Marian’s brother, Joseph “Joe” Lerue Biles, who was single and had been living by himself in his parents’ last home on Laurel Road outside Greene, eventually moved in with Marian, and they lived together until Marian died in February 2007.  By the terms of the property’s deed and Marian’s will, ownership of this house reverted to Margaret Bryant, but Margaret’s brother, Joe, continued to reside there under terms of an agreement he reached with Margaret. 



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