Robert Stuart Coulter 3rd was born on September 20, 1834, in the area of Randolph County, Illinois. His father, Robert Stuart Coulter 2nd was born in 1809, in Kentucky. Robert’s mother, Isabelle Wylie was born on April 26, 1810 in Bourbon County, Kentucky. He was a farmer by trade. His heritage was mostly from Scotland. Robert’s father had died when he was just seventeen years old. He was the third of eleven children.
When the Civil War broke out, Robert along with many of his family, enlisted in the Union Army. He joined on June 25, 1861 in Caseyville, Illinois. Robert mustered in as a private, and became part of Company I, with the 22nd Illinois Infantry. He was in many battles. One of these, was the Battle of Stones River, also called the Battle of Murfreeboro. During one of the battles Robert was in, he was wounded. Many soldiers were wounded that day. That same night, as the wounded were left on the battlefield, some of the wounded and dead were attacked by razorbacks or hogs. These animals are not afraid of much. Robert managed to escape the attacks, but he said that he would never forget the terrible screams of the men that night. Robert was taken with other officers, to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. Libby Prison had been a tobacco factory and warehouse, before the war. Libby Prison was just for officers.
While Robert was in Prison, he tried to escape several times. Because of this, the prison officials took away his clothes and bedding. There was no heat, and he nearly froze to death. He was not one of the famous 109 prisoners who did escape by digging a tunnel. About half of those men died in the effort.
The men who tried to escape Libby Prison were taken South to Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The family story is that he went to Andersonville. Andersonville and prisons like it were nothing but a big hole in the ground. Prisoners had little or no shelter, very little to eat and no medical attention what so ever. Food was hard to come by. Sometimes corncobs were thrown in the hole. Corncobs are very difficult to digest. The conditions were miserable, and many men didn’t survive.
When the Civil War ended, many men who survived were put on ships. They, then were taken around to New Orleans, put on steamboats and sent up the Mississippi River. One of these steamboats was the Sultana. The Sultana exploded. A man named Robert Louden claimed to have put gun powder into inkwells and tossed them on the coal bin. As the Sultana reached Memphis the blast was deafening. Fire was everywhere. The Majority of the passengers died. As the disaster was on April 27,1865, the event didn’t get much attention. All the newpapers talked about was the Lincoln assassination and the search for John Wilkes Booth.
The soldiers from the Sultana, who lived were hospitalized and then had to make it home. They had no money and some of them walked home.
Robert Stuart Coulter’s commanding officer was Charles Garrison Harker. Robert said he would do anything for his men. He thought so much of this man, his friend, that he named his first born son after Harker. Harker started the war as a private; but was a general before his death a the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.
In 1854, Robert Stuart Coulter had purchased a large plot of land in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. That area of land is now where the Dickerson Park Zoo, the Ozark Empire Fair Grounds, both sides of Norton Road and more land around those sites is now. Over the years the Coulter family sold off all that land.
Robert married Elizabeth Mearns, on October 25, 1864. The marriage was performed by Rev. John Nevirs. They were married in Coulterville, Randolph County, Illinois. Elizabeth came from Scotland, with her family in 1854. Robert received land in Nebraska for his service in the Civil War. He and his family lived on the land for five years, as required before selling it.
Charles Harker Coulter was the first son of Robert Stuart Coulter 3rd and Elizabeth Mearns. He was born on August 24, 1865 in Randolph County, Illinois. Charles was often called Charlie. He married Margaret Elizabeth Doran on Febuary 16, 1892 in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. Margaret’s nickname was Maggie. Charles and Maggie had a farm in Missouri, and a ranch in New Mexico. He was a U.S. Marshall in New Mexico. Charles was a businessman who traveled extensively. He was an explosives expert and blasted the railroad tunnel from Trinidad, Colorado to Raton, New Mexico. Charles was coming home from church one evening, crossing the street, when a car ran him down. The car was driven by an elderly man. He and his wife had decided to try and make it home even though the lights had gone out on their car. Charles died the next day on May 20, 1947, in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri.
Clara Eunice Coulter was the second child of Robert Stuart Coulter 3rd and Elizabeth Mearns. She was born in 1867 in Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska. Clara was known as Unie to her family and friends. Unie was a school teacher by profession. She married John S. Powell on January 25, 1899. Clara died in 1955. We don’t know anything about where she was buried.
The third child of Robert Stuart Coulter 3rd and Elizabeth Mearns was Tena I. Coulter. She was born in Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska in 1871. Tena was a school teacher and was known for her many friends. Among these friends was Pearl Ruth Harris Yule. Pearl was the sister of Tena’s nephew’s wife. Tena visited Pearl and her family in Sapulpa, Creek County, Oklahoma. Pearl and Tena were both school teachers. Tena never married. She died of tuberculosis in 1912 in Raton, Colfax County, New Mexico. Tena was buried in the Fairmont Cemetery in Raton, Colfax County, New Mexico.
Robert Stuart Coulter 3rd and Elizabeth Mearns’ fourth child was William Mearns Coulter. He was born on April 28, 1873 in Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska. William was known as Bill to his friends and family. He married Harriet V. Miller. Harriet was called Hattie. She was the daughter of J. Charles and Alice Miller. We don’t know what Bill did for a living. Bill died on November 28, 1950, in Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, New Mexico. He was buried in Fairview Memorial Park, at Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, New Mexico.
The fifth child of Robert Stuart Coulter 3rd and Elizabeth Mearns was Robert Stuart Coulter 4th. He was born August 3, 1875. We don’t know exactly where. Robert went by Bert though most of his life. Bert never married; although he always seemed to have a lady on his arm. As a young man, he was a miner. As he got older, he became a dentist. He died on December 23, 1952 in Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Bert was buried in the Fairview Memorial Park, Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, New Mexico.
George M. Coulter was the sixth child of Robert Stuart Coulter 3rd and Elizabeth Mearns. He was born in 1877. He died as an infant, at the age of three years old in 1880, of diphtheria. The place of his death was Raton, Colfax County, New Mexico. He was buried at Raton, Colfax County, New Mexico.
Robert Stuart Coulter 3rd died in 1888 in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. He was buried at the National Cemetery in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. He was fifty four when he died.