Sarah Matilda Coltrin

by Beatrice Hyer Brown


Sarah Matilda Coltrin Telford was an early pioneer of Utah.  She was born September 2, 1832 at Plainsville, Lake County, Ohio the daughter of Graham Coltrin, born December 11, 1796 at Coldrain, Hampshire County, Mass. and Anna Norwood, Born October 12, 1808 at Columbia County, New York.  Her mother died in 1835/6 in Kirtland, Ohio when Sarah was only 4 years old.  There were five children in the family, three boys and two girls.  A few years later the father married Hannah Hoekman (Harriet Heckman) who helped him  raise his children and to them five more children were born, three boys and two girls.  Three of these died in infancy.


They crossed the plains and came to Utah in 1850 or 51.  The father died in Centerville, Utah may 16, 1857.  They suffered the hardships, trials and persecutions that the saints had to endure. Her grandfather, John Coltrin, Jr. was born July 30, 1775 Tolland, Tolland County, Conn. and died near Council Bluffs, Iowa August 31, 1846.


Little is known of her early life.  She was baptized in 1840.  She told her children the she sat on the prophet Joseph's lap many times.  Her parents helped on the Nauvoo Temple.


When she was 19 years old the family crossed the plains, settled in Bountiful, Davis County, Utah.


February 22, 1852 she Married John Dodds Telford, son of John Telford and Jane Telford (cousins) who were both from Armagh, Ulster, Ireland.  This was an important day in the Telford family, as John Dodds’s eldest brother and sister Anne were all married on that day by Bishop John Stoker.  The three newly weds settled in Bountiful, where John Dodds and his Wife Sarah Matilda lived for eight years.


When the fifth child, John Robert, was 6 weeks old John Dodds and Sarah Matilda moved to Richmond, Cache Valley, June 1860.  They first lived in the old fort.  Later moved into their own home - a log house with two large rooms, a summer kitchen and a good cellar.  They had a good garden, fruit trees and berries.  They lived in Richmond ten years, where three more children were born to them.


About 1873 they moved to a 160 acre farm at Lewiston.  The home, the first large frame home built in Lewiston, was built on a bluff overlooking the Muddy or Cub River and Green Meadows. 


Grandmother Telford was a very industrious person, talented in many ways.  She loved to be out in the garden among her flowers.  She often walked over the farm with grandfather and helped with many tasks.  She was a good seamstress, made her own patterns, did all the sewing for the family and much for other people, made suits for the men, did fancy work and painting.  She was endowed and sealed to her husband on November 10, 1853.  She received a patriarchal blessing from her uncle Zebedee Coltrin.


Her husband was accidentally killed.  (See his history) after the children were married she lived with her youngest son Ether and his wife Addie most of the time with occasional visits to other members of the family.  The grandchildren all loved her.


In her later years she did genealogical research and temple work for the Norwood and Coltrin lines.


Grandmother lived to be 75 years old.  Died suddenly at the home of her son William in Lewiston on December 12, 1907 and was buried beside her husband in Richmond, Utah.


Note: This history was taken from mother's handwritten copy to which she added this note, "Lynn: I knew her when she visited grandmother Gee in Ora.  She then wore a black silk dress with a white collar, had a gold watch on a long chain.  Snowy white hair - a real lady.