Howard Colegrove & Ella May Nichols


This is the headstone for
Howard & Ella May.
Howard died after Ella May
and is buried in W.V.

This once was the home
for Howard & Ella May.
This house sits on a hill
in Harlan County.



Parents: Joseph B Colegrove & Lucy J Bennett

Born: 13 Aug 1893
Greenup Co., KY
Died: June 1983
Sumerco, Lincoln Co., WV  

Parents: Doc Nichols & Mary Moore

Born: 15 Mar 1899
Unknown Location
Died: 29 Aug 1966
Harlan, Harlan Co., KY        
  Married: Unknown                            
Name: Sex: Born: Died:
Curtis Christopher M 3 Apr 1916 17 Dec 1977 
Lula Belle F 23 Jun 1917 11 Aug 1989
Joseph Bishop M 31 Dec 1920 15 Oct 1995 
Everett M 23 Apr 1924 1 Sep 2001
Howard Jr. (Red) M    
Mary M. F Still Living  
Ned M    
Dorothy F    
Lucy May F 29 Mar 1935 15 Nov 1937 
Orbie M 8 Dec 1937 28 Oct 2003

Ella May Nichols
Mary Moore, mother Henry "Doc" Nichols, father
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

Howard Colegrove
Lucy J. Bennett, mother Joseph B. Colegrove, father
Unknown Unknown Zerilda Davisson Melvin Colegrove
Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Sarah Clark Nathan

Howard Colegrove was born on 13 Aug 1893 in Greenup County, Kentucky moved around a little with his family before he married Ella May Nichols (Nickels).  Ella May Nichols was born on 15 Mar 1899 probably in Alabama.  I believe that her parents are Henry "Doc" Nichols and Mary.  Nickels was another spelling I found on documents on Ella May.

Howard and Ella had ten children.  Their children that I have birth and death days for are: Curtis Christopher (1916 - 1977), Lula Belle (1917 - 1989), Joseph Bishop (1920 - 1995), Everett Herman (1924 - 2001), Lucy May (1935 - 1937) and Orbie M. (1937 - 2003). Their other children whos names I have are, Howard Jr. (they also called him Red), Ned, Mary M. and Dorothy.  Lucy May was not even 2 years old when she died of pneumonia.  She is buried in the same cemetery as her grandparents: Joseph Bishop & Lucy Colegrove in the Justell Community Cemetery (a.k.a.: Betsy Layne Cemetery in Betsy Layne / Justell- Floyd Co., KY)

(During a trip to Vanceburg KY and to West Virginia, trying to locate headstones for Howard Colegrove, and others, I found the headstone for Howard & Ella May's son, Joseph B. 1920-1995 and Joseph's son, Joseph B. Jr. 1946-1991.)

Howard Colegrove's WWI Draft Registration Card: June 5, 1917.

Home: Mossy Bottom, KY (which is located in Pike County)
DOB: 13 Aug 1893
Born in: Greenup Co., KY
Occupation: Coal Miner for the Mossy Bottom Mining Company
Family: Wife & 1 Child (This was Curtis, his 2nd child, Lula Belle had not been born yet)
Howard's draft certificate also listed him as tall with a medium build.  His eye color was Blue and his hair was yellow. (Blonde)

Howard Colegrove and the World War I.  The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914 was the immediate cause of the WWI, also known as the First World War, the Great War and the War to End All Wars.  The retaliation by Austria-Hungary against the Kingdom of Serbia activated a series of alliances that set off a chain reaction of war declarations.  Within a month, much of Europe was in a state of open warfare.  Numerous other states joined the allies, most notably Italy in April 1915, and the United States in April 1917.  The American Expeditionary Forces or AEF was the United States military force sent to Europe in the World War I.  By June 1917, there were 14,000 U.S. soliders in France.  By the end of May the following year there were one million American troops there.  Howard Colegrove was drafted into the war on June 5th, 1917.  These first American troops were called "Doughboys" (U.S. soliders who arrived in Europe in June 1917) by other Allied troops.  The World War I ended in 1918.  Howard Colegrove returned home and continued working as a coal miner.

After Howard returned from the war he and his family moved to Mud, Kentucky.  Mud is an unincorporated community in Floyd County.  This information is from a census taken on 22 Jan, 1920.  The township listed on the census (shown below, click to enlarge) is Mouth of Mud, Floyd County.  Sometime between the 1920 Census and the death of Howard & Ella May's youngest child Lucy (died in 1937) Howard & his family moved to Wheelwright, Floyd Co., KY.  Wheelwright is listed as the place of residence on Lucy May Colegrove's death certificate.  (Shown below, click to enlarge).

                            1920 U.S. Federal Census           Death Certificate for Lucy May Colegrove
(Click either record to enlarge)

Sometime or another Harlan County was another home for Howard's family.  It is told that he was a miner there, as he was in Mossy Bottom, Pike Co., KY and in Mud & Wheelwright, Floyd Co., KY.  It is also told that Howard & Ella May were of the medium class in Harlan County.  They weren't the richest, but they had the money to live on higher grounds.  Their home stood in a row with others on a mountain in Harlan.  Some of their grand kids from their son Curtis remember Ella not wanting Curt to bring those kids (Ruby's kids) in her home.  Curt & Ruby's kids remember feeling unwelcome.  However, of the only sibling left from the Howard & Ella's family, Mary M. Colegrove Moore, she only remembers Ella as a "Heart of Gold."  After Howard and Ella moved to Harlan, Mary remembers in detail how her brother Curt would eat breakfast with their parents every morning.  Mary remembers details about the relationship she and her brothers and sisters had with their loving parents.  Why is it that Ruby & Curt's children remember Ella differently. 

After Ella May passed on, Howard began a new life and married Lottie Elkins (18 Jan 1908 - 15 Sep 1987).  Howard was a little more than fourteen years older than Lottie.  Lisa Mack, a grandchild from Howard & Lottie, told me that Howard and Lottie married in Fairborn Ohio sometime between 1966 - 1969.  Lisa also informed me that the two (Howard & Lottie) did not have any children.  I am unable to locate their marriage certificate.  Howard died in June of 1983 and is buried in Sumerco, Lincoln County, West Virginia.  Below is a photo of the headstone for Howard Colegrove.

Howard, Joseph & Joseph Jr. Colegrove are buried in the Orchard Hill Memory Gardens
Sumerco, Lincoln Co., West Virginia.  (Map to come soon!)