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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

William Buford and Emma 'Grace' (Mason) Coston, Wray.
Photographs and family information from Lee Zion.

  Will (aka "W.B.") Coston was born in 1870 in Maryville, Missouri, one of the sons of Alonzo and Ursula Coston. Will came to Wray in March 1886 with his father in a boxcar with all the family goods, farm equipment and livestock. His mother, sister and brother followed in a parlor car after Alonzo had set up housekeeping.

   Emma Grace Mason was born in 1873 in Nelson, Illinois, the eldest of thirteen children of Lewis H and Susanna (Hartman) Mason. Grace came to Wray about 1891 with her parents. As with most of her siblings Emma's family name was her middle name. But, to confuse family researchers, she signed her name both ways all her life.

   Grace and Will were married in 1894 and had a dozen children of their own, eleven of who survived.

  Will homesteaded immediately north of Wray but discovered he couldn't make a living farming for his growing family in the 1890s so he and Grace moved to Greeley where he apprenticed as a studio photographer and land surveyor. They returned to Wray in 1897 where he established the Coston Studio that he operated for the next 40 years. Will took over operation of his father's farm after his parents moved to Fort Morgan. Will never did make enough money from his profession or the farm to support his growing family so over the years he also tried digging beets and potatoes for hire, custom farming with a steam tractor, custom threshing, gold/silver mining on a claim northwest of Loveland, wildcat oil drilling in Wyoming and near Beecher, running the Olive Lake Resort and selling insurance. Will held the office of County Surveyor for several years. Grace gave piano lessons most of her married life. If he wasn't working Will could be found talking politics, playing golf or fishing with a fly rod.

   Grace died in 1947 and Will in 1967. Both are buried in Grandview Cemetery, Wray.

   With a dozen children and a dozen Mason brothers and sisters in-law with large families, W.B. tended to take family photographs as individuals, by sub-groups or in large 8x10s with a "cast of hundreds". Below are images from a 1921 Coston Studio tri-fold album.

Semer, Boyd, William B. and Bill

Eva, Ferne, Doris, Ruth and Lulu

Mildred, Gracella, Grace and Ethel

Will and Grace Coston's children -
 1) Ursula Ferne (1895-1967) married Frank Wear
 2) Marie Glenn (1896-1897)
 3) Ruth Gwendolyn (1897-1944) married Buel Ambler
 4) Lulu Buffington (1899-1967) married Lee Davis
 5) Doris Emma (1900-1995) married 1) Walker Garton; 2) Walter Jaques; 3) Karl Bolhken
 6) Alonzo "Boyd" (1902-1964) married Annabell Criss
 7) Eva Genevieve (1904-1998) married 1) Fred Lair; 2) Guy DeGarmo; 3) Vern Hudson
 8) William Mason (1905-1985) married Fern Thacker
 9) Semer Henry (1907-1979) married 1) Gertrude Wetzel Berryhill; 2) Margaret Parish
10) Mildred Agnes (1912-1996) married 1) Lester Clem; 2) Earl C. Strobeck; 3) Robert Sielsky
11) Ethel Ann (1914-2003) married 1) Jake DeGarmo; 2) Garold "Hap" Goodale
12) Gracella (1915-1965) married 1) Harold A McGarvey; 2) Albion A Lamperiti; 3) Ed Holstead

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Images donated by Lee Zion. This page is maintained and copyrighted by Lee Zion.