Merlin J. Coburn

7 Jan 1916 - 19 Jun 1981


Merlin J. Coburn

7 Jan 1916 - 19 Jun 1981
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Merlin was the oldest of 6 children. His parents were Earl and Ila Coburn. They lived on a farm in Dayton, Idaho. Times were hard for the Coburn family and there was little food. Merlin was six years old and was attending first grade. He would come home and tell his little brother Dean about all the
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Life Information

Merlin J. Coburn


Dayton Cemetery

Highway 36
Dayton, Franklin, Idaho
United States


September 23, 2013


September 20, 2013

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Written by Jeanie Coburn Crockett - daughter of Merlin and Donna

Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Merlin was the oldest of 6 children. His parents were Earl and Ila Coburn. They lived on a farm in Dayton, Idaho. Times were hard for the Coburn family and there was little food. Merlin was six years old and was attending first grade. He would come home and tell his little brother Dean about all the things he was learning in school. Thanksgiving was coming and all the children that Merlin went to school with were talking about the big Thanksgiving celebrations they would be having with their families. The center of their Thanksgiving holiday would be the big roasted turkey, the masterpiece, in the middle of the table along with other good food for their dinner. In the eyes of a six year old you simply could not celebrate Thanksgiving properly if you did not have a turkey. Merlin wanted a turkey so badly that he talked with his little brother and tried to figure out how they could get a turkey. They both decided to pray and ask Heavenly Father to please send them a turkey for Thanksgiving Day. The day before Thanksgiving their mother was out chopping wood by the road in front of their home. Their home was on a slight corner. All of a sudden a big truck full of turkeys came around that corner and a big tom turkey fell off of the truck on its head right at her feet. The truck went on down the road disappearing out of sight, Grandma picked up the turkey, that was still stunned by the fall, and began to prepare it for her children. Grandma was very surprised by the incident but the two little boys that had a big turkey on Thanksgiving Day were not surprised. They told their mother they had prayed for a turkey and a loving Heavenly Father heard their prayer and sent them a turkey for their special day.

Memories of Dad - written by Jeanie Coburn Crockett

Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

I remember being so excited to see him when he would come home from working at Kennecott all week. He would give us a big hug and most of the time he would have a bag of penny candy with him that he had stopped and bought for us. I remember working on the farm with Dad and the family, and him letting me drive the derek. I also remember driving the truck while he hauled hay. I remember when we were hauling below the road one day and he would throw the hay bales up to Charlotte who then would stack them while I drove the truck along. Between loads Charlotte and he went up to the house to get a drink. While they were gone I loaded two layers of hay bales on the pickup by myself. When they came back he acted very surprised and told me how proud he was of me, and how much that really helped him. I remember how Dad relied on Klayne to run the farm while he was at work. I remember one year when Klayne was working in Idaho City and we all went up to visit him and how fun that was. Dad was really proud of him and talked a lot about how smart Klayne was and how that summer Klayne had spent hours and hours on the fire line to help control a huge fire that was burning in the region, besides doing his job as a surveyor. I remember going with Dad one time when he dropped Kandis off at her apartment in Ogden where she was going to school to be a nurse. I remember Kandis crying when we got there because she didn't want to leave because she would get homesick for us. (Can you believe that?) But Dad would joke with her and try to make her laugh. After she got out of the car to go in her apartment, Dad got really quiet and I could tell he was worried and concerned for her. I remember picking up rocks off of the fields and stacking them on a flat bed with the rest of the family. I remember Dad teaching me how to drive a stick shift in his new red pickup. I remember Dad singing really loud while he plowed the fields below the road. We would hear him up at the house. He had a really good voice. I remember people telling Dad he looked like Richard Woodmark (a very dashing movie star in the olden days). I remember getting up in the middle of the night and going with Dad to change the water. I would help him drag the dam down the ditches. I can also remember helping him pull the head gate open. I really don't think I helped much at all but he made me feel like I did. I remember Dad cooking us breakfast when Mom was gone. He always used a lot of oil to fry up eggs and hotcakes. He always put a ton of pepper on our eggs and I loved them. I still always use a lot of pepper on my food because of him. I remember Dad always telling Mom how good the food was she always cooked for all of us. She was and still is a great cook. I remember the funny nicknames Dad had for us. Dad called me Chinook and he called Charlotte Bobaricka. I remember one day Dad telling me to drive the tractor a short distance down the hill which I did. The only problem was when I finished moving it and got off, I left the tractor out of gear. The next thing I knew was that the tractor was chasing me the rest of the way down the hill. I jumped out of its way and watched, horrified, as it ran through a fence, jumped the highway, and broke through the fence on the other side of the road. I took off running for the house and to the safety of my Mom, but when Dad came in he really wasn't that mad and ended up laughing about it. I remember one time I threw a big heavy water glass at Charlotte while I was doing dishes. She ducked and it went through the kitchen window. We were both really scared but when Dad came in the house all he said was, "I wish it would have hit Charlotte instead of the window." I remember thinking, 'What a cool Dad!' Neither of us got in any trouble. I remember Dad always being happy and laughing and joking with us. I remember him telling and retelling us a story about a cat who died and its owner put gas in its mouth. The cat then jumped up and ran all over the house, up and down the curtains and around in circles. Then it fell over dead again. We would ask Dad what happened and he would tell us the cat ran out of gas. It doesn't sound funny now but when Dad told it we would laugh and laugh because of the way he told it and faces he would pull. He was really an actor and didn't seem the least bit self-conscious. I remember Dad watching Bruce ride his horse and telling us what a good rider Bruce was. He said Bruce rode with the horse like they were one. I wanted to ride as good as Bruce did so Dad would be that proud of me, but I never could. I remember Dad smiling so big when he walked out of the hospital with Mom and their two new twin babies. Dad was carrying Sandy and Mom had Quinn in her lap as the nurse pushed her out in the wheelchair. I remember Dad was so happy that day. I remember Dad being proud of all his family. I remember Dad taking us on a two week vacation in the summer of 1969 just before he got hurt. That made for some good memories which I have thought about a lot over the years. Thanks Dad for being my Dad! I love you!

Memories of Dad - written by Quinn Coburn

Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

I only have two memories of dad before he was in the car accident. They are: First, Dad bringing home candy when returning from work at Kennecott Copper. I remember candy in a small brown paper bag. I particularly remember red licorice filled with a soft sweet filling. Second, I remember when I slipped on the swing set and put a long gash in my stomach. It hurt like mad and I think I was probably crying up a storm. Dad joked with me about going and getting the grease gun so he could fix my cut. I had a scar from that for many years. My favorite memory of dad after the accident was setting up a small basketball hoop at the end of his bed and playing basketball with him.

Memories of Dad - written by Kandis Coburn Beutler

Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

I remember Dad as being a happy person. He met people easily and had an infectious smile. It seemed to me that he had an optimistic outlook on life and always believed that, given a little time and effort, things would be better. He enjoyed music and was always singing one of his favorites, mostly westerns. I don't know the titles, but I can still remember the words to many of them and often find myself humming the tunes with the words going through my mind. Dad would have been a great pioneer. He was strong and determined and never seemed to mind hard physical work. I remember him working in the fields when we lived in Twin Falls, (digging ditches I think), working on cars in the big garage in Winder, and of course, all the farm work in Dayton and clearing away what seemed like a never ending supply of rocks. In later years when Dad was working at Kennecott and I was in nursing school in Ogden, I would sometimes ride back and forth with him. I think the winters must have been colder then, or the cars weren't as warm, because we would always notice that we had to wait for the ice to fully melt off the windows until we crossed over Sardine Canyon. I am grateful for the good memories from my childhood. Most of all I am grateful for a dad who I knew loved his children and I felt secure in his love. How very fortunate we are to have been born of goodly parents who taught us righteous principles.

Memories of Dad - written by Bruce Coburn

Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

I have lots of memories of Dad but these are a few that I'll share. I remember being in the first or second grade and he had already taught me to drive the tractor. That fall he decided to teach me to plow. It was a two bottom plow and I wasn't allowed out of first gear. I'd work on it every night after school, only getting two or three rows done a night, but when he'd come back home on the weekend he'd always make me feel like I'd really got a lot done. When he'd be comin home from working at Kennecott, driving the Volkswagen bug, he'd round the corner and toot the horn. Always smiling and happy to be home he'd send me back out to the car sayin he'd brought somethin for me. I would always find a brown sack full of penny candy. Dad's laugh was always the best and he really liked to watch Jackie Gleason. Once in a while, if I begged hard enough, he would overrule Mom and let me stay home from sacrament meeting. I loved to sit on the couch with him while everyone else was at the church house and watch Jackie with him. His laugh always made me laugh, too. I remember him bringin me home a brand new saddle one weekend after the summer we'd broke Goldie to ride. I still have the saddle. I remember helpin to trail horses to winter pasture down in the river bottoms. I always loved to listen to his stories. The story about how he'd lost the team of horses on the railroad tracks. How him and Dean had hopped the train to Arizona to go pick cotton all winter. I remember goin with him in the fall up to help Scott and Herm put their potatoes in. Whatever I was doin with Dad he always made me feel like he wanted me with him, that I was important, and that he was proud of me.

Memories of Dad - written by Sandy Coburn Collins

Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

I remember waiting with excited anticipation for Dad to get home from work each week. Not only did I miss him but I knew he would have some sort of treat for us when he got home. I specifically remember running to jump into his arms for a big hug before I got that treat. I remember sitting in church on the back row of benches on Dad's lap. He had a dark suit on and I had a dress on with ankle socks. My bare legs kept itching and hurting so bad! I later found out it was because he wore a wool suit. One day I got to ride on the tractor with Dad while he was working in the field below the road. I was sitting on top of the wheel cover enjoying the warm, sunny day and listening to the hum of the motor. The next thing I remember was waking up with a jolt. I found myself on the ground looking up at Dad. He chuckled with a big smile and hopped down to help me up. I had been lulled to sleep by the tractor. I made sure to stay awake after that. I remember Dad trying to teach me and Quinn how to dance. He was sitting on the couch and had us stand in front of him. He would move our hands to the proper position until we held them just right. Then he tried to show us how to move our feet. At such a young age we were not very interested but I remember his smile as he watched us try. I got to go to the auction one day with Dad. I had to go to the restroom and thought I was so big because he let me go by myself. I made my way through the crowded bleachers just fine until I was coming back. I couldn't quite remember where he was sitting and a feeling of panic came over me. I started to cry and felt very scared. It was such a relief when I finally saw him and made it back. I didn't let go of his hand for the rest of the day. After Dad was hurt I remember visiting him on weekends at the different hospitals and Nursing Homes where he stayed. He was always so excited to see us. Sometimes he had some arts and crafts to show us that he had made through the week with the staff. I also remember well the years he was at home with us. It took some effort for him to talk and most people couldn't understand what he said. I was happy that I could understand him. He was able to feed himself with his right hand at times but it was quite difficult for him. I always enjoyed feeding him instead. I clipped his fingernails and toenails and washed his face sometimes. He could reach over the bed with his right hand and hang on to the left side rail to pull himself on his left side. He laid on his back and left side most of the time. He liked to have me read to him so I often did. I liked to sit inside the rail on his bed with him and watch TV. Sometimes at night he would start yelling quite loud. He seemed to be having bad dreams or memories. I would lay by him to calm him down. We played checkers and cards and basketball with Quinn's nerf set. I remember seeing him looking out the window at me as I got off the bus at our house after school. Mom would have him up in the big swing chair lift so he could watch for us. I liked to see him up out of bed but I know it was so much work for Mom and tiring for him. I know my experiences with my Dad being hurt directly affected my decision to become a nurse. I love helping people with health needs and I loved helping him. I am so grateful that he survived his accident and I was blessed with seventeen years of memories with him instead of just five years. He was a great father and left a wonderful legacy. I love you Dad.

Memories of Dad and Growing Up on the Farm - Written by Charlotte Coburn Chatterton

Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Dad was not a picky eater. It seemed to me that he liked everything. He really liked the cream that had risen to the top of the milk bottle on his cereal. It seemed kind of gross because it was really thick and sometimes lumpy, but he loved it which was good because none of the rest of us would eat it, unless of course, it was whipped and sweetened. Dad really liked oyster soup and when mom would make it all us kids would eat was the liquid or milk part of the soup and that left all the oysters for Dad which was great because that was his favorite part. We liked when she made it because she would buy the little oyster crackers and we all thought that was special. Dad was a good mechanic and I can remember several times when he would have engine parts to a car or tractor all over the front lawn. I would wonder how he would ever be able to get it all put back together but he always did. I never remember him taking one of our vehicles to a shop for repair. I remember one time when I spent all day cleaning the garage. I worked so hard and organized everything and I remember Dad telling me what a great job I did. He really made a fuss over how much he liked it. It sure made me feel good. I remember trips to the auction in Preston. We would all beg to go and usually Dad would take one of us with him. We had to take turns but I remember thinking it was great fun. I loved to listen to the auctioneer. I remember picking rock on the dry farm up above the canal. We would pick up the large rocks all day trying to clear the land for easier plowing and planting. It seems like we did it every year and I always wondered how there could be so many rocks when I just knew that we had gotten every single rock the year before. It seemed like rocks magically grew from year to year. I hated that job! We always managed to find a rattlesnake under a rock at least once during every rock picking! Dad often stopped in Brigham City on his way home from Kennecott and bought fruit at the fruit stands. That was back when you could get 10 lbs of bananas for one dollar. I loved it when he would bring home cantaloupe. It was always so fresh and sweet. It never lasted very long as all us kids would just gobble it up. Dad would also often bring home a little sack of penny candy for us kids. We always got so excited for that and would maul him as we would try to find it in his pockets. I remember Coburn reunions at Ross Park in Pocatello. Dad and his brothers and sister always had a good time at that reunion. They told a lot of jokes, laughed a lot, played softball, and just had a fun day together. I remember lying in bed late at night when I knew Dad was coming home from Kennecott and not being able to go to sleep until I heard him come in. I always worried about him getting home safe. I used to go to Salt Lake sometimes in the summer with Dad and stay with my cousins for a week while he worked and then ride back home with him to Dayton. We had fun times during those rides. I remember us singing songs together. Dad was a really good singer and I loved listening to him sign. I especially remember him singing 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' by Elvis Presley. I thought he sang it better than Elvis! Dad usually wore a hat. Mostly I remember fedora type straw hats and sometimes a baseball cap. He usually had it tipped off to the side a little. That is the picture of him that is often in my memory. When Ralph died and all the family was so distraught at the viewing, I remember Dad being in control and kind of taking charge and calming everyone down. I was proud of how he handled that hard and very sad situation. We were one of the first families to have a TV when we lived in Winder. I remember Dad liked to watch 'The Saturday Night Fights', especially when Gene Fulmer was boxing. He was a famous boxer from Utah. We also watched 'The Kennecott Neighborhood Theatre' show most weeks while we ate hot buttered popcorn popped in a pan on the stove. That is still the best tasting popcorn ever! I remember getting up in the middle of the night to go help Dad move the water. That involved picking up a canvas dam attached to a long pole, running in the dark down the sides of the ditch, placing the dam back in the ditch and quickly shoveling dirt onto the canvas to hold it in place before the oncoming water got to the dam. Then holding your breath hoping the dam would hold and the water would not break through. If it didn't hold then you were sure to hear a few choice words come out of Dad's mouth (under his breath of course), because then it took a lot of hard work to get the dam back in place, not to mention the amount of precious and expensive water that had been lost down the ditch. Dad hated snakes and I think he killed every snake he ever saw even if it wasn't a rattlesnake. One time he had killed a really big blow snake and had just left it up in the hay shed. The next day Mom was working in the garden and Dad was working on a tractor engine on the front lawn. Well I thought I would have some fun so I went up to the shed and got the dead snake on a shovel and quietly carried it down to the garden. When Mom wasn't looking I tossed it into the garden. It landed right in the row where she was hoeing. I dashed over and sat on the lawn by Dad to await the inevitable. Shortly, there was a high-pitched screaming coming from the garden. Dad reared up from under the tractor and rushed to see what was wrong. I started rolling with laughter on the lawn. Soon Dad returned and needless to say I wasn't laughing much longer. Dad and Mom just did not see the humor in my little prank! What?!! I thought it was great! Dad was a hard worker but he had allergies and always had bad hay fever. When we would haul and stack the hay bales from the field his hay fever would usually start bothering him. Sometimes it was worse than others but he would keep going and try to keep working even when his eyes were badly watering and all red and swollen. He would sneeze and sneeze and sneeze until I thought he couldn't sneeze anymore and then he would sneeze again! It would really make him quite miserable. He didn't complain and he didn't want to stop working but sometimes it was bad enough that he just had to stop and go rest for a while. I remember Dad stopping at the Logan Hospital to see me one evening on his way back to work in Salt Lake. I was working a shift and I went out to visit with him in the waiting room area. He told me about Lloyd being really sick with seizures and being in the hospital in Ogden. We visited for a little bit, he gave me a hug, we said goodbye and then he left. My memory is a little vague about exactly when that was but as far as I can remember, that was the last time I saw or talked to Dad before he got hurt in the car accident. I have good pleasant memories of Dad and have always felt that I had a special relationship with him. He always said encouraging things to me which made me feel good about myself. He had a big heart and was a good dad as well as a good provider for our family.

Memories - Written by Donna Rose Atkinson Coburn

Contributor: BarbaraLeishman Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

I met Merlin at a New Year's Eve dance in 1938. He was quite a big flirt. I thought he was handsome but his personality was even better. He had a personality that I have often called magnetic. People were drawn to him and liked to be around him. Meeting people and making friends was very easy for him. Merlin's teenage friends nicknamed him Chris and that is what most people called him. I actually thought it fit him better than Merlin. Early in our marriage he completed a mechanics course in Logan. He did very well with that and worked as a mechanic for several years. He seemed to have a real knack for it. As a hobby he would fix up old broken vehicles and sell them. He fixed all the machinery on the farm. We never had to take anything for repairs because he could fix it. Jobs were scarce and hard to find during our early years together. We were blessed that he could always find work. He was a hard worker and good provider for our family. Merlin was a good driver. At one time he drove the Salt Lake City bus routes. He really liked to drive and I liked to ride. Instead of going out to eat or to a movie we preferred to just go for a ride. We loved to drive around and see new places and enjoy the scenery. We would take our lunch and sometimes stop for snacks. That was one of our favorite things to do. Merlin loved food and loved to eat. He always complemented me on my cooking. He would say "remember that recipe, it's a good one" or "remember how to make that, it was good". He really made me feel good that way. Merlin always brought his pay check home from work and gave it to me. I was the one who budgeted and spent it. He was very generous that way. We never had any arguments about money. At certain times when I couldn't go to the grocery store Merlin would take the kids and go shopping. He would come back with pies and treats and anything the kids wanted. He would spend way more than our budget and never came home with any real food. The kids loved it but I had to rearrange the budget. I learned it wasn't very safe to send him to the grocery store! I often think about the trip we took the summer before he was hurt. We went up through Yellowstone Park and traveled all through Montana. We spent two weeks together as a family. We made many fun memories that I will always treasure. We had taken several shorter trips through the years but this one was extra special. Merlin had many great qualities and characteristics that I can see in many of his children and grandchildren. I'm sure he is very proud of his wonderful posterity.

Life timeline of Merlin J. Coburn

Merlin J. Coburn was born on 7 Jan 1916
Merlin J. Coburn was 14 years old when The New York Stock Exchange crashes in what will be called the Crash of '29 or "Black Tuesday", ending the Great Bull Market of the 1920s and beginning the Great Depression. The New York Stock Exchange, is an American stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$21.3 trillion as of June 2017. The average daily trading value was approximately US$169 billion in 2013. The NYSE trading floor is located at 11 Wall Street and is composed of 21 rooms used for the facilitation of trading. A fifth trading room, located at 30 Broad Street, was closed in February 2007. The main building and the 11 Wall Street building were designated National Historic Landmarks in 1978.
Merlin J. Coburn was 15 years old when Great Depression: In a State of the Union message, U.S. President Herbert Hoover proposes a $150 million (equivalent to $2,197,000,000 in 2017) public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy. The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how far the world's economy can decline.
Merlin J. Coburn was 26 years old when World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy made a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, intending to neutralize the United States Pacific Fleet from influencing the war Japan was planning to wage in Southeast Asia. World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although conflicts reflecting the ideological clash between what would become the Allied and Axis blocs began earlier. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most global war in history; it directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Merlin J. Coburn was 40 years old when Disneyland Hotel opens to the public in Anaheim, California. The Disneyland Hotel is a resort hotel located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, owned by the Walt Disney Company and operated through its Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products division. Opened on October 5, 1955, as a motor inn owned and operated by Jack Wrather under an agreement with Walt Disney, the hotel was the first to officially bear the Disney name. Under Wrather's ownership, the hotel underwent several expansions and renovations over the years before being acquired by Disney in 1988. The hotel was downsized to its present capacity in 1999 as part of the Disneyland Resort expansion.
Merlin J. Coburn was 54 years old when During the Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon. Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first two people on the Moon. Mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin, both American, landed the lunar module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC. Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface six hours after landing on July 21 at 02:56:15 UTC; Aldrin joined him about 20 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft, and collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material to bring back to Earth. Michael Collins piloted the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while they were on the Moon's surface. Armstrong and Aldrin spent 21.5 hours on the lunar surface before rejoining Columbia in lunar orbit.
Merlin J. Coburn was 63 years old when Jim Jones led more than 900 members of the Peoples Temple to mass murder/suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, hours after some of its members assassinated U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan (pictured). James Warren Jones was an American religious cult leader who initiated and was responsible for a mass suicide and mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana. He considered Jesus Christ as being in compliance with an overarching belief in socialism as the correct social order. Jones was ordained as a Disciples of Christ pastor, and he achieved notoriety as the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple cult.
Merlin J. Coburn died on 19 Jun 1981 at the age of 65
Grave record for Merlin J. Coburn (7 Jan 1916 - 19 Jun 1981), BillionGraves Record 5254043 Dayton, Franklin, Idaho, United States