ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION
R. M. COOMER
Among the men who during the past fifteen years have been closely and
actively identified with the material building up of Sioux City, Ross M. Coomer
holds a prominent place, the contracting concern of Coomer & Small Company
having erected a number of the most important structures in this locality. Mr.
Coomer was born in Delaware county, Ohio, March 12, 1883, a son of William A.
and Emma L. (Johnson) Coomer, both of whom were born and reared in the Buckeye state. For many years the father was a station agent for the Michigan Central Railroad, being located during the greater part of the time at Bay City, Michigan, but is now retired from active service.
Ross M. Coomer attended the public schools, graduating from the Bay City
high school, and then entered the engineering school of the University of
Michigan, being graduated in 1905 with the degree of Bachelor of Science of civil
engineering. In 1908 he was made a member of the American Society of Civil
Engineers and in 1915 was made a full member. On leaving college Mr. Coomer
entered the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad, being employed six months at
Altoona, after which he allied himself with the Trussel concrete Steel
Company, of New York city, a pioneer in that industry, which was then in its
infancy. Eight months later he went to work for the New York Central & Hudson
River Railroad as assistant engineer, remaining with that company until March 1,
1912, at which time he came to Sioux City and formed a partnership with
Charles I. Small, under the firm name of Coomer & Small, contractors. In August,
1917, the business was incorporated as the Coomer & Small Company.
In May, 1917, Mr. Coomer enlisted for service in the World war, being
commissioned a captain of engineers, and on July 17th was ordered overseas. He was made a major of engineers in April, 1918, and lieutenant-colonel on April 9, 1919. He was made engineer officer in charge of hospitalization and later was put in charge of all building construction coming under the division of construction and forestry. At Washington, D. C., May 20, 1919, he was mustered out, since which time he has devoted his attention closely to his business affairs in Sioux City. Among the structures erected by the Coomer & Small Company are all the buildings of Morningside College, the dormitory and gymnasium at Trinity College, the Elks Club, Princess theater, Riverview school, Chesterman Company building, General Manufacturing Company plant, Whitfield Methodist Episcopal church, Rustin Avenue Methodist Episcopal church, Danish Lutheran church, Swedish Mission church and parochial schools for Immaculate
Conception parish and parish of the Blessed Sacrament. This firm now has a large contract for the new engine terminal and mechanical facilities of the Illinois Central Railroad at Sioux City. A man of thorough technical training and
experience, and possessing high ideals as to the execution of contracts, Mr. Coomer has gained marked prestige in building circles and commands the respect and confidence of all who have had dealings with him.
On February 1, 1916, Mr. Coomer was united in marriage to Miss C. Grace
Jerolaman, of Belleville, New Jersey, and they are the parents of two children,
Theodore William and Elizabeth Jean. Mr. Coomer is a member of Tyrian Lodge,
No. 508, A. F. & A. M.; Sioux City Chapter, No. 26, R. A. M.; Columbian
Commandery, No. 18, K. T.; Sioux City Consistory, No. 5, A. A. S. R.; Abu-Bekr
Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; and also Sioux City Lodge, No. 112, B. P. O. E. He
also belongs to the Lions Club of Sioux City, the Interstate Reserve Officers'
Association, the Iowa Engineering Society, and the Sioux City Chamber of
Commerce. He is vice-president of the Citizens' Industrial Loan Company and
vice-president of the Citizens' Industrial Loan Company and vice-president of
the Auditorium Company. His religious connection is with the First Methodist
Episcopal church, and he is a member of its official board. In every relation
he has been true and loyal, stands for the best things in community life and
supports all measures calculated to advance the interests of his city.
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