The name of Coast figures prominently in the business and
social annals of Iowa's university city. Since the spring of
1854, the year of the arrival of Craft Coast and his family
from Ohio, members of the family have been actively identi-
fied with the development of the city. Craft Coast and his
wife, Nancy Regan, were residents of Youngstown, Ohio,
where William Philip Coast was born May 5, 1841. The latter
was therefore thirteen years of age when he came with his
parents to Johnson county. The elder Coast, upon arrival at
Iowa City, entered the real estate and brokerage business.
He bought and sold land and loaned money. He took a great
interest in the improvement of all conditions in Johnson coun-
ty, and the effect of his vigorous personality and his timely
activities is manifest to the present time. He was a man
greatly beloved by a large circle of personal friends, who ex-
pressed their sorrow on the occasion of his death at Iowa City,
in January, 1864. His wife survived him three years, dying
in 1867. 

Craft Coast and Nancy Regan were the parents of two
other children besides William Philip, namely, Oscar Regan,
and Mary Elizabeth, both born in Ohio, where their childhood
days were spent. Both were educated at Iowa City. Oscar
Regan Coast is an artist by profession, who spends his win-
ters in the mountains of the west and his summers in the east.
In spite of the fact that his time is chiefly occupied by travel,
he calls Johnson county his home. The sister, Mary Eliza-
beth, became Mrs. Geo. Henry Yewell. Her death occurred
in 1880. Her husband is also an artist, who spends his time
in New York city and Europe.

William Philip Coast attended the public schools of Iowa
City, and was one of the first students who entered the State

University of Iowa. Later he attended college at Oberlin,
Ohio. He began his business career at the age of twenty-one,
and was engaged in different lines until the death of his
father, when he took full charge of the estate. About 1890 he
entered the clothing business, with which he has been actively
identified until the present. The firm is now known as Coast
& Sons.

Mr. Coast was married in October, 1864-, to Miss Mary
Ellen Bradshaw, who was born in Indiana in May, 1842, and


came to Johnson county with her parents when three months
old. She has resided here ever since. Her father, James P.
Bradshaw, was a native of Kentucky, and her mother of Vir-
ginia. This excellent couple were among the earliest pioneers
of Johnson county, Mr. Bradshaw being one of the first mer-
chants of the county. At the time of his death, in 1851, he
was postmaster of Iowa City. Both husband and wife were
very prominent in the Methodist Episcopal church, and did
all in their power to advance the interests and influence of
the church in what was then a primitive community. One
other daughter besides Mrs. Coast was born to them, Narcissa
J., who married Carson L. Mozier, at one time a prominent
dry goods merchant of Iowa City. Mr. Mozier died in June,
1908, and his wife one year later.

Two sons were born to William Philip Coast and Ellen
Bradshaw, namely, Preston Craft, and William Oscar. The
former was born April 11, 1870, and was married in L894 to
.Miss Grace M. McGee, of Iowa City, Iowa. They have two
children, Marjory E. and Alice Bradshaw. William Oscar
Coast was born September 5, 1880, and was married to Miss
Maude Cleaveland Kingsbury October 24, 1904. They have
one daughter, Louise Cleaveland, born April 13, 1910.

William Philip Coast and family are attendants and mem-
bers of the First Presbyterian church. Practically all their
lives have been lived in Johnson comity, and the record of
their activities is an open book, without blot or erasement.
Lives like these are an honor to any community, and furnish
conspicuous examples for emulation. It is a sufficient en-
comium for any couple to write of them: "Sixty years resi-
dents of Iowa City, and beloved by all who know them." That
is particularly true of William Philip and Mary Ellen Brad-
shaw Coast.

Source: Leading Events in Johnson County, Iowa, History (1912); Volume: 2;
Aurner, Clarence Ray; Cedar Rapids, IA: Western Historical Press