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Oliver Coomes, well known as a Republican leader and a writer of fiction (of the western adventure type), was one of the most prominent settlers of the middle pioneer times, coming to Franklin township in the fall of 1870. He was born in Licking county, Ohio, August 26, 1845, but when a boy of eleven removed with his parents to Jasper county, this State. Oliver attended district school in winter and worked on the farm and in his father's pottery in summer. In the winter of 1865 he entered Iowa College with the intention of taking a full course, but after a few months his father's financial circumstances compelled him to leave college and return to the potter's wheel. Three years after his marriage he settled in Franklin township, and his farm became a model for productiveness and attractiveness. Besides engaging in its improvement he delved quite extensively in the field of Western romance, contributing many serials to the "New York Weekly" and "Saturday Journal." From the time of his arrival in the county Mr. Coomes was prominently identified with the school interests of Franklin township. In 1877 he was elected to the Legislature of the State over James Byrd, being re-elected in 1879 over R. G. Phelps, of Atlantic.
From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pg. 169.
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