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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1270~


Jesse B. Cole



After a life of honest, consecutive endeavor, his efforts having been rewarded with a fair meed of success, the subject of this sketch is now living in the beautiful city of Oelwein, enjoying that rest to which his former years of toil entitled him. He demonstrated his loyalty to the national government in the hour of its greatest need and on the field of battle he exhibited those qualities which made the American soldier the marvel of the civilized world. His sterling qualities of manhood have gained for him the honest respect of all who know him and he and his good wife have a host of warm personal friends.

Jesse B. Cole was born March 15, 1834, in Ripley county, Indiana, and is the son of Charles Crawford and Sarah (Brown) Cole, both families having originally come from Kentucky. The remote ancestors are supposed to have been Scotch on the paternal side and Welsh on the maternal. The subject is one of ten children born to his parents. He was reared on the Indiana farmstead and secured his education in the public schools. At the age of nineteen years he practically started out on his own account, having married and thereafter giving His attention to farming operations. At the outbreak of the southern rebellion Mr. Cole signified his loyalty and patriotism by enlisting in Company E, Thirteenth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He enlisted for three years and was assigned to the army operating in western Virginia. In the battle of Rich Mountain Mr. Cole was shot through both arms, his right arm being badly shattered near the shoulder. He received the injury on the 13th of December, 1861, and he was confined in the army hospital until September, 1862, when he was discharged because of disability. He was still so far from well, however, that he was compelled to remain in a hospital a year after his discharge. When able to work again he took up farming, though for three years he was able to do but little actual work. In 1852 he had located in Howard county, Indiana, and in the fall of 1865 he moved to Buchanan county, Iowa, where he bought a small farm near the north line of the county. He operated this farm about four years, when he bought a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Oran township, Fayette county, and there he made his home for nearly twenty-five years. He also later bought an additional tract of eighty acres, but subsequently sold that. He devoted his entire attention to the operation of his fine farm, and made many permanent and substantial improvements on it, raising it to a high standard of efficiency. He was progressive and practical in His methods and met with excellent success. In 1895 he sold this farm and moved to Oelwein, where he bought an acre of ground fronting on Fifth street west, on which was a comfortable and attractive residence. He made a number of improvements on the place and has since made it his home.

On the 27th of March, 1852, Mr. Cole was married to Lucinda Griffiths, of Jennings county, Indiana, and they became the parents of three children: America, Rosetta and Orinda. America died in childhood. Rosetta became the wife of William Bowdish, of Iowa Falls, and they have five children, Edith, Jesse, Pearl, Nellie and Lloyd. Of these, Edith is married and lives on a farm about ten miles from Iowa Falls. Jesse is a conductor on the Rock Island railroad. Nellie died in February, 1909. Pearl is a stenographer in a law office in Eldora, Hardin county, this state. Lloyd is attending college.

Orinda, who now lives in the east part of Oelwein, married Elton Wilson, who died in November, 1896, and she is the mother of six children, Leford, Florence, Jesse, Howard, Kyle and Griffith. Of these, Leford, who lives in Waterloo, is married and has one child. Florence and Griffith live on farms in Alberta, Canada. The former is married and has two children. Jesse, who is married and has two children, lives at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Howard and Kyle remain with their mother in Oelwein.

Mr. and Mrs, Cole are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church in Oelwein, to which they give a generous support. Though both are well advanced in years, they retain their physical activity to a remarkable degree and are as alert mentally as they ever were. They are people of genuine worth and their home evidences the hospitable and friendly traits of its occupants. Mr. and Mrs. Cole ever extend a hearty and cordial welcome to their friends.

~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Cheryl Walker


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