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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 996~




It requires as much if not more business acumen, foresight, energy and tact to make a successful newspaper as it does to establish any paying business, consequently he who succeeds at this is deserving of high rank among the leading men of his community. Oscar C. Cole, editor and proprietor of the Iowa Postal Card, published at Fayette, has succeeded in making his paper not only a financial success, but a moulder of public opinion in this county, consequently something of his life and work should be mentioned here.


Mr. Cole was born in West Stockholm, St. Lawrence county, New York, June 25, 1840, and is the son of Horace C. Cole, who was of English descent, born in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, in 1802, and he married Melinda Smith, who was born in New York state in 1806. They followed the tide of emigration setting in heavily for the middle west in 1856, and came to Iowa, locating in Fayette, where Mr. Cole followed carpentering, which trade he learned in his youth. He was one of the earliest wood workers in this town and for many years his services were in great demand here. His death occurred in 1864, and his wife died in 1876. She was of Scotch and Welsh descent.


Oscar C. Cole was reared on a farm in New York, and he was educated in the old-time log school-house. When he was fourteen years old the family came to Whiteside county, Illinois, where Mr. Cole spent his time between the farm and town until July, 1856, in which year he came to Fayette, Iowa, consequently is numbered among the pioneers, becoming, in due course of time, one of the leading citizens of this place. He entered the Fayette Seminary when it opened, January 7, 1857, and was a constant student in that institution until the summer term of 1860. He made an excellent record here and enjoys the distinction of delivering the first Latin oration at the first commencement exercises of the school.


Mr. Cole entered the office of the Fayette Journal, as “devil,” although, having many years previously decided upon a newspaper career, he had been connected with certain publications. He rapidly attained promotions, becoming, successively, pressman, foreman, and associate editor in 1860. He was with the office of the Mason City Republican in 1861 and the following year was employed on the staff of the Charles City Intelligencer. He remained there only a few months, when he became connected with the West Union Public Record. Two years later he edited and published the West Union Record, which he carried on until 1868, when he became interested in the publication of the North Iowa Observer. For a year or two subsequent to that time, however, he was half owner and the editor of the Volga Valley Times, with which paper he continued for four and one-half years. Tiring of journalistic labors, he next tried railroading until an accident caused his retirement from that vocation. From May, 1878, to July, 1882, he was mail route agent, and his average record from the time he entered upon the duties of that position until his retirement was ninety-nine and nine-tenths per cent.


In October, 1882, Mr. Cole started the Iowa Postal Card, which he is still publishing, and the paper is receiving an excellent patronage, being considered a splendid advertising medium, being well edited and presenting a good mechanical appearance. For several years past, his son, Lyle L. has been associated with his father in the publication of this paper. They have made it a spicy and attractive weekly, which is noted for its independence and the faculty of “calling things by their right names.”


Mr. Cole was married in 1867 to Angie Libbey, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, who was born in Sanford, Maine, August 5, 1840, and to this union two children were born, a son and a daughter, Lyle L., mentioned above, and Erma Eloise. 


~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Tom & Sharon Dorland


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