Oliver Coomes was born in Licking county, Ohio, August 26, 1845. When eleven years of age he removed with his parents to Iowa, and settled in Jasper county. At that time the country was new, and all underwent the hardships incident to pioneer life on the prairies of the great west. He attended district school in winter and worked on the farm and in his father's pottery during the summer. In the winter of 1865 he entered Iowa College with the intention of taking a collegiate course, but after remaining a few months, his father's financial circumstances compelled him to quit college and return to the potter's wheel.
In 1867, he was married to Miss Addie Kellogg. They have three children - Royston, Arthur and Isaiah, aged fourteen, eleven and six respectively.
In the fall of 1870, Mr. Coomes settled in Cass county, on a farm in Franklin township, where he has resided ever since, and where he has made improvements which mark his farm as a model, and are a credit to his taste. In the years he has lived here he has seen the almost boundless prairies around him settled up by thrifty and enterprising farmers.
Besides improving his farm, Mr. Coomes has given considerable attention to literary writing, confining himself to the field of western romance. His works include about sixty serials, which have been published in the New York Weekly and Saturday Journal of New York, and prices received at all times have made him one of the best paid writers of current literature in the country. His first successful story was "Ironsides, the Scout," published by Street and Smith, of New York. This was followed by "Hawkeye Harry," "Death Notch," "The Dumb Spy," "Dakota Dan," "The Giant Rifleman," &c., &c.
He has been identified with the school interests of Franklin township ever since he came to the county. He is Republican in politics. In 1877 he was elected to the Iowa Legislature over James Byrd, and was re-elected in 1879 over R. G. Phelps, of Atlantic. At present he divides his time between farm and literary work.
Contributed by Lisa Varnes-Rex from "History of Cass County, Iowa. Together With Sketches of its Towns, Villages and Townships, Educational, Civil, Military and Political History: Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Old Settlers and Representative Citizens." Springfield, Ill.: Continental Historical Company, 1884, pg. 348.