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Carroll County Biographies

John Cole
As one of the most enterprising and successful farmers of York Township, the subject of the following notice deserves more than a passing mention. He has a well-regulated farm on section 18, comprising 460 acres of land, with neat and substantial buildings and 160 acres on the river bluffs. A native of Cambridge VT., he was born March 22, 1831, and is the youngest of five children, the son of William and Laura (Edgrly) Cole; the father was a native of Leicestershire, England, and the mother a native of the United States.

The father of our subject emigrated to the US when a young man, locating in Cambridge Vt., where he wsa married. The young people settled in St. Albans, but finally returned to Cambridge, where the mother died when her son, our subject, was an infant of six months. The latter was reared by his maternal grandparents, Aaron and Lydia (Fenton) Edgerly, who spent their last years in Vermont and Illinois, respectively. On the father's side of the house, the grandparents of our subject were William and Mary (Gwilliam) Cole, the latter the daughter of Samuel and Mary Gwilliam, who were natives of England, and of pure English ancestry. They spent their entire lives upon their native soil. The maternal great-grandfather of our subject was Francis Fenton, who emigrated to America in time to participate in the French and Indian War, and afterward located in New Hampshire, where he spent the remainder of his life.

The native county of our subject at the time of his birth was called Franklin, since renamed Lamoille. He lived there until October 1849; then started out for the Great West, came to Carroll County, and worked by the month on a farm for about one year. He then began operating on rented land, and was married April 13, 1856 to Miss Catherine, daughter of Alonzo and Diana (Barber) Taylor, a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Cole continued operating on rented land until purchasing that which he now occupies in the year 1866. He first secured 150 acres, on section 18, and was prospered, adding to his real-estate, so that he now owns 560 broad acres - all in York township. Mrs. Catherine Cole departed this life August 31, 1867 at the age of 31 years. They had two children, both deceased.

To his present wife - formerly Miss Susanna Taylor, and a sister of the first - our subject was married, Jan. 29, 1868. Of this union there are four children, namely; Kate M., born Aug. 14, 1870; Baird, Dec. 1, 1874; Wilma, Nov. 22, 1879 and Alice, June 13, 1882. Of his first marriage there were two children - Emma who died at the age of twenty years and Bertie who died at the age of eight months. Mr. and Mrs. Cole are members of good standing of the Baptist Church, to which the first wife also belonged. Mr. Cole, politically is a stanch Republican. He served as Assessor in York Township ten years in succession, and then declined renomination. He is a man of decided views, upright and honorable in his transactions, and one held in high respect in his community.

To the parents of our subject there were born five children. Susan the eldest, became the wife of Stephen Thompson and died in Massachusetts; Mary (Mrs. George Lowe) is a resident of Wiscasset, ME: Elizabeth died when a child of four; George came to Illinois in 1843, married Miss MElissa Taylor, a sister-in-law of our subject and died in 1885, leaving his widow with five children, who are all living in York Township. John, our subject, was the youngest of the family. His daughter, Miss Kate, is a very bright and intelligent young lady, who has acquired a thorough education, and is now a teacher in this district.

Portraits and Biographical Pg 984

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