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DR. N. B. COLE, physician and surgeon of Bloomington, Ill., and who has made for himself a good record in his profession, is a native of Fairfield County, Ohio, where he was born Dec. 28, 1837. His parents were Broad and Leah (Peters) Cole, the former born on the 23d of September, 1802, and the latter Nov. 19, 1806. They were natives respectively of Ohio and Maryland, and were married in Fairfield County, Ohio, on the 7th of January, 1827. The parents of Broad Cole were Thomas and Elizabeth (Stevens) Cole, the father born in Huntingdon County, Pa., March 15, 1757, and the mother in May, 1759. Thomas Cole was a soldier of the War of 1812.
In early life he removed with his parents to Ohio, they being among the early settlers of that State, locating there in 1800, when it was peopled chiefly by Indians. He built a log cabin in the wilderness, and in due time became the proprietor of an extensive and valuable farm, which he had, by his own industry, eliminated from the forest.
The family of Thomas and Elizabeth Cole included seven daughters and four sons, of whom all lived to years of maturity. The father passed the remainder of his days upon the homestead which he had established in the wilds of Ohio, and died Aug. 20, 1840, nine years after the death of his faithful partner, who had died Sept. 27, 1831.
The mother of our subject, Mrs. Leah (Peters) Cole, was the daughter of Samuel and Mary (Stephenson) Peters. They were of English ancestry, but American birth, both being natives of Baltimore, Md. After marriage they removed to Ohio, settling in Fairfield County in 1812, and engaged in farming pursuits. Samuel Peters was born Nov. 27, 1772, and departed this life in Ohio, Sept. 10, 1829. His wife, Mary, was born Sept. 28, 1773 and died in Ohio, Feb. 15, 1861.
They had a family of thirteen children, nine sons and four daughters, all living to maturity, the first death being that of one of the sons at the age of thirty-seven years. They all lived in Ohio, engaged in farming and stock-dealing, and all, with one exception, became wealthy. That one, however, was a man of fine talents, and became prominently identified with public affairs.
Broad Cole, the father of our subject, received a fair education in the common schools, and was reared, lived and died on the farm where he was born. In the apportionment of property he received the homestead, and with that and other land in adjoining counties was the proprietor of 700 acres, and was largely interested as a stock-dealer .
He had a family of fourteen children, four of whom died in infancy and ten lived to mature years. Of these seven are now living and recorded as follows: Thomas is engaged in farming in Fairfield County, Ohio; David is similarly engaged in Blackford County, Ind.; the next is Dr. N. B., of our sketch; Jonathan S. is Principal of the Minier School of this county; Joseph R., who is possessed of much literary ability, is a resident of Brooklyn, and engaged as a historian; Lewis D. is engaged in farming in Fairfield County, Ohio; Henry is the youngest of the family, and occupies the old homestead.
The father of our subject died on the 25th of June 1882, at the advanced age of eighty years; the mother is still living on the old homestead, and is eighty years old.
The subject of this history commenced attending school at a very early age, and pursued his studies until he was twenty, in the meantime filling vacations with farm work. He commenced the study of medicine, on the 4th of April, 1857, at Lancaster, Ohio, and subsequently took two courses of lectures in New York City, whence he entered Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, and graduated on the 19th of July, 1860, being a member of the first class graduated from the institution. He returned to Licking County, Ohio, and commenced the practice of his profession at Etna, where he remained until April, 1862. The war being then in progress he entered the army as Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A., for a term of three months, with the 19th Ohio, and was with the regiment at the siege of Corinth [Battle of Corinth, Mississippi], and was placed in charge of the Field Hospital of the 2d division of the 3d Army Corps. He then re-entered as Assistant Surgeon in the 50th Ohio Volunteers, of the 23d Army Corps, and remained in service until the close of the war.
After his return from the army Dr. Cole was united in marriage with Miss Matilda C. Evans, a native of Licking County, Ohio, who was born Sept. 24, 1839, and was the daughter of John and Margaret (Montgomery) Evans, of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. Her parents were married in about 1828. They lived upon a farm, and her father was engaged in agriculture and stock-raising.
After their marriage Dr. and Mrs. Cole came to Bloomington, arriving here Nov. 1, 1865 and since that time our subject has followed his profession continuously and built up a large and lucrative practice. He belongs to the County, State and National Medical Associations, and has been a member of the United States Examining Pension Board for twelve years. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party, and socially is a member in good standing of the G. A. R., and Union Veterans Union.
The Doctor and Mrs. C. have become the parents of three children Carrie L., Evens N. and Leah M., all living. The family occupy a handsome and convenient residence, which the Doctor built in 1866, and which is located at No. 1105 North Main street. The parents and one daughter are members of Grace Methodist Church, of which Dr. Cole has been a Steward for ten years. He has in all respects, fulfilled the obligations of a good citizen, and as a physician has hosts of patrons and friends. His office is located at No. 106 West Washington street, Bloomington.
[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]
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