THOMAS R. COLE, SR.
In time of peace and in time of war Thomas R. Cole, Sr., has always proved a man whom one could trust to perform
well whatever duty lay nearest at hand. He served in the northern army, defending the integrity and indivisibility
of the Union, and the fortunes of war were such that for several months he was confined in southern prisons. He
was born in Ashland county, Ohio, on the 4th of May, 1838, a son of Samuel and Sarah (Ross) Cole, both natives
of Ohio. The maternal grandfather, Thomas Ross, came to Iowa in 1844 and settled in Mahaska county with his son,
who entered government land there. Mr. Ross, Sr., passed away in that county when ninety years of age. Samuel Cole
and Sarah Ross were married in Ohio in 1828 and in 1848 removed to Mahaska county, Iowa. The former entered government
land and continued to farm his place until his death, which occurred on the 2d of January, 1880. His widow survived
him for many years, dying in 1898 when about ninety years old. To their union were born ten children, five of whom
survive. Four died in childhood.
Thomas R. Cole was the fifth in order of birth in this family and was reared upon the homestead in Mahaskia county,
as he was but ten years of age when he accompanied his parents on their removal there. He was given a common school
education and was carefully trained in the work of the farm. In 1862 he enlisted in Company B, Thirty sixth Iowa
Volunteer Infantry and served with his command until the close of the war, holding the rank of sergeant when discharged.
He was taken prisoner at the battle of Marks Mill and for ten months was confined at Tyler, Texas. After being
given his freedom on the 25th of February, 1865, he was granted a furlough. He afterward returned to the army and
remained with his command until the close of hostilities. Among the battles in which he participated were those
of Fort Pemberton, Helena, Little Rock, Elkinsford, Prairie De Anne, Camden and Marks Mill, where he was captured.
After his return to the life of a civilian he attended school and taught for nine years. In 1874 he opened a store
in Lovili a, Iowa, and subsequently located in Bussey. In 1878 he went to Marysville, where he established a general
store and drug store, which he conducted for thirty three years. At the end of that time, or in 1911, he located
in Knoxville, where he has since lived retired, as, in his long years of connection with merchandising, he had
acquired a competence.
Mr. Cole was married on the 18th of March, 1875, to Miss Luella Clark, a daughter of P. R. and Frances Ruby (Deveraux)
Clark, who in 1851 came to this state from Ohio. Her father was a physician, but in his later life abandoned that
profession and turned his attention to mercantile business. To Mr. and Mrs. Cole has been born a son, Thomas R.,
who is cashier of the Buxton Savings Bank at Buxton, Iowa. He married Alice Tucker and has a son, Thomas R., who
is a child three years of age.
Mr. Cole of this review was for a number of years a member of the Masonic order, but withdrew from that organization.
He wears proudly the little bronze button which indicates his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic, and
is a comrade of John T. Ferguson Post. He is an adherent of the Methodist Episcopal church and in his daily life
endeavors to practice the teachings of Chrisianity. He votes for the candidates of the republican party and has
been prominent in political councils. He was always diligent in business and in investing his capital displayed
good judgment and now has his reward, as he has an assured income. He makes and retains friends and is highly respected
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Marion County, IA
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