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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies

by Major A. J. Roof. 1913

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Page 170-172

Among the prosperous agriculturists of Jackson township, Livingston county, there is no man more worthy of mention than James H. Cole, who owns a valuable farm of two hundred and twenty acres on sections 17, 20 and 30. He was born in Grundy county, Missouri, November 14, 1862, a son of Melzar and Elizabeth J. (Gee) Cole, the father one of the early Missouri pioneers, coming to this state from Indiana about 1840. He passed away on July 5, 1881, at the age of sixty-five years, his wife following him in death nearly thirty years later in October, 1910, at the age of eighty-one years, and both are buried in the Coon Creek cemetery northwest of Edinburg, Grundy county.

Mr. Cole received his education in the district schools of Grundy county which he left at the age of fourteen years. At that early period in his life he began to assist his father in the work of the farm, becoming well acquainted with the methods and details of agriculture under his able guidance, and was so employed at the time of his father's death, which occurred when our subject was eighteen years of age. However, he kept on working along agricultural lines and, renting property, he thus, though a mere boy, supported his mother from that time until her demise. He remained upon rented land until by thrift and industry he was enabled to purchase forty acres and later inheriting from another source one hundred and twenty acres he was soon able to buy the remainder of the land which makes up the two hundred and twenty acres which he now owns. He follows general farming and gives considerable attention to stock-raising and has made substantial improvements upon it the place. The residence thereon , however , had previously been built by his wife's father.

In Jackson township, Livingston county, on October 13, 1895, Mr. Cole was married to Miss Annie Pawpaw , a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Kessler) Pawpaw, the former a pioneer farmer of Livingston county. He was for a short time in California, having followed the irresistible lure of the west during the days of 1849. He subsequently returned and became very well known in Livingston county. Here he died in 1901 at the age of seventy-one years, his wife preceding him in death in 1890, and both are buried in the Kessler family cemetery in Jackson township. Mr. and Mrs. Cole are the parents of four children: Roy, Joseph, and James F., attending district school; and A. Ruth, three years of age.

A man of progressive tendencies, Mr. Cole has always taken interest in matters of public importance and especially the cause of education has found favor in his eye, having served for a number of years as school director. He is also responsible for a number of improvements that have been made on roads in the county and filled the office of road supervisor with efficiency. Interested in political matters that affect the state and nation, he votes the democratic ticket. His fraternal relations are confined to membership with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. A man of many high qualities of mind and character, Mr. Cole has made many friends in this section and has won the high regard and confidence of all with whom he has come in contact. At all times he has been actuated by laudable ambition, and his aggressive spirit has carried him to success, but while it has brought him his own financial independence it has been of value to this section and district as thereby he has added to the resources of the county and has become a constructive factor in the development and advancement enjoyed by the present generation.

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