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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HON. CHARLES B. COLE, part owner of the H. C. Cole Milling Company, stands among the foremost business men who have contributed so largely to the financial prosperity of this part of the county. With true public spirit and characteristic liberality he has aided every enterprise that would in any way advance the welfare of the community, promote the growth of Chester or improve its conditions.

A native of Illinois, our subject was born in Chester, May 6, 1845, and is the son of Hermon C. and Emily (Cocks) Cole, for a further history of whom the reader is referred to the sketch of Hermon C. Cole, found elsewhere in this Record. Our subject received his early education in the public schools of this city, and after completing his studies here entered the engineering department of Harvard University, where he took a thorough course. On returning to this city he entered his father’s mill and has continued in its operation to the present time. His father dying in 1874, he and his brothers Z. T. and H. C. succeeded to the business. The mill is supplied with all the most improved machinery and turns out flour of a fine quality.

The parental family included four sons, of whom Charles B., of this sketch, is the eldest. The others bear the respective names of Zachary T., Harry C. and Edward E., the first two of whom are partners in the mill. The H. C. Cole Milling Company is one of the most extensive plants of its kind in this part of the state, its capacity being seven hundred and fifty barrels of flour per day. Its large elevators have a capacity of two hundred thousand bushels of grain, which is bought from farmers of this section. The company turns out the highest grades of winter wheat flour, their leading brands being “H. C. Cole’s Omega,” “FFFG,” “Cole’s Mill Extra” and “Sancho Panza.” The products of the mill find their way to various portions of the country, being shipped as far east as Boston and as far south as New Orleans. As before stated, the mills are fitted out with the most modern machinery, having a large Corliss engine of three hundred and fifty horse power. They are located on the line of the Wabash, Chester & Western Railroad, which they find very convenient for shipping. In 1888 the mills were incorporated under the name of the H. C. Cole Milling Company, having been established in 1839.

Charles B. Cole has been a conspicuous figure in public and political life of the town and county for many years, and was elected to the Legislature on the Democratic ticket in 1886. As a member of various important committees while in the Lower House he was instrumental in bringing about much needed legislation to protect and advance the interests of the state and people. He was a member of the Board of Education of Chester for twelve years. He was appointed receiver of the Iron Mountain, Chester & Eastern Railroad in 1876, and since 1878 has been Vice-President and Manager of the Wabash, Chester & Western Railroad Company, the present owners of the former road.

May 12, 1869, Mr. Cole married Miss Laura A. Layman, who was born in Tennessee June 21, 1847. At her death, which occurred July 11, 1878, she left three daughters and one son. The lady whom our subject married in 1882 was Miss Mary E. Palmer, of New Hampshire.

No man has done more for the upbuilding of Chester and its general improvement than our subject, who has proved a valuable acquisition to the citizenship of this locality. His prompt and methodical business habits, good financial talent and tact in the management of affairs have brought him before the public at various times, and in every position he has promoted the interests of his native place with characteristic ability. He is President of the Millers’ National Association and Vice-President of the Millers’ National Insurance Company, which was organized in 1876, and which is one of the most solid institutions of its kind in the United States.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Randolph County, Illinois family biographies here: Randolph County, Illinois Biographies

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