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Below is a family biography included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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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John C. Cole, farmer and proprietor of Cole’s Mill, was born in Franklin County, Ky., March 4, 1814. He is a son of Aquilla Cole, deceased, a native of Maryland, who settled in Washington County, Mo., in 1818, at that time a dense forest. John C. Cole was reared on a farm, but spent the greater part of his early life in the lead mines of Washington County. He removed to Jefferson County in 1840, and settled on the farm near his present home, which now consists of 400 acres. The mill was first built by Smith & Tarpley in 1840, and, the firm failing, the property was disposed of at a sheriff’s sale in 1842, Capt. White purchasing a one-half interest and Mr. Smith retaining the other half. Mr. Cole and his brother afterward purchased Mr. White’s interest, and in 1843 secured Mr. Smith’s. The following year the mill was destroyed by a tornado, but was rebuilt the same year, and conducted until 1887. It is now somewhat out of repair, but when in order the machinery is driven by water, through an overshot wheel, twenty feet in diameter, the water being supplied by springs, and the best of flour is made. In September, 1850, Mr. Cole married Miss Sarah A., daughter of Rev. William Walker (deceased), a pioneer Methodist Episcopal minister, of Southeastern Missouri. Of the ten children born to this union seven are living, viz.: Sarah, who married Richard Farrar, of Valle Township, this county, and has one child; William; Rebecca, who became the wife of Alonzo Kite, also of this township, and has five children; Catherine, now Mrs. Henry Kite, and the mother of five children; Sterling, Alice and Winnie. Mrs. Cole died August 25, 1872. In politics, Mr. Cole is a Democrat.

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This family biography is one of 224 biographies included in The History of Jefferson County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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