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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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Joshua Cole, farmer and resident of Valle Township, was born in Washington County, Mo., in 1843; being the son of Joshua and Jane (Turley) Cole, natives of Bullitt County, Ky., born in 1799 and 1806, respectively. At the age of nineteen Mr. Cole came with his father to what is now Washington, being one of the early settlers of that part of the State. After his marriage he settled in Washington County, but afterward removed to St. Francois County, where he lived for perhaps thirty years. He died in 1878; a farmer, tanner and shoemaker by trade, he was an honest, upright citizen. Both parents were members of the Baptist Church. The mother died in 1880. She came to Missouri with her parents, Lot and Cassandra Turley. Joshua was reared at home, secured a fair common-school education, and served about nine months in the latter part of the late rebellion in Company C of Col. Green’s regiment of Confederate troops. He operated in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. In 1866 he married Miss Ann Long, a native of Jefferson County, born in 1848, and the daughter of Thomas and Mary Jane Long. Mr. Long was born in St. Francois County, but his parents moved there from Kentucky at a very early day. He served three years in the Confederate army under Gen. Price. Mrs. Long was of French extraction. Of the eight children born to our subject and wife, seven are now living: Nancy Jane, born in 1867, wife of Joseph Satterwhite; John M., born in 1868; Bruce, born in 1871; Rolla A., born in 1873; Emma B., born in 1876; Luther J. (deceased); Lewis Everett, born in 1881, and Newton L., born in 1883. Soon after his marriage Mr. Cole settled on his present farm nine miles south of De Soto, where he has 240 acres, about 100 acres of which are under cultivation. He is a member of the A. O. U. W. and a Democrat in politics. Mrs. Cole is an active member of the Baptist Church.

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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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