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.