Moses H. and Samuel E. Cole, who constitute the firm, Cole Brothers, pioneer merchants of Harper, Kans., are both natives of Whitehall, Ill. Their parents were David and Rebecca (Cook) Cole, the father, a native of Bavaria, born February 3, 1816. He immigrated to America in 1837, locating at Albany, N. Y., where he was engaged in the mercantile business until 1847. His store was destroyed by fire, and in 1848 he came west, locating at Whitehall, Ill., where he was engaged in the live stock business for fifteen years. In 1861, he went to St. Louis, Mo., where he was engaged in buying horses and mules for the government, during the Civil war. At the close of the war, he continued in business until 1873, when he retired, after accumulating a comfortable fortune. He was well known in St. Louis, where he resided until his death, February 19, 1907. He was prominent in Masonic circles, being a member of Beacon Lodge No. 3, of St. Louis, now the mother lodge of Missouri. His marriage to Rebecca Cook took place in Albany, N. Y., April 16, 1848, and on April 16, 1898, their golden wedding was celebrated at the St. Nicholas Hotel, St. Louis, over 300 guests being present on the occasion. David Cole and Rebecca Cook were the parents of eight children, four of whom are living, as follows: Pauline, born September 6, 1854, the widow of Leon Loeb, Salisbury, Mo.; Samuel E., born July 14, 1856, at Whitehall, Ill., a member of the firm of Cole Brothers, Harper, Kans. He was married April 26, 1886, at Nashville, Tenn., to Miss Betty Ellis, a native of that city, born March 12, 1866. She is a daughter of Jacob Ellis, a clothing merchant, of Nashville, Tenn. To Samuel E. Cole and wife have been born one child, Hazel Ellis, born March 9, 1888, at Nashville, Tenn. She was educated at Forest Park University, St. Louis, graduating in the class of 1907. Moses H. Cole, the junior member of Cole Brothers, was born at Whitehall, Ill., April 6, 1858, and educated in the public schools of St. Louis, graduating from the high school in the class of 1876. When a young man, he worked for four years in a retail dry goods and clothing store in St. Louis, and for four years was a traveling salesman. In 1884, he and his brother, Samuel E., opened a department store at Harper, Kans. They have been in business continually since, and are the pioneer merchants of Harper county. They were successful from the start, and have prospered through all the years, and their business is the largest of the kind in the county. Mr. Cole is unmarried. The youngest child of the Cole family, Ella, born in 1861, is the widow of Joseph Linz, who was a prominent wholesale jeweler in Dallas, Texas. The Cole Brothers have always taken a deep interest in promoting the welfare of Harper, and Harper county, and are among the progressive business men of that section. Samuel E. has served on the city council, and they are both Thirty-second Degree Masons. Moses H. is Past Master of Harper Lodge, No. 206, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and is High Priest of Harper Chapater[sic] No. 61 Royal Arch Masons. He is also a member of the Elks.Pages 173-174 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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