James Cole
Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen

James Cole, a retired farmer living at Richfield Springs, was born in the town of 
Columbia, Herkimer Co., NY., March 19 1832. His grandfather was a pioneer of that
county, and died there at an early day. The father of subject was young when his
father died, leaving a widow with a large family of children and in limited
circumstances, and when the family were thus thrown on their own resources he
assisted his mother in their support. He was very industrious, was possessed of sound
judgment, and in time was able to purchase a tract of timber land. At that time
timber standing or cut down and chopped into logs had no market value. The question
was how to get it out of the way at the least expense of time and labor. Mr. Cole
converted his timber into charcoal, which, previous to the discovery and mining of
mineral coal, was used in forges, furnaces, and by blacksmiths for all their various
purposes. After clearing his land and residing on his farm for many years, he sold
out and bought in the town of Richfield, where he resided until his death, which
occurred in 1871. His wife, the mother of our subject, previous to her marriage was
Mercy Sanders. She was born in Herkimer County, and spent the last years of her life
in the town of Richfield. James Cole, the subject of this sketch, was educated in his native town. After marriage
he bought a tract of land in the town of Richfield, and engaged in general farming
and hopraising. Three years later, selling that farm, he bought another in the same
town, which he occupied three years. He then sold this farm, and bought still
another, at Monticello, Otsego County, upon which he resided until 1880, when he
rented the farm and retired to Richfield Springs, where he purchased property and
kept summer boarders a few seasons. In 1887 he moved the house to another lot in the
same village, and on this lot erected a commodious frame house in modern style of
architecture, and handsomely furnished, in which he has since lived. Mr. Cole was married, December 1, 1858, to Sarah E. Walrath, who was born in Jefferson
County, NY and whose father, David Walrath, was a native of this state. The
grandfather of Mrs. Cole was Jacob Walrath, also a native of New York State, and of
German ancestry. He was a farmer of Herkimer County during his entire life. His son
David was reared to agricultural pursuits, and resided in Jefferson County a few
years after his marriage, then removed to Danube, Herkimer County, where he bought a
farm, upon which he resided until his death. His wife, previous to her marriage, was
Barbara Bort, a daughter of John Bort. After her husband's death she married Esquire
Morgan, and died in the town of Richfield. Mr. and Mrs. Cole reared one son, Willie, born January 26, 1865. His opportunities for
securing an education were of the best, and after graduating from Richfield Seminary
with the class of 1883, he would have entered college, the next fall but for his
untimely death, which occurred September 2nd of that year. His death caused great
grief to his parents and a large circle of friends.
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