Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
JAMES JESSE COLE, a native of
Washington county, Virginia, is a type of the true southern gentleman,
transplanted to northern soil. His high sense of honor, integrity,
and wisdom have made him one of the respected citizens of this section,
and his holdings are the result of his arduous labors and practical wisdom.
James J. Cole was born on September 12, 1854,
the son of Andrew and Polly (James) Cole, natives of Virginia, and prominent
people of Washington county. James Cole, the paternal grandfather
of our subject, was one of the first settlers in Washington county.
The father was a veteran of the Confederate service. Our subject
received a liberal training in the public schools and labored with his
father until twenty-one, when he started for himself in the battle of life.
In 1875, he landed in Douglas county, Oregon, and there wrought as a farm
hand until 1879, when he journeyed to Walla Walla, continuing labor there
as before. In the spring of 1880, in company with Newt Grenstedt,
Thomas Cooper, and J. C. Cole, our subject's brother, James J. Cole came
to what is now Lincoln county and selected land in the Brents country,
this party being the first settlers there. Finding their land unsurveyed,
they hired a surveyor who laid the lines and they squatted on the land
and went to work. For a few years our subject was obliged each year
to go and labor in the harvest fields of Walla Walla for money to purchase
the winter's supplies, but he soon began to gain a better return from the
new homestead and in addition to the land secured by government rights,
Mr. Cole has purchased since, as the years have gone by, until in the home
estate he has eight hundred acres all under one fence. In another
place he has a section of fine wheat land and all this large amount is
either utilized for the production of cereals or for pasture. His
residence is a commodious and valuable structure tastefully set and surrounded
with all the accessory buildings needed on a large farm. Mr. Cole
is leader in this part of the county and is a man to whom all look as exemplifying
both sound wisdom and upright principles and whose labors have received
the crown of unbounded success.
In 1874, Mr. Cole married Miss Mattie E.,
daughter of Levi and Nancy J. (Houston) Herren, natives of Virginia
and Tennessee, respectively. The father died while in service in
the Civil War, but the mother is now dwelling in Virginia. Mrs. Cole
was born in Washington county, Virginia, on October 9, 1854. While
Mr. and Mrs. Cole have no children of their own, they are raising a nephew,
and niece, Roy and Cordie Debord. Mr. Cole is a member of the I.
0. 0. F. and the A. F. & A. M. He and his wife have always been
found on the side of all measures that have tended to build up the country
and bring about a better condition both as to schools and other important