By Jaunita Cole Walker
Written 1986 (as revised 2004)
Since I have always been most interested in reading as a pastime, I questioned whether I had any ability at all to write anything of worth. Early in life, I read books as quickly as they were available. My great-uncle, Rice Cooper, called me his little "book worm". But when it came to "Pilgrim's Progress" and "Tale of Two Cities", I'm afraid I was not thoroughly reading them!
This is nothing but a reminiscing of the Cole family, impressions from the past. Looking back over the last seventy-one years can be both happy and sad; but that is the way our Lord meant for it to be. If we felt no sorrow, then we could not learn compassion of other people's sorrows.
I was the third child and first girl in the family of Burlie and Lena Carter Cole. Each of us were born at the farmstead 5 miles Northwest of Osceola. My father's mother (Emma Cole) owned the farm and it seemed natural that this young son of hers should remain there after marriage. It didn't seem such a small house to them. Grandma Cole and her first husband, Will Short had lived there since the log cabin was built around 1875. Sometime around 1890 to 1900, the house had been expanded to an additional 2 large rooms and screened-in porch. This addition was of weatherboarding, not log.
The big kitchen contained the wood range, a "safe" or cupboard for dishes, kitchen cabinet, big walnut table and split-bottom chairs, with a wooden bench on the back side of the table for the children to sit on. The wash stand had a bucket of well water with dipper and a granite wash pan. Sometimes on the coldest winter nights there was ice frozen on the water bucket overnight. Then the "middle room" had a double bed, a single bed, a bureau or dresser, a wood heater, and a chair or so - I remember a rocking chair that Mom used to rock the babies to sleep. Mostly we let Grandma Cole have the front room, which had a corner petitioned off for her bedroom. It was our parlor for company, but not for kids to be rowdy. She had an old wicker rocker where she sat and pieced quilts. This front room had a fireplace and chimney, but the inside opening was all covered up and a stove used for heat. This stove used coal. There were several coal mines in the Lewis community. It was scary to me when the stove got red-hot because it had been stoked with too much coal at one time.
The upstairs of the log house was one large bedroom. When all of children were at home, we had overnight visitors and just added a few more bed pillows. Some could sleep on the floor. In summertime, beds were sometimes moved outside under the shad trees, but for the most part, our house was well ventilated with windows and comfortably cool.
Dad was a farmer, but probably only because that was where he had to live. His father, John E. had never really farmed much.
My grandfather, John Edwin Cole, was born in Utica, New York on September 11, 1832. He had lived in Ohio state at one time, where in Cincinnati he bought a fiddle. He was then 18 years old. In 1861, he joined the Union Army Company H, 5th Infantry. he served his term of 3 years, mustering out in Georgia in 1864. By 1866, he was married to Elizabeth McKibben and came from Iowa to Missouri with the Burrows, Calvirds, and McKibbens. He bought a place near Vista, later moved to Osceola, owned and operated a hotel on the Southwest corner of the square, South of the present Commercial Hotel. Also operated a feed store and was City Marshall of Osceola at one time. His wife died young. They had one adopted son: John L. who had 3 sons, Clyde, Leslie and Hugh.
John Edwin Cole married Emma Cooper Short on November 20, 1888. Burlie Sheldon Cole was born October 14, 1889. Grandma Cole had 2 children by Will Short: Mattie Lula, born in 1879 and Edwin Ernest born 1881.
Around the latter part of the 18th Century, possibly the Revolutionary war period, Elizabeth Roe Spindle with her brother, Will, and their parents came to America from England. Elizabeth Spindle married Gustavious Vaughn and lived near the Culpeper (County, Culpeper) Courthouse, Virginia. Their plantation was named "Cherry Grove". They owned slaves and sometimes sent Negroes to the Potomac to get oysters by the wagon load.
Hester Anna Roe Vaughn (daughter of Elizabeth and Gustavius), maiden name of Elizabeth's mother was Roe) was born May 7, 1815 and had several bothers and sisters. When she was 16 years of age she went with a sister and husband, MR. and Mrs. John Shepherd to Nicholasville, Kentucky to live. There she met and married Larkin Warner Cooper on July 7, 1836.
Larkin Warner Cooper came from South Carolina (we think). He was born May 22, 1813. His father's name was John, paternal grandmother's maiden name was Warner. His mother's name was Nancy Larkin.
L.W. Cooper had a brother James and some sisters. Larkin and Hester lived in Kentucky until 1850, moving to Bloomington, Illinois. I have an original blue paper with brown "age spots" which is Larkin Cooper's license to preach.
They moved to a farm near Gallatin, Missouri (Davies County) in 1854. Their first three daughters were born in Kentucky, as was their only son, Rice Harris. On June 8, 1855, twins were born: Mattie West and Emma Wirt. Our grandmother was Emma - I've no idea where those middle names came from!!
In 1863, they moved to Clay County Missouri near Barry - about 8 miles Northeast of Kansas City or now in the city. Can't find the town, but there is a Barry Road. L.W. was in the Confederate Army by then. Rice was the man of the house and moved with mother and children by wagon. The father was never seen except at nighttime would "sneak in" a visit - too dangerous. Grandma said one Negro mammy stayed with them and helped raise the twins. I don't know where or when she died.
In 1869, they moved to Henry County (Mo.) near Montrose. They were members of the Teays Chapel Methodist Church and at death were buried in the Teays Chapel Cemetery. (That is L.W. and Hester Anne, Martha West Cooper Wilson and husband and Emma Wirt Cooper Cole).
Rice Harris Cooper married Mollie Curell in 1869. She died in 1869(?), buried in Teays Chapel. He married in Fayette, Missouri about 1877 to Willie Locke. He lived in Fayette or Moberly most of his life. Was a Methodist minister, Chaplain of Central College and has a chapel named for him at Central.
Aunt Mattie lived in Deepwater, Missouri and had two children. We knew her daughters' family, Emma Birch.
Grandma Emma first married Will Short. They homesteaded the place we know as Cole's. Will died of tuberculosis in 1884. Lula Short born 1879 and Edwin born March 21, 1884. She married John Edwin Cole November 20, 1888, and had one son, Burlie Sheldon Cole born October 14, 1889, and he died May 20, 1964.
My mother came from a large family of Carter's who lived near Iconium, Missouri where she was born. It was a very small town East of Osceola. Granddad Carter was part Irish, a tall jovial man with the ability to make a good living from a farm, also trading livestock. The whole family loved horses and each daughter was given a horse and saddle as part of her dowry. Also a truck full of quilts, linens, everything that a hope chest should hold in those days. Mom did work for neighbors sometimes as a hired girl. After all, there were 8 girls and 5 boys in the Carter family and the whole family worked, so "working out" was a good way to make extra money. Possibly the pay was $1.00 a week. She attended Liberty Grade School. The old home place had been owned by Ephriam Rippetoe, who kept slaves. As late as the 1960's there were some cabins used originally for slaves.
By 1910, Jesse and Effie Carter had moved to a farm 3 and 1/2 miles West of Osceola, where Lena became acquainted with Burlie Cole. They were married on December 25, 1910. Her parents moved to Welda, Kansas by 1914 and opened a general store there. They were successful in the store business, moving eventually to Kansas City where he and his son, Bill, owned a store together. Somewhere about 1936 they moved to Lowry City, Mo. to retire and take care of her mother, Lucinda Rippetoe. Granddad Carter died November 2, 1939 and in February, 1943 Great Grandma Rippetoe died. It was September 25, 1954 when Effie Carter passed away, having spent several years near Bill in Kansas City, also some time with my mother in Osceola and finally near Elmer and Laura in Kincaid, Kansas. (More on Carters found in Aunt Della Spriggs' book.)
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