Transcripted Letter from Burlie Sheldon Cole regarding family history
November 3, 1964 to R.J. Walker
Rec'd your letter in regard to my Father's history, which is rather vague to me. Will give you his enlistment (John E. Cole, age 27 residence Utica N.Y. Nativity - District of Columbia. Enlisted June 24, 1861. Mustered July 17, 1861. Discharged July 30, 1864 at expiration of term of service.)
His father was a sailor and died when my father was 4 years old. His mother evidently married again as my father spoke of having a half-brother, Bill Ennis, and also spoke of living his boyhood days somewhere in Ohio. My father had an older brother, Wm. Cole, and a sister Sue Erganbright. Wm. Cole came to our place one time when I was small. He had a family somewhere north of Warsaw near Cole Camp or in that vicinity, am not sure just where. Sue Erganbright married a man by the name of Bevans and had 3 children to my knowledge. Chas. Bevans went to the Klondike gold rush in Alaska. Aunt Sue lived at Mound Valley, Kans. & her daughter, Bell Boling, & one daughter married a railroad conductor on the Frisco and lived at Cherryvale Kans. I visited them one time when I was about 14.
My father emigrated to Iowa where he joined the Union army (Co. H - 5th Iowa Infantry). His first wife was a daughter of Andrew McKibben. He came to St. Clair Co. in 1866 from Iowa with the McKibbens and the Calvirds, and the Burrows, who all married McKibben girls. He bought the McAllister place near Vista, later moved to Osceola, owned & operated a hotel across the street from the Commercial where the Wallace Lawton Bldg used to be. The hotel later burned down. He operated a feed store at one time in Osceola & as you know was City Marshall. His wife died in the early seventies. I think he married my mother about 1887, the widow of Wm. Short. I was born Oct. 14, 1889. He moved there and built the frame rooms on the old log house and died with pneumonia, May 25, 1914.
My father and first wife had an adopted son, John L. Cole, long deceased. He (John L.) had 3 sons: Clyde Cole of Tulsa, Okla., Leslie Cole of Stockton, Mo., and Hugh Cole, Kansas City.
My father must have lived near Cincinnati as he told me he bought the old violin there when he was 18 years old.