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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of Louis Bogart Cole

SOURCE: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Champaign County, Illinois," Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887


LOUIS BOGART COLE. This gentleman since 1865 has been identified with the business interests of Rantoul, and to his energy and enterprise the town is largely indebted for the extent of its business transactions, and the reputation it has gained as a desirable locality for those who are indisposed to be idle. Mr. Cole represents the agricultural implement trade, and is extensively engaged in buying and shipping grain, while at the same time giving much of his time and attention to the breeding of Percheron horses. Of the latter he has some fine animals, and is building up quite a reputation in this line throughout Central Illinois.

Mr. Cole is a native of the Dominion of Canada, and was born June 14, 1827. He is the son of Conrad B. COLE, who was born in the same locality, and who after reaching manhood married Miss Sarah A. KENNEDY, of Vermont, her birthplace being near St. Albans. Her parents subsequently removed to Canada, where she met Conrad B. Cole, and where, after her marriage to him she spent the remainder of her life. The father of our subject was a carpenter by trade, and also engaged in farming. The ten children of the parental household consisted of five sons and five daughters; two of the sons are now deceased. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Barnard COLE by name, was born in the Mohawk Valley, in New York State, being the son of Daniel COLE, a native of hat was then Little York, but now included in New York City. The family were originally from Holland.

The subject of our sketch, who was the eldest child of his parents, passed his childhood and youth near his birthplace, and when nineteen years old spent two seasons upon the lakes as a sailor. Then, concluding that terra firma would suit him better, he remained on land and learned the millwright's trade, which he pursued in the State of New York until the spring of 1855. For ten years afterward he was a resident of Wolverton, Canada, whence he came to this county in 1865. He engaged first as a contractor and builder, which he followed until 1871, and then began dealing in lumber and grain. His yard and its contents, including a flouring-mill, was destroyed by fire in 1872, the whole involving a loss of $7,300. He recovered from this disaster as soon as possible, and resumed the grain and coal trade, by degrees adding agricultural implements, and now carries a full line of everything required by the modern farmer. Besides his stock and town property he owns a good farm in Rantoul Township, the proceeds of which yield him a handsome sum annually.

Mr. Cole began dealing in fine horses in 1879. He has now thirty-seven head, nearly all Percherons, models of beauty and symmetry, and embracing some of the finest animals of the kind in Central Illinois. At the head of his stables is the celebrated horse "Monarch," imported from France by Timothy Slattery in 1880, and which took the second prize at the hose show in Chicago in 1891. He is one of the finest horses in Champaign County, and is valued at a high figure.

The first marriage of Mr. Cole took place in the spring of 1856, when he was united to Miss Elizabeth HINCHELWOOD, who was a native of Scotland, and the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth HINCHELWOOD, who emigrated from that country with their family in 1845, and are now residents of Ontario. Mrs. Cole departed this life after becoming the mother of one daughter, Elizabeth A., who is now the wife of Thomas LITTLE, of Rantoul. The present wife of our subject to whom he was married in 1852, was formerly Miss Isabelle HONEYMAN, of Kirkcaldy, Scotland, who came to the United States with her parents when a little girl. Of this marriage there have been no children.

Our subject cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Winfield Scott, and since exercising the right of suffrage has been the stanch supporter of Republican principles. He was Justice of the Peace two terms, and has served as Collector of Rantoul Township two terms. He keeps himself well posted upon current events, and no man in the township feels greater satisfaction in contemplating its progress and general welfare than he. Mr. Cole identified himself with the Masons in Canada in October, 1858, and since that time has been a valued member of the fraternity. As the friend of law, order and progress, he is filling his niche in life worthily, and building for himself a good record.

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