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Henry Cole was horn in Wilkins township, Allegheny county, Penna., December 22d, 1823. He is a son of Eli Cole, who was born in Cornish, York county, Maine, January 12th, 1794. He moved to Allegheny county, in 1819, and went down the Allegheny River from Olean in a flat-boat. In 1825, he moved to Scott township, then Mercer, now Lawrence county, and then in 1840 to the farm homestead, on which the subject of this biography now resides. He died in the house of his son, January 19th, 1875; aged eighty-two years. His mother was a native of Vermont, and died in January, 1876, in the seventy-eighth year of her age. The old couple were very highly respected in the community in which they resided so long.
Henry Cole received his rudimentary education at the public schools of the county, and has added some useful practical knowledge to the same by subsequent years of miscellaneous reading. He has followed agricultural pursuits all his life, adding thereto of late years the growth of various fruits, which he has brought to a high standard of perfection. In 1848, Mr. Cole married Miss Eliza J. Caldwell, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., who has been a faithful wife, and a consistent helper to him these many years. Mrs. Cole is an amiable lady, pleasant and affable in her home, and although afflicted for a long period with a painful neuralgia, she is cheerful and uncomplaining, bearing her trials with that meek and humble fortitude, which bespeaks the sincere Christian.
During the prevalence of the gold excitement in 1852, Henry Cole made an extended visit to California, going by the overland route from St. Joseph by ox-teams, occupying from the 4th of May to the 4th of September, in reaching Placervile. He remained there until the 7th of November, 1855, when he returned to the "States," but very little richer than he left them. He was down with the ague for a long time which, of course, retarded his progress to a great extent.
Mr. Cole has always taken an active part in the various interests, touching the progress and advancement of the community, in which he resides, and has held several important official positions in the township, all of which he has filled with the same integrity that has characterised his private business transactions. In politics Mr. Cole is a Republican; in religion a Presbyterian. In character he is courteous and hospitable. He is a well-read and intelligent man, always alive to the best interests of society, and to the advancement of general knowledge in all things pertaining to the good of his fellow-man.
History of Mercer County, 1877, page 135