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Ida Bell (Minard) Cole



Ida Bell and Clark Cole

Ida Bell (Minard) Cole was born on Sept. 30, 1859 at Gambier, Knox County, OH, the daughter of Nathan Williams and Sarah Jane (Woodruff) Minard

She and her parents were pioneer settlers of Iowa and Missouri, and then later with her husband of Nebraska and Kansas.

In 1865, when Ida was six, her father returned from the Civil War. The following year, at age seven, she migrated with her family to Iowa, settling initially in Cedar County, IA. From there, in 1872, they moved to Missouri, making a new home in Caldwell County, MO. 

While in Missouri, she met her future husband, Henry Harrison "Clark" Cole (1852-1935), the son of Harry and Candace Love (Hathaway) Cole of Watertown, NY. Clark's mother was from Ellisvillage, NY and had married her husband in 1850.

On Sept. 15, 1878, at the home of her parents near Kingston, Grant Township, Caldwell County, Ida and Clark were united in the bonds of holy matrimony. She was age 19 at the time, and he was 26. N.T. Brown, a minister of the gospel, performed the wedding ceremony. Their original marriage certificate is on file today at the county courthouse in Kingston.


Above: the Coles' marriage license, on file today in Caldwell County, MO. Below: Main Street in the growing village of Richland, KS, early 1900s 



Pleasant Hill Cem, Berryton

The Coles produced a family of 14 children -- born over a quarter-century, spanning the years 1881 and 1906 -- including Clarence Wilbur Cole, Clyde Francis Cole, William Cole, Florence Lenora Metsker, George Nathan Cole, Candace Naomi Thurber, Alice "Myrtle" Nelson, Harry Leonard Cole, Artemus Ward "Art" Cole, Laura Mae Forrest McKimmey, Ruby Elnora Murphy, Ernest Kenneth Cole, Ida Isabel "Bell" Cook and Frank Leslie Cole.

Sadly, son William Cole died at the tender age of one month on Feb. 5, 1884, and son George Nathan Cole passed away a dozen years later, at age 10, on Jan. 6, 1896. Small grave markers for both boys are placed side by side in what became the Cole family plot at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery near Berryton, Shawnee County.

The newlyweds made immediate plans to relocated to Nebraska, where the promise of prosperity appealed. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1880, the young, childless couple made a home in the Upper Loup District of Sherman County, NE. That year, they dwelled next door to his parents. Both Clark and his father were listed as farmers.

A memoir by the Coles' granddaughter Bernice (Cole) Wilson -- entitled Meeting of the Grandparents -- describes the voyage that Ida Bell and Clark made during their trek from Missouri to Nebraska:

...[They] left Missouri in a covered wagon for a homestead area in Nebraska. When they got there they had to build a sod house. They lived there until the 1894 drouth… Grandmother Cole struggled and didn't complain about the hardships. Grandpa [Cole] would run a wagon from Grand Island, Neb. to Loup City, Neb. With supplies and was caught in prairie fires and with great danger and gusto he came through without a mishap…. They used oxen to farm with and my father … told how the oxen learned to turn with two words, 'gee' and 'Haa' and this worked.


Above: Clark and Ida Belle (2nd row, far left) and their grown children, with Clark's elderly mother Candace 2nd from right. Below: Clark and Ida Belle with son Artemus ("Art"). Right: the couple beside their farmhouse, in later years.




Clark and Ida's anniversary

They returned to Richland to visit with her parents during the Christmas season of 1880, with plans to return to the cornhusker state early in the new year. The Coles departed from Richland in January 1881, heading back toward central Nebraska. Said the Topeka Daily Commonwealth, they were "expecting to make the journey in ten days, but it took them thirty, floundering most of the time in the snow drifts, and at last one of the horses broke a leg." Adding to the experience was that Ida Bell would have been seven months pregnant at the time with their eldest son, known to have been born in March 1881 in Arcadia, NE.

Adding to their pioneer narrative is W. Flora Shepherd's book, Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway. The volume also is known as Genealogy, History and Biographical Records of the Families of Christopher Columbus Baxley and Frances Hilliard, Harry Cole and Candace Hathaway and Allied Families, with an introduction by Damon Dale Hupp, published in 1979 by Capitol City, Inc., of Topeka.

The book states that after marriage, "Clark … went with his father and family to Sherman County, Nebr., homesteading the Loup City area. Nine of their children were born in Arcadia, Neb. In [1894], they traveled by wagon to Kansas, settling in the Richland area where five more of their children were born."

The Coles are thought to have moved in with Ida Bell's parents in Richland, Shawnee County, KS until they could find a suitable place of their own. 

Clark's widowed mother, Candace Love (Hathaway) Cole, joined the family in Richland in about 1889 following the death of her husband in New York. She is pictured in a Cole family group photograph taken circa 1910. In about 1922, she fell and broke her hip, and remained bedfast for the remaining seven years of her life. She died in late February 1929, and is buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, where her son, daughter in law and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren later would join her in eternal rest.

Little is known about the rest of the Coles' lives, other than the fact that they experienced the ups and downs of raising children, earning a living by toiling the earth and running a household. 

In September 1928, Ida and Clark celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a large gathering of family and friends.


Family reunion celebrating Clark and Ida Bell's 50th wedding anniversary, 1928



Topeka Daily State Journal

Clark passed away at home on Sept. 2, 1935, at the age of 83. In a very brief newspaper obituary, the Topeka Daily State Journal reported that "Word has been received by Mrs. Laura Forest of the death of her father, Harry Harrison Clark Cole, 85, who died Monday at his home in Richland, Kan. No funeral arrangements have been made." 


Despite further searching by the founder of this website in September 2010, at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, no additional new obituaries have been found adding any more detail of knowledge of Clark's life.

Ida Bell outlived her husband by six years, and moved into the home of daughter Florence Metsker in Lone Star near Lawrence, KS. They entertained many visiting relatives during the era, as logged in the gossip columns of the local newspaper, the Richland Citizen

Topeka Daily Capital, 1941
At the death of her brother Andrew "Edward" Minard in June 1938, she is known to have traveled to Topeka to attend the funeral, and to have stayed with her daughter Laura Mae Forrest McKimmey. While there, they received a visit from her married daughter Myrtle Nelson who had come from Fort Pierce, FL.Later that year, in September 1938, she rented her farm to the Phillips family who were moving from the Pleasant Hill community.

Ida marked her 79th birthday in October 1938 at a party hosted by her married daughter Candace Naomi Thurber. Reported the Citizen, "A basket dinner was served at noon and the afternoon was spent in visiting. Grandma Cole is one of our well beloved older folks and the community joins her family in wishing her many more happy birthdays."

The same month, October 1938, Ida traveled to Eldorado, KS to see her sister Naomi "Nona" Baker. She endured a bout of influenza in January 1939. She wpent that winter with the Metskers in Lone Star and in May 1939 was traveling to see her son Harry and the Thurbers and McKimmeys. In October 1939, she attended a Ladies Aid meeting where she and others spent an afternoon sewing children's clothing. Her final Christmas, in 1940, was spent with at the Meskers' with her visiting sons Artemus and Harry.

Ida became very ill in the first few weeks of 1941. Her daughter Candace traveled to help. Ida died in the Metsker residence on Jan. 29, 1941, at the age of 82. Word was sent to relatives out of state, and son Ernest is known to have come from his home in San Bernardino, CA. Following funeral services, held at the United Brethren Church in Richland, she was laid to rest beside her beloved husband in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery near Berryton. Her obituary was published in the Topeka Daily Capital


The Coles' burial place

At the time of her death, Ida Bell was survived by a sprawling brood of 12 children, 24 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Circa 1941, the Coles' dozen adult children were scattered across the United States. Sons Clarence, Clyde and Ernest lived in San Bernardino, CA; Harry and Art in Richland, KS; and Frank in Jerome, ID. Their daughters Florence and Candace resided in Florence, KS; Alice in Fort Pierce, FL; Laura Mae in Topeka, KS; Ruby in Overbrook, KS; and Bell Cook in Fair Oaks, CA. 

In September 2010, the founder of this website, and cousin-research Eugene Podraza, visited and paid their respects at the Cole graves at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, taking photographs of each Cole marker as an archival record. The cemetery is located just south of the intersection of S.E. 85th Road and Ratner Road, southeast of the Forbes Field Airport in Berryton, and to the northwest of the town of Richland.


Minerd.com founder Mark Miner pauses at the Coles' grave.  Berryton, KS


~ Son Clarence Wilbur Cole ~

Clarence and Helen Cole
Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
Son Clarence Wilbur Cole (1881-1960) was born on March 24, 1881 in Arcadia, NE. 

In about 1905, when he was about the age of 24, he was united in the bonds of holy wedlock with 20-year-old Mary "Helen" Ahlstrom (Sept. 2, 1885-1955), the daughter of Hannah H. Ahlstrom of Indiana. 

They resided in Kansas and California and bore two children -- Harriett Valerie Cole and Ernestine Ahlstrom "Bub" Finkle. 

When the federal census was taken in 1910, Clarence and Helen resided in Topeka, Shawnee County, KS, on Chester Street. Helen's sister Ora Ahlstrom and widowed mother Hannah Ahlstrom lived under their roof. Clarence's occupation that year was as an electrician in the local railroad shops.

The census of 1920 shows Clarence, Helen, their daughters and Helen's widowed mother making their home together on Seventh Street in San Bernardino. Clarence's employment continued to as an electrician for the railroad.


Clarence also owned and operated a small grocery and gasoline filling station in San Bernardino, at what is now 3998 Mt View Avenue. At that time, the locale was considered "out in the country." He sold meats, cold drinks, ice cream and other products that would appeal to motorists. The building is seen here, with son in law Theodore Junous Pilcher posed in front, seated on a bench. 

Rail station in San Bernardino, CA


San Bernardino business
(Other distant cousins making their home in San Bernardino in the early 1900s, whom Clarence likely did not even know, were Luther Minerd Sr. and Opal "Faye" (Shinneman) Sides.)

The Coles made a comfortable residence on Genevieve Street, and were there in 1930 at the time of the census. Clarence remained employed as a railroad technician. Unfortunately, despite the income from boarders such as Lawrence and Laurla Miller, they had to sell it during the Great Depression. They then moved into an apartment above, or behind, the store. The building, sold out of family ownership, later became Eddie's Used Cars. It was still standing in the 1970s. 

From time to time, Kenneth and Helen sent one or both daughters to the Kansas farm of Clarence's parents. The girls did not enjoy farm life, so this was not regarded as a positive experience. Helen is known to have been a charter member of the Arrowhead School Parent-Teacher Association. 

Helen passed away in 1955 in San Bernardino.

Clarence outlived her by six years and died on May 18, 1960, at the age of 79. They are buried in San Bernardino.


The family store with the name "Cole's" decorating the front door arch



Harriett Pilcher McQueen
Daughter Harriett Valerie Cole (1910-1953) was born on Nov. 22, 1910 in Topeka, KS. She and her parents migrated to Southern California when she was a three-year-old and settled in San Bernardino. She was a 1927 high school graduate and then attended Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS. In young womanhood she joined the Silver Wave Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star and the White Shrine of Jerusalem. Harriett was married twice, first on Oct. 6, 1934 to Theodore Junius Pilcher (1890-1943), a native of Port Townsend, WA and the son of Benedict Cicle Pilcher. They were two decades apart in age. The pair's wedding vows were made in Yuma, AZ, led by Rev. W.S. Brown of the Valley Baptist Church. Said the San Bernardino Sun, Harriett "wore an attractive suit of blue crepe, with hat and accessories matching. The ensemble served also as a going-away custume, the couple leaving for a trip in Northern California immediately after their return to San Bernardino to apprise family and friends of the marriage." Theodore and his first wife, Frances Marie ( ? - ? ), had been wed on July 3, 1915 and separated in August 1933, with her filing for divorce in Superior Court in San Berenardino on charges of cruel treatment. Harriett and Theodore went on to produce two sons -- Theodore J. "Teddy" Pilcher Jr. and John Randolph Pilcher. As of 1935, the Pilchers lived in Lancaster, CA, in 1938 in Kingman, AZ and by 1940 had migrated back to San Bernardino. Harriet was a heavy drinker, and even during her pregnancy with Theodore Jr., did not stop her habit. The son was born handicapped and is believed to have contracted his disability in the womb from his mother's alcoholism, and ended up spending much of his life in Atascadero State Hospital. Theodore was a longtime pharmacist in a retail drug store and held a membership in the Victorville lodge of the Masons. The Pilchers' address in 1940 was 2895 Juscupiabe Drive. Sadly, Theodore Sr. died on St. Patrick's Day 1943, at the age of 53, in San Bernardino. An obituary in the Sun said that he had been a 30-year resident of California including two decades in the community. Rev. Boyce Van Osdel, of the Calvary Baptist Church, officiated the funeral. Among the hymns played by the church organist were Abide with Me, Nearer My God to Thee and The End of a Perfect Day. Interment of his remains were in Mountain View Cemetery. The widowed Harriett and teenage son moved into her parents' home in San Bernardino circa 1950. She married again, to Randal H. McQueen ( ? - ? ). Their home address in 1953 was 1231 Amanda Street. She died in their home on Nov. 9, 1953, just 13 days before her 43rd birthday. The cause of death was given as acute alcoholism. An obituary in the Sun said that burial was in Mountain View Cemetery.

  • Grandson Theodore J. "Teddy" Pilcher Jr. (1936- ? ) was born on April 18, 1936 in Lancaster, CA. He was born with a disability. In 1950, when counted in the United States Census, he and his mother lived with his Cole grandparents in San Bernardino. Theodore went on to spend many years in Atascadero State Hospital. He did not marry His final years were in Desert Hot Springs, CA. Stricken with cancer, he passed away at the age of 67 on July 2, 2003. The remains were interred in Green Acres Memorial Park in Bloomington, with an obituary appearing in the Desert Sun.
  • Grandson John Randolph Pilcher (1938- ? ) was born on April 30, 1938 in St. Bernardine's Hospital, weighing 7 lbs. The birth was announced on the pages of the San Bernardino County Sun. In August 1969, in nuptials held in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Latter-day Saints, he was joined in wedlock with Carol Lee Storey ( ? - ? ). She was the daughter of E.N. Storey of Eden, UT. Their marriage was announced in the Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, saying that the "bride's gown was a full length model of delustered satin, featuring tiny buttons from the neck to hemline." 

The Cole sisters relaxing at a quiet lake -- Harriett in the back, and Ernestine closest to the camera. Below, left: Ernestine with the twins, and having a cigarette in 1967. Courtesy George Thurston Finkle III


Ernestine "Bub" Finkle
Daughter Ernestine Ahlstrom "Bub" Cole (1915-1990) was born on June 17, 1916 in San Bernardino County. Ernestine was nicknamed "Bub" as she always seemed to be in a hubbub about something. In her youth she attended the Arrowhead School. She was united in matrimony with George Thurston Finkle, Sr. ( ? - ? ), also of San Bernardino and the son of William and Viola May (Squires) Finkle of 455 14th Street. News of their marriage license was printed in the Santa Ana (CA) Register. The wedding took place on Sept. 28, 1938, when both bride and groom were age 23. They together produced a brood of three children, including George Thurston Finkle Jr. and twins Bethanne Viola "Beth" Finkle and Reynold Roy Finkle. As of 1939, when their son George was born, they lived at 980 Rialto Avenue, and then in 1944 at 455 14th Street. The family made its permanent residence in San Bernardino County. George was employed as a locomotive engineer with the Santa Fe Railroad in San Bernardino, retiring in 1977. He belonged to the Damascus lodge of the Masons and the local Elks lodge. On Sept. 28, 1988, the couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a family gathering in Las Vegas, and were pictured in the San Bernardino County Sun. A little more than a year after the anniversary celebration, George died at home at the age of 74 on Nov. 13, 1989. His obituary in the Sun said he had been a lifetime resident of the area and a Santa Fe Railway engineer for 34 year. Interment was in Mountain View Cemetery. Ernestine only survived him by fewer than two months. She passed away on Jan. 7, 1990, at the age of 74.

  • Grandson George Thurston Finkle Jr. (1939- ? ) was born on Sept. 9, 1939, in St. Bernardine's Hospital, and made public on the pages of the San Bernardino County Sun. He was a 1957 graduate of Sen Bernardino High School and in 1958 was employed by General Telephone Company in its engineering department. On May 17, 1958, he wed his high school sweetheart, Judith Lee Williams King (April 26, 1940-2023), a native of Long Beach and the daughter of Donald Eugene and Juanita Verona (Potter) Wiliams of Long Beach, CA and stepdaughter of Lloyd W. King of 591 Mountain View Avenue, San Bernardino. The nuptials were held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. White, at 1298 25th Street, with a garden reception afterward. The beaming newlyweds were pictured in the Sun, which reported that the bride had worn "a white suit styled with a box jacket and her accessories were in yellow. For 'something old,' she wore a sixpence in her shoe. She carried white carnations on a Masonic bible." Judith as a young woman worked for the San Bernardino Business Men's Association and then Associates Financial Services. Their trio of offspring were George Thurston Finkle III, James Roy Ewell and Melissa Anne "Missy" Hall. They lived in San Bernardino, with George apparently adopting the younger son James as his own. In 1966, when he was 26 years of age, George graduated from the San Bernardino Sheriff's Training Academy, receiving "top honors" and with another rookie patrolman was "singled out as exemplifying the highest standards of the academy," reported the Sun. He was assigned to the vice and narcotics division. Among the lowlights of his law enforcement career was a 1973 arrest of a 19-year-old woman, on charges of prostitution, where she bit his hands and arms and broke his left knee in a fight. The marriage ended in divorce in 1970. Judith as a single mother returned to Associates Financial Services and then was employed in College Station, TX by the Federal Crop Insurance Bureau. Then in 1980, she received an associate degree in applied science in accounting from Coastal Carolina Community College. In 1972, Judith entered into marriage with her second spouse, Wallace Edmund Ewell (1942-2004). Wallace spent his career with the U.S. Marine Corps at the time, at 29 Palms, CA, and then was transferred to Savannah, GA in 1972 to provide recruiting duty. Said an obituary, "Judy, Wally, and the three kids loaded up into her 1967 Volkswagen and started a lifelong adventure of living in assorted places across the United States." Their final dwelling-place was in Arlington, TX, with Wallace finishing his career with the Marines and then going to work for the Texas Department of Transporation. Said the obituary:

    In the 1980s, she volunteered for nearly ten years at the National Archives in Fort Worth, indexing census records. She had a passion for family history and filled about 20 volumes of her family history. Judy was a very staunch and independent woman. She adapted to the life of a military wife with ease. She kept everyone on time, on schedule, and on task; she kept her home in meticulous order. She stretched Wally’s military pay; no one went without. Later in life, she served the role of an executive’s wife. She supported Wally above and beyond the call of duty. Together, they made a true partnership and always served a common goal. Theirs was a true love story; they were soulmates.

    Wallace was stricken by a pulmonary embolism and died on June 11, 2004. Judith survived her second spouse by 19 years and sadly developed Parkinson's Disease. Despite the diagnosis, she continued to enjoy an independent life with a love for gardening and genealogy. She surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 83 on Oct. 18, 2023. Her cremains were placed into eternal rest in Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery.

    By 1981, George had wed again to Alice ( ? - ? ). While still on the police force, he and Alice established a business, G&A Welding & Repair, located at 2600 Fremontia Drive in San Bernardino. The work involved servicing bicycles and motorcycles with "custom painting, welding, collision repair, custom modifications and molding," said the Sun. Among his best customers were outlaw motorcycle gangs such as the Mesaleros, Psychos and Vagos, who always were polite and paid their bills promptly. In the mid-1970s, he was a sergeant in charge of a team handling special weapons and tactics, night investigations and extra patrol officers in the field. In 1977, he received the "Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award" bestowed by the local Chamber of Commerce. Actor Donald O'Connor presented him with the plaque at a dinner in the Orange Empire Room.

    Great-grandson George Thurston Finkle III has contributed important content for this biography. He is married to Jerry ( ? - ? ). They make their residence in Arkadelphia, AR.

    Great-grandson James Roy Finkle ( ? - ? ) took on the "Ewell" surname. He wed Dorrie ( ? - ? ).

    Great-granddaughter Melissa Anne "Missy" Finkle (1969-2022) was born in 1969 in San Bernadino. She relocated to Savannah, GA in 1972 with her mother, stepfather and brothers. She resided in a number of locales over the growing-up years and graduated in 1987 from Lamar High School in Arlington, TX. She then went on to receive her associate of science degree in computer science. She spent four years in the U.S. Air Force from 1991 to 1995, attaining the rank of sergeant, and working in the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) with deployments to Saudi Arabia and Turkey. While in the military, she entered into marriage with Mathew Hall ( ? - ? ). They produced a son, Blaine Stephen Hall. After a return to civilian life, in 1999, Melissa obtained her bachelor of science in information systems degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. She began a professional career which included employment in the information technology department of Dickie's in Arlington and in web development for ThinkFinance and LifeSync. Said an obituary, "Missy had a small jewelry-making business named Teal Gypsy. She loved making jewelry and had a passion for Mexican and Native American silver and turquoise jewelry. She had many canine pets over the years and was passionate about animal rights. She often said, 'Love me, love my dogs'." The family was plunged into unspeakable anxiety when Melissa was reported missing in August, 2022. Hope turned to grief when her remains were discovered on Nov. 22, 2022, 10 blocks away from her residence in a private wooded area. Funeral services were held on March 2, 2023 in Arlington. Interment was in Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery. Their son, wed to Kisha, is the father of Sage Edmund Hall and Rayne William Hall.

  • Granddaughter Bethanne Viola "Beth" Finkle (1944- ? ) was born in Sept. 1944 in St. Bernardine's Hospital, a twin with her brother Reynold. Their births were announced in the San Bernardino County Sun. She was a 1962 alumna of San Bernardino High School and belonged to the Campus Deb Board and was a representative of Card City Congress. She earned a living as a young woman at the Redlands Sage's Market. In July 1964, Bethanne was united in matrimony with David C. Funk ( ? - ? ), son of Claude Funk. Rev. Horace S. Cushing of the Fontana Community Church led the service, held in the garden of the home of David's mother at 9545 Grace Avenue, Fontana. David was a 1959 graduate of Colton Union High School and a 1962 alumnus of San Bernardino Valley College. At the time of marriage, he worked in Fontana for Southern California Gas Company. Their home in 1988 was in San Bernardino and in 1989 in Aurora, CO.
  • Grandson Reynold "Roy" Finkle (1944- ? ) was born in Sept. 1944 in St. Bernardine's Hospital, a twin with his sister Bethanne. Their births were announced in the San Bernardino County Sun. He was an alumnus of San Bernardino High School and went on to study chemistry at San Diego State University, where he was elected president of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He then received his law degree from the University of Southern California. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1973. He established a residence in Los Angeles and was there in 1988-1989. He is known to be an officer of Skyriver Ranch LLC in Los Olivos, CA.

~ Son Clyde Francis Cole ~

Clyde sits at left, with Charles H. Snell; brother
Clarence stands at left, with Frank Snell.

Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
Son Clyde Francis Cole (1882-1960) was born on Sept. 5, 1882 in Arcadia, NE.

He married Amy Banker (Feb. 16, 1886-1960) at Topeka, KS. She was a native of Richland, then known as Twin Mound, Douglas County.

They established their longtime residence in San Bernardino and together were the parents of three  -- Robert Dale Cole, Albertus James "Al" Cole and Norma Cole. 

Circa 1942, Clyde worked as a contractor. He later earned a living at Norton Air Force Base as a carpenter. The family belonged to the Faith Bible Church. Their address in 1936 was 361 16th Street and in 1942-1960 was 359 10th Street, San Bernardino.

Clyde passed away on Oct. 16, 1960 at the age of 78 in a San Bernardino hospital. His obituary was published in the San Bernardino County Sun.

Adding to the heartache, Amy only lived for two more days, dying on Oct. 18, 1960. Rev. Lester F. Wendt led the funeral, with interment of their remains in Mountain View Cemetery. Her Sun obituary said they had resided locally for 40 years.   

Son Robert Dale Cole (1915- ? ) was born in 1915. He was a 1933 graduate of San Bernardino High School. On Aug. 4, 1936, he was joined in matrimony with Roberta Constance Conger ( ? - ? ), daughter of Harry L. Longer of 158 10th Street, San Bernardino. In announcing the marriage, the San Bernardino County Sun  pictured the happy couple and said that the ceremony was held "at the home of the bride's parents, with a small company of friends and relatives witnessing the nuptials," officiated by Rev. T.J. Shrode of the First Methodist Church. "The attractive brunette bride was attired in a Navy blue silk suit, with blue hat and white accessories, wearing a corsage of gardenias... A great deal of interest surrounds the climaxing of this romance, both young people being especially well known and talented musicians, playing with several orchestra groups in the city." Roberta was an alumna of the local high school. Together they produced a son, Robert Cole. They made their home in LaMirada, CA.

  • Grandson Robert Cole ( ? - ? ) was in LaMirada, CA in the late 1970s.

Son Albertus James "Al" Cole (1917-2011) was born on Dec. 2, 1917 in Richland. He was an alumnus of San Bernardino High School and a graduate of the University of Redlands. During his young manhood he worked with his father's contracting business. He played the clarinet and performed with his orchestra of First Methodist Church, later renamed St. Paul's, where he met his future wife. Then eight months before the United States' entry into World War II, he joined the U.S. Army. He spent 21 months in Alaska with the Army Band Division. On Easter Sunday 1944, he wed Norma Lee Webster (April 23, 1922-1989), daughter of Clayton C. and Leila M. Webster of Loma Linda. Their nuptials were conducted in the First Christian Church, by the hand of Rev. Julian E. Stuart. Norma Lee was a 1939 graduate of San Bernardino High School and in 1943 received her bachelor of music degree at Redlands. The couple was pictured in the  San Bernardino County Sun.Said the newspaper, "From youthful days she has been a student of the violin and piano, and has majored in both at the university. She played in the orchestra of the First Methodist church." Then in describing the wedding, the Sun said the bride "was beautiful in a gown of ivory slipper satin, with trim of self-covered buttons, and sweetheart neckline outlined in seed pearls. The train was fan-shaped, the sleeves long and fitted and finger-tip length veil was held in a coronet of seed pearls. She wore the bridegroom's gift of pearls and carried an exquisite bouquet of orchids, lilies of the valley and gardenias." Norma Lee went on to a 27-year teaching career in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Sadly, at the age of 66, she died on Feb. 7, 1989. Her remains were placed into eternal repose in Mountain View Cemetery. An obituary in the Sun said she "was a Protestant and was active in many local activities." Alburtus outlived his bride by more than two decades. Death spirited him away at the age of 93 on July 10, 2011.

Daughter Norma Cole (1919- ? ) was born in about 1919. 


Florence and Andrew Metsker
Courtesy Deborah Swank

~ Daughter Florence Leona (Cole) Metsker ~

Daughter Florence Leona Cole (1885-1979) was born on June 29, 1885 in Arcadia, NE. 

Circa 1914, she was united in the rite of holy matrimony with Andrew Elmer Metsker (Feb. 24, 1864-1953).

The couple produced three children -- John Philip Metsker and twins Ruth Elizabeth Josefiak and Ida Barbara Swank. 

The Metskers were longtime farmers in Douglas County, KS. When the federal census enumerations were made in 1920, 1930 and 1940, they farmed in Marion Township in a community known as Lone Star. 

Florence's widowed mother came to reside under their roof in the mid-1930s. Then in the 1940s, their newlywed son John and his bride Bettie-Lou shared their household. 

Florence sits with Myrtle Lutz;
sister Candace stands with Etta Snell.

Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
Andrew passed away on March 27, 1953, at the age of 89, and is buried at Washington Creek Cemetery in Lone Star. 

Florence died on Feb. 1, 1979. She joined her husband in eternal repose at Washington Creek.

Son John Philip Metsker (1916-2007) was born on Feb. 17, 1916 on the family farm south of Lone Star. He was a graduate of Lawrence High School. On Nov. 18, 1946, when he was 20 years of age, John was joined in matrimony with Bettie-Lou Grant (July 13, 1919-2007), daughter of Dabney and Rose (Phillips) Grant. Their union remained firm over an extraordinary 61 years. They became the parents of six children -- Barbara Ellen Metsker, John Andrew Metsker, Philip Arthur Metsker, Margaret Rose Kalb, David Dabney Metsker and Merry Lenore Wilde. Sadly, daughter Barbara Ellen died at the age of five and one-half years on April 14, 1956. They lived for their entire married lives on the farm where he had been born, in the early years of marriage sharing a house with his parents. Said an obituary, John "was a dairyman and farmer. He worked for BA Green Construction, Hankhamer Construction, Sunflower Ammunition Plant and retired from Truman Medical Center as the lead refrigeration engineer. He was a founding member of Rural Water District 2, where he served on the board from 1964 to 2005. He was also a 40-year member of the Colyer Cemetery Board." John passed away on Feb. 4, 2007, at the age of 91. He was surivied by 13 grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild. Bettie-Lou only survived for 10 months longer, and died in Baldwin City, Douglas County on Dec. 16, 2007. They also rest in Washington Creek Cemetery.

  • Grandson John "Andrew" Metsker (1952- ? ) was born in 1952. He wed Deb. They dwelled in Leavenworth, KS in 2007-2022.
  • Grandson Philip Arthur Metsker (1954- ? ) was born in 1954. On May 3, 1975, he married Mary Dultmeier (Dec. 24, 1955- ? ). Later, he wed Debbie ( ? - ? ). They have resided in Lawrence.
  • Granddaughter Margaret Rose Metsker (1956- ? ) was born in 1956. On Aug. 31, 1974, she entered into marriage with Kermit Glenn Kalb (1954- ? ). One son of the couple was Kenneth Glen Kalb, born in 1976. Their home in 2007-2022 was in Wellsville, KS.
  • Grandson David Dabney Metsker (1957-2022) was born on June 19, 1957 in Lawrence, KS. He was a 1975 graduate of Baldwin High School. He was twice-wed. On June 12, 1976, he married Cheryl Eberhart (1958- ?). Six years later, when he was 24 years of age, on April 24, 1982, he was united in wedlock with Julie "LuAnn" Stanwix ( ? - ? ), daughter of Richard and Verna Stanwix. Their nuptials were conducted in West Side Presbyterian Church, Lawrence. They put down roots in rural Douglas County nearby. The trio of offspring born of this family were David Metsker, Marla Metsker and Grant Metsker. Over the years, David earning a living selling tires and farming. His employers included Quality Oil, All Star Dairy, Hallmark and KansasLand Tire. He also was an owner of Metsker Brother Farms and Poindexter Tire and Wheel. Said an obituary, David "enjoyed serving the needs of local farmers and businesses and was always willing to work the extra hours to serve his customers, family, and friends." He also was active with the Douglas County 4-H Club, with roles as a"community leader for the Lone Star 4-H club, ... member of the Douglas County Fair Board, and leader of the Douglas County Area Pork Producers which provided donations to the swine project and scholarships to a graduating swine showman." He was a longtime deacon in the Lone Star Church of the Brethren and a University of Kansas Jayhawks basketball season ticket holder. The family was plunged into grieving when David died at the age of 65, in Lawrence, on Oct. 9, 2022. His cremains were placed into rest in Washington Creek Cemetery.

    Great-grandson David Metsker married Erin. They dwell in Lawrence.

    Great-granddaughter Marla Metsker resides in Lawrence.

    Great-grandson Grant Metsker wed Madison. They reside in Eudora, KS.

  • Granddaughter Merry Lenore Metsker (1961- ? )was born in 1961. She was joined in matrimony with Brad Wilde ( ? - ? ). They went to live in Overbrook, KS.

Bird's-eye view of Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, KS, early 1900s


Daughter Ruth Elizabeth Metsker (1918-1987) was born on Aug. 13, 1918 on the family farm near Lone Star in Douglas County, KS, a twin with her sister Ida Barbara Metsker. She was a 1936 graduate of Lawrence High School and in 1938 moved into Topeka. On Feb. 2, 1941, in Lawrence, Ruth married Herman Harvey Josefiak (June 10, 1917-2006), son of Joe and Rosie Josefiak, of Rush Center in Rush County, KS. They did not reproduce. Herman was a graduate of Rush Centr High School. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Navy and was deployed to the Pacific Theatre. He went on to a career as an auditor and supervisor in the Kansas Division of Legislative Post Audit and was a member of the Kansas Board of Treasury Examiner Office. His final position in 1975-1976 was as assistant state treasurer, hired by state treasurer Joan Finney. Citing disability from heart surgery, he retired in 1976 and was succeeded by Glen Deitcher. In her own right, Ruth was employed by the Kansas Department of Revenue for years as assistant personnel director, retiring in September 1979. She held memberships in the Department of Revenue Employees, the Topeka Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, the Social Order of the Beauceant and Ladies of the Elks Lodge. Herman belonged to the Siloam lodge of Topeka, York Rite of Topeka, Arab Shrine and Hospital Dads. Ruth and her niece Deborah Leonor Swank are known to have provided family history details for W. Flora Shepherd's 1979 book, Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway. Sadly, Ruth passed away in a Topeka hospital at the age of 69 on Feb. 13, 1987. Burial was in Topeka's Memorial Park Cemetery. Herman married again twice, first to Doris Mae Rodgers and second to Marie Maresch Becker. He died in Beaumont, Riverside County, CA on Oct. 31, 2006. His obituary was published in the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Daughter Ida Barbara Metsker (1918-2015) was born on Aug. 13, 1918 in Douglas County, KS, a twin with her sister Ruth Elizabeth. Ida attended the grade school located on their farm, Colyer School, and was a 1936 graduate of Lawrence High School. She wed Glenn Howard Swank (April 14, 1917-2012) on Nov. 11, 1944 in Topeka's First Christian Church. They had four children -- David Warren Swank, Gregory Howard Swank, Deborah Leonore Swank and Paul Allan Swank. Said an obituary, "She was employed as a housekeeper-nanny in Lawrence before being employed as a clerk at the Kansas Department of Revenue in Topeka. From 1965 to 1983, she was employed as clerk-secretary for U.S.D. 340 in Meriden." Glenn was a 1935 graduate of Mayetta High School and in 1950 receivied his bachelor of arts degree from Washburn College. He spent a year teaching at Burlington High School and then became employed by the State of Kansas, working for 39 years in the Departments of Revenue and Transportation. The family also farmed for more than five decades at Meriden. The Shepherd book states that "They are members of the Meriden Methodist Church. Glenn is an engineer for the State Department of Transportation and Ida is on the board of education in Meriden." Glenn was active in the Meriden Kiwanis Club as president and secretary and held a term as lieutenant governor of Kiwanis' District 11 in Kansas. They retired in 1982 and then in February 2006 relocated to Topeka, where they lived in a retirement community. Sadly, Glenn died on July 11, 2012. Ida lived for another four years as a widow. Death claimed her at age 96 on May 19, 2015. They sleep for the ages in Meriden Cemetery.

  • Grandson David Warren Swank (1951- ? ) was born in 1951 in Garnett, Anderson County, KS. On Sept. 4, 1974 in Lakin, Kearny County, KS, he married Kathy Arlene Fanning (1955- ? ). Their two children are Nathan Warren Swank and Aaron Caleb Swank. David and Kathy resided on the Swank family farm in Meriden, KS. He was a longtime employee of the Kansas Department of Transportation, including service for two decades as a supervisor. Kathy has worked as a foster care specialist in the state's foster care program for children and parents. 
  • Grandson Gregory Howard "Gregg" Swank (1954- ? ) was born in 1954 in Topeka. He entered into marriage with Sherri King (1957- ? ) and had two children -- Thomas Benjamin Swank and Jennifer "Jenny" Swank. Gregg and Sherri reside in Dallas, TX and their professional specialty is business computer programming.
  • Granddaughter Deborah Leonor Swank was born in Topeka. In the late 1970s, she and her aunt jointly provided family history details for W. Flora Shepherd's 1979 book, Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway. She was a minister in the United Methodist Church for two decades. Today she is an information security specialist with the Federal Reserve System. In 2012, she furnished more details about her branch of the family for this website.
  • Grandson Paul Allan Swank (1959- ? ) was born in 1959 in Topeka. He wed Brenda Bauman (1958- ? ) in Topeka on May 21, 1983. Their four children are Leah Elizabeth Swank, Joseph Paul Swank, Hannah Ruth Swank and Rebekah Cole Swank. Paul taught mathematics for 15 years at Washburn Rural High School for 15 years and today is a financial management specialist. Wearing many hats, Brenda has been a piano accompanist for Royal Valley School Systems, worked in accounting and billing for physician groups, and as an executive director for a retirement community in addition to raising children. 


~ Daughter Candace Naomi (Cole) Thurber ~

Candace and LeRoy Thurber
Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
Daughter Candace Naomi Cole (1888- ? ) was born on March 1 or 10, 1888 in Arcadia, Valley County or Loup City, Sherman County, NE. She was named for her maternal grandmother, Candace (Hathaway) Cole.

On Dec. 9, 1908, at the age of 20, she married 26-year-old LeRoy Thurber (Feb. 13, 1882-1969), originally from Twin Mounds, Douglas County. Their marriage license was issued by Judge Means and made public in three local newspapers -- the Lawrence Daily World, Lawrence Daily Journal and Lawrence Daily Gazette.

Early in their marriage the Thurbers lived at Mound City, today known as Richland. Later, they moved to Douglas County, where they spent most of their lives farming in Twin Mounds. They were members of the Presbyterian Church of Clinton, KS.

They were the parents of one daughter, Ida "Marie" Parker Rudnick, and a foster daughter, Jean Corwin Miller. 

Making a home under their farmhouse roof in 1930, as shown in the federal census enumeration, was 33-year-old lodger Julia McCaffrey.

At Memorial Day in 1938 and 1939, Candace and friends provided quartet vocal music for services at Clinton Cemetery. Her brother Harry performed with the quartet at times. She also fashioned quilts and is known to have attended quilting bees in the community.

Obituary, 1969

In 1968, LeRoy moved into a nursing home in the town of Lawrence, Douglas County. He passed away there at the age of 87 on Sept. 6 or 7, 1969.  He was interred in the Clinton Cemetery. At the time of his death, he and Candace were survived by three grandsons and 10 grandchildren.

Candace resided circa 1969 in Lawrence. In 1984, when mentioned in the newspaper obituary of her brother Artemus "Art" Cole, she was still in Lawrence. 

At the age of 96, Candace surrendered to the spirit of death in a Lawrence hospital on Oct. 21, 1984. Her remains were laid to rest next to her husband's in Clinton Cemetery. A Topeka Capital-Journal obituary said that "She lived in the Twin Mounds community near Clinton in Douglas County 60 years before she moved to Lawrence." The headcount of her survivors included three grandsons, 10 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Daughter Ida Marie Thurber (1910- ? ) was born on Jan. 10, 1910 in Richland. Ida was married twice. Her first husband was Kenneth Parker ( ? - ? ) and they begat three sons, Kenneth Parker, Robert Parker and Jack Parker. After the couple divorced, Ida married again to Sam Rudnick ( ? - ? ), a native of New York. Sam was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and later was employed "as an analyst employed by the U.S. government," said the Victorville (CA) Daily Press. Circa 1961-1975, the Rudnicks lived in Apple Valley near Barstow, CA. Sadly, at the age of 68, Sam passed away at the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego on March 26, 1975. Rabbi Hillel Cohn led a graveside burial service at Kern Memorial Chapel. An obituary appeared in the Daily Press, saying he had "lived in Apple Valley 14 years." In 1979-1984, the widowed Marie was making her home in Lawrence, KS.

  • Grandson Kenneth Parker (1926- ? ) was born in 1926. He made his home in 1975 in La Crescenta, CA and in 1979 in Oregon.
  • Grandson Robert Parker (1928- ? ) was born in 1928. He dwelled in Kansas in the mid-1970s and by 1979  had relocated to Memphis, TN.
  • Grandson Jack Parker (1930- ? ) was born in 1930. He lived in Lawrence, KS in 1979 and eventually put down roots in Rohnert, CA. 

Foster daughter Jean Corwin Miller ( ? - ? ) 


~ Daughter Alice "Myrtle" (Cole) Nelson ~

Myrtle Nelson
Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
Daughter Alice "Myrtle" Cole (1890-1985) was born on March 9, 1890 in Arcadia, Valley County, NE. 

She grew up in Richland, Shawnee County, KS

On Sept. 1, 1912 at Topeka, KS, the 22-year-old Myrtle wedded 27-year-old Roy Nelson ( ? - ? ). Among those traveling to Richland to attend were Mrs. M. Nelson and her daughter Verna of Ashland, KS. About five months before the wedding, when Roy left home to occupy a farm and new residence in Ashland, the young people's group of the Presbyterian Church gave him a going-away party, with Myrtle in attendance.

They were the parents of two children -- Ruby Chastain and Elizabeth "Betty" Roberts. 

By 1938, the Nelsons relocated to Florida and in 1941 dwelled in Fort Pierce and in 1944 in Key West. The Nelsons are known to have moved to West Palm Beach and in 1973 relocated to Sebastian, FL. They belonged to Grace Memorial Methodist Church of West Palm.

Sadly, at the age of 94, Myrtle died in Indian River Memorial Hospital on Feb. 3, 1985. Her obituary was printed in the Vero Beach Press Journal.

Daughter Ruby Alice Nelson (1913-2005) was born on June 28, 1913 in Topeka. She married John R. Chastain II ( ? - ? ). Together they produced a son, John Russell Chastain III. The couple's home was in West Palm Beach and then, in 1975, the moved to Sebastian, FL. Ruby owned and operated Ruby's Beauty Shop. She was a matron of the Order of Eastern Star and belonged to the Sebastian Garden Club and Women's Club. She passed away at the age of 91, in Life Care Center of Palm Bay, on April 7, 2005. The Vero Beach Press Journal published an obituary. Rev. Rafael Sanchez led the memorial service.

  • Grandson John Russell Chastain III ( ? - ? ) made his residence in 2005 in Sebastian, FL. 

Daughter Elizabeth Mae "Betty" Nelson (1928- ? ) was born on Feb. 1, 1928. She wed (?) Roberts ( ? - ? ). She made her residence in Tice, FL in 1985 and in Mamouth (?), AR in 2005.


Harry Cole
Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
~ Son Harry Leonard Cole ~

Son Harry Leonard Cole (1892-1977) was born on March 8, 1892 in Loup City, Sherman County, NE.

At the age of 24, on New Year's Eve 1916, Harry was joined in wedlock wih 20-year-old Hazel Rachel Goff (Feb. 28, 1896-1985), the daughter of George William and Mary (Mitchell) Goff and originally from Caldwell, Sumner County, KS. The wedding took place at Lone Star near Lawrence, Douglas County, KS.

They bore two daughters -- Viola "Bernice" Wilson and Imogene May "Jean" Anderson. 

When the federal census count was made in 1920, the Coles and their infant daughter Viola made their home on a farm located in the south half of Monmouth Township, in the Richland community.

By 1930, when the census enumeration again was made, the family had moved to a farm in Clinton Township, Douglas County. They stayed in Clinton Township during the 1930s and are shown there in the 1940 U.S. Census.

Harry was a member of the International Order of Odd Fellows in Richland, KS, and he and Hazel belonged to the West Side Presbyterian Church in Lawrence. 

Cole gathering, L-R: Harry (left), Florence Metsker 
(3rd); Ruby (4th), Myrtle and Art (5th and 6th)
In 1938, Hazel is known to have hosted in their home a meeting of the Atterbein Guild of the United Brethren Church. The following May 1939, Harry gave a scripture lesson and prayer in a pageant at their church, with their daughters singing a duet.

Again during the decade of the 1940s, the World War II years, the Coles pulled up stakes and relocated to a farm in Kanwaka Township, Douglas County, as shown in the 1950 census.

Harry passed away on New Year's Eve 1977 -- their 61st wedding anniversary -- and is buried in Clinton Cemetery in Douglas County.

Hazel survived for another eight years as a widow. She succumbed to the angel of death at age 89 on Sept. 28, 1985.

Daughter Viola "Bernice" Cole (1919-1986) was born on Jan. 11, 1919 in Richland, Shawnee County. She was an alumna of Lawrence Memorial High School and taught piano in young womanhood. On June 1, 1941, at the age of 21, she married Frederick Howard Wilson (1915-1982), son of Elmer Wilson of Lecomopton, KS. The wedding event was held at the home of Bernice's parents, presided over by Rev. Melvin Perkins of the United Brethren Church of Richland, and announced in the Richland Citizen -- she "was lovely in her wedding dress of dusty rose lace of street length with white accessories to match. She carried an arm bouquet of Talisman roses tied with white tulle." Frederick also was a graduate of Lawrence Memorial and at the time of their marriage earned a living with Miller Print Shop in Lawrence. The two children they produced together were Sonja Jean Ross and Marilyn Ilene Beason. Fred served in the U.S. Army infantry during World War II, while Bernice was employed by the Boilermakers-Blacksmith National Pension Trust in Kansas City, KS. Bernice was a historian of the Minard family and wrote the following in the 1979 family history:

A brief addendum of the MINARD family ... may substantially be of help to others in their search of this particular Minard family. The family name was originally Von Minard-Minarde-Minard. Originating in France, they left going into Germany. We record here 3 generations with their several children: John Minard, b. 1790, d. 1894, lived to be 104 years of age, wife's name unknown. Their children were, Sophia, Mary, Samuel, Solomon, John, Burger and George; Solomon Minard, son of John, had a wife Rachel Little. They were Dunkards and had a family of 13 children: Andrew, Wesley, Joseph, NATHAN, C.C., Mary, Elizabeth, Electra, Maggie, Barbara, Jason, Albert and Forbes. Nathan Minard, b. Aug. 8, 1838, Mt. Vernon, Ohio, m. Sarah Jane Woodruff, b. June 9, 1839. Her father was from the House of Lords in Scotland. He married a commoner and changed his name to Woodruff. This is all that has been found on her side.

Family memoir
Fred breathed his last on Nov. 26, 1982, at the age of 67. 

Bernice survived him by four years. She died on New Year's Eve 1986, at age 67, in Overland Park, KS.

  • Granddaughter Sonja Jean Wilson (1942-2023) was born on Oct. 4, 1942 in Lawrence, KS. She was a 1960 graduate of Wyandotte High School. On Aug. 1, 1965, she entered into marriage with her high school boyfriend, Patrick Ross ( ? - ? ). Two daughters of this marriage were Julia Beth Rosenberg and Jennifer Leann "Jenny" Brackeen Terry. During her working career, Sonja was employed as a secretary in the banking field. Said an obituary, she "was an accomplished musician, playing cello, accordion, piano, and organ. She played for church services for many years. In her spare time, she enjoyed collecting, antiquing, floral arranging, and reading." Sadly, Sonja was cleaved away by the spirit of death at age 80, in Lee's Summit, MO, on Jan. 23, 2023.

    Great-granddaughter Julia Beth Ross (1961- ? ) was born in 1961. She wed Richard Rosenberg.

    Great-granddaughter Jennifer Leann "Jenny" Ross (1962- ? ) was born in 1962. She has been twice-married. Her first spouse was (?) Brackeen. In time she was joined in wedlock with Joseph Terry. Jennifer has contributed valuable content for this biography. 

  • Granddaughter Marilyn Ilene Wilson (1950- ? ) was born in 1950 in Kansas City, KS. She appears to have been married twice. Her first husband was Donald Phillip Beason ( ? - ? ). The trio of children in this union were Melissa Rachell Owen, Jason Christopher Beason and Andrew V. Beason. Circa 1990, at the age of 40, she wed to 33-year-old James Walter Keener ( ? -2021), a Kansas City, MO native and the son of James T. and Christine E. Keener. The pair bore a son of their own, Joshua M. Keener. As a boy, said an obituary, James "enjoyed summer trips down to Alabama to visit his Mamaw & Papaw Edgil. He fondly recalled soothing sounds of rain coming down on the tin roof of the house where they lived, and the smell of Mamaw’s home-made biscuits. Happy times were shared with aunts, uncles, and cousins, all of whom he stayed connected to until his last able months. He loved them all. Between the ages of 8-10, Jimmy enjoyed Cub Scout activities with his father and brother, where he earned achievement badges for camping and hiking." He went on to work as a band and lighting technicial for musical bands and traveled with Shooting Star and the Statler Brothers. Upon his return home, he met and married Marilyn. James then focused on study at Longview Community College where he was educated as an automobile mechanic. The Keeners made their dwelling-place in Kansas City. His obituary added that he was "Highly intelligent and blessed with a quick wit... [an] encyclopedia of random facts, and well versed on numerous subjects... His hobbies included: cooking, getting and sharing recipes from cooking channels" and following the Kansas University Jayhawks, Kansas City Chief and Royals and St. Louis Cardinals. He underwent two kidney transplant surgeries between 2005 and 2014 which meant his final years were spent in the highs and lows of recovery. Sadly, at the age of 65, James died on Dec. 8, 2021. Burial was in Clinton Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Melissa Rachell Beason (1969- ? ) was born in 1969. She wed (?) Owen.

    Great-grandson Andrew V. Beason 

    Great-grandson Andrew V. Beason ( ? - ? )

    Great-grandson Joshua M. Keener (1987- ? ) was born in 1987.

Daughter Imogene May "Jean" Cole (1923- ? ) was born on Feb. 27, 1923 in Richland, KS. She was united in matrimony with Arthur C. Anderson (March 3, 1918- ? ) on Jan. 27, 1945, at Lawrence, KS. He was the son of James William and Jane Elizabeth (Flory) Anderson. Their two children were Stanley Dean Anderson and Elizabeth Lea "Becky" Campbell. Arthur in the late 1970s was a teacher at Haskell Institute in Lawrence.

  • Grandson Stanley Dean Anderson (1945- ? ) was born in 1945 in Lawrence, KS. He tied the knot with Barbara Wilson ( ? - ? ), a native of Electra, TX.
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth Lea "Becky" Anderson (1948- ? ) was born in 1948 in Lawrence. She married Sam Campbell ( ? - ? ). 


Artemus Cole

~ Son Artemus Ward "Art" Cole ~

Artemus Ward "Art" Cole (1893-1984) was born on July 6, 1893 in Arcadia, Valley County, NE or in Loup City, Sherman County, NE. 

He apparently was named after "Artemus Ward," pen name of Charles Farrar Browne, a popular American author of the 19th century, favored by President Lincoln. His name also has been spelled by the family as "Articemus."

As a boy, Artemus and his parents and siblings relocated to Richland, south of Topeka, Shawnee County, KS. He attended the Twin Mound School southwest of Clinton, Shawnee County.


Art and FloraFamily Records of Baxley and Hilliard
On April 20, 1919, Artemus was joined in the bonds of holy matrimony with Flora Clare Gress (1898-1975) at Richland, Shawnee County, KS. He was age 26 at the time, and she was 21. News of their marriage license was announced on the pages of the Topeka Capital-Journal.

They produced a family of four children -- Lawrence Cole, Wilbur Cole, Arlene Zima and Ervin Arthur "Irvin" Cole. 

Heartache blanketed the family when son Irvin died in his first year of life on Feb. 9, 1930. A small inscribed stone marks his final resting place in Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

The Coles were longtime farmers at a locale north of Richland. Among other highlights of those years, they are known to have attended a John Deere Implement show in Topeka in the winter of 1938. The Berryton Vocational Agricultural Class came to the farm in October 1938 to observe the culling of chickens led by a representative of the Jones Hatchery. 

Artemus was elected to the board of directors of the Richland school, serving along with Mrs. Lowell Amspacker and Merton Woodward. After Halloween pranksters damaged the local schoolhouse in 1938, he and Merton are known to have spent a day making repairs. His six-year term ended in April 1939. He also provided electricity when neighbors cut trees to make a supply of firewood for the local United Brethren Church.

Pleasant Hill Cemetery
In October 1941, the Coles hosted the annual Shawnee County corn-husking contest, with the winner to compete at the state contest near Ottawa. Reported the Richland Citizen, "Cole's field south of the Matney schoolhouse has a stand of hybrid corn which ie estimated to yield seventy-five bushels to the acre. This will enable the cornhusker to make a better showing than they have in years. They will start to work at 10 a.m. and will last for eighty minutes." The winning competitor logged 21 bushels and 61 lbs. of shucked corn, and a runner-up won a prize for displaying his 10 best ears of a hybrid corn known as Funk's No. 94. 

Artemus and Flora were members of the Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church and frequently entertained relatives and friends in their home. 

In retirement, the couple went to live in Tecumseh, Shawnee County, at 6830 S.E. 45th Street.


As her health failed, Flora was admitted to a Topeka hospital on Christmas Day 1974. There, after a little more than a month of suffering, she passed away on Jan. 30, 1975. She rests for eternity in the old Cole family plot at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Berry, KS.

Artemus outlived his wife by nine years. He died in a local hospital on Feb. 12, 1984, at the age of 90. Following a funeral held at the family church, followed by services at the Tibbits-Griffin Highland Chapel, he was interred beside his wife. The family requested that memorial gifts be made to the building fund of the church.

Above: the Coles' obituaries, 1975 and 1984. Below: Art and Flora's red granite grave marker, Pleasant Hill Cemetery


Son Lawrence Elbert Cole (1920-2004) was born on June 7, 1920 in Richland, Shawnee County, KS. He was a 1938 graduate of Berryton High School. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps and attained the rank of tech sergeant. He was deployed to Italy and specialized as an airplane mechanic. At the age of 29, on May 6, 1949, he married 21-year-old Dolly Joe Luscombe (Dec. 22, 1928-2019), a native of Horton, Brown County, KS and the daughter of John Harvey and May Rosa (Hill) Luscombe. Their wedding was held at the First Methodist Church of Topeka. They became the parents of five children -- Martha Ann Garrett Carter, Karen Jean Sewell, Susan Marie Berry, Judy Lee Cole and Jennifer Gail Cole. Dolly Joe was a 1946 graduate of Silver Lake High School. The Coles farmed in Richland and Overbrook until 1958, when they relocated to Topeka. Then in 1970, they migrated to Berryton, where they remained for good. In 1975, their residence was at 6820 S.E. Berryton Road. Lawrence spent 17 years working for Goodyear, retiring in 1975, and farming on the side. They belonged to the Berryton United Methodist Church, where Dolly Joe was involved with the Ruth and Rebekah Circle. Said an obituary, "He was a man whose hands worked both land and wood. He built several buildings including the home in which he lived." In her own right, said an obituary, Dolly Joe "was employed at The Jolly Café in Topeka, and later at Bell Telephone Company as an operator. She was an Avon Representative for many years, and was employed by JC Penney until her retirement in 1996." She held memberships in the Berryton Kiwanis Club and J.C. Penney Retirees' Club. Lawrence died in their home on April 12, 2004, at the age of 83. His funeral services were held at the family church. Dolly Joe outlived her spouse by nearly 15 years and stayed in Berryton and Topeka. She was spirited away by the grim reaper of death on March 6, 2019. They sleep at each other's side in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Berryton.

  • Granddaughter Martha Ann Cole (1949- ? ) was born in 1949 in Richland, KS. She first wed Monte Garrett ( ? - ? ). The pair divorced. Her home in 2004 was in Berryton. She later was joined in matrimony with Dennis Carter ( ? - ? ).
  • Granddaughter Karen Jean Cole (1952- ? ) was born in 1952 in Richland, KS. On Dec. 19, 1973, she entered into marriage with Thomas Harvey Sewell ( ? - ? ), son of Carl and Nadine Sewell. Their dwelling-place in 2004 was in Independence, KS. 
  • Granddaughter Susan Marie Cole (1953- ? ) was born in 1953. Six days before her 20th birthday, on Aug. 16, 1973, she married Lance Michael Berry ( ? - ? ) in nuptials held in Topeka. He was the son of Jesse O. and Trowdy Berry. In 2004, Susan was in Topeka. 
  • Granddaughter Judy Lee Cole (1957- ? ) was born in 1957. She put down roots in Topeka.
  • Granddaughter Jennifer Gail Cole (1962- ? ) was born in 1962. She lived in Topeka in 2004.

Son Wilbur Leslie Cole (1924-2009) was born on Aug. 25, 1924 on the Cole family farm in Richland, Shawnee County, KS. He grew up attending Richland schools and the UMB Church at Richland. He was a 1942 graduate of Berryton High School. When he was 24 years old, on June 12, 1949, he was united in matrimony with Esther Marie Utick (1921-2002). Their wedding was held at St. John's Lutheran Church, Topeka, and their union held firm over a remarkable 53 years. He was three years younger than his wife, and the pair did not reproduce. During the year of their marriage, Wilbur was baptized at the church where they had been wed. The Coles were longtime farmers of Pomona, KS. Said the Ottawa (KS) Herald, "Wilbur and Esther owned and operated a dairy farm in Shawnee County, Kan., near Richland before moving to the present farm in Franklin County, Kansas, ner Pomona in 1974. He was a lifelong farmer and 'Grade A' Dairyman for more than 50 years and was awarded the 2007 Kansas Bankers Association Award for Soil Conservation... He loved the land and farming [and] had many beloved dairy cows and farm dogs." Their  address in 1975 was 7429 S.E. 89th Road in Berryton, and they held a membership in the Faith Lutheran Church, Ottawa. Esther died on Oct. 5, 2002. Wilbur outlived her by nearly seven years and resided during that time in Pomona, KS. As a patient in Stormont Vail Hospital, Topeka, he passed away at the age of 84 on July 5, 2009. They rest together in the Cole family plot of graves at Pleasant Hill Cemetery. In the Herald obituary, the family asked that any memorial contributions be made to the Bea Martin Peck Animal Shelteer or the Ottawa Library.

Daughter Arlene V. Cole (1926-2018) was born on Nov. 16, 1926 in Richland, Shawnee County, KS. On Oct. 5, 1946, at the age of about 20, she married Joseph Ray Zima (Jan. 12, 1923-1997), a resident of St. Marys, KS. Their wedding was held in St. Marys, KS. Four children born into this family were Joseph Wayne Zima, Janet Elaine Lindgren, Nancy Lorraine Liska and Kathy Arlene Zima. Joseph was a veteran of World War II and, as shown in the 1950 federal census, was a meat cutter in a Topeka wholesale grocery store. Later, he was employed circa 1979 in the field of real estate in Topeka. In 1984, they made their home in Tecumseh, Shawnee County, and for some years they owned and ran Zima Grocery in Topeka. Later, she earned a living working for Montgomery Ward and the Fleming Company. Sadly, Joseph died on July 16, 1997. Arlene lived on as a widow for another 20-plus years. In 2009, she dwelled in Topeka. The angel of death spirited her away at the age of 91, at Brookside Retirement Community of Overbrook, KS, on Feb. 3, 2018. Her remains were laid to rest at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Berryton, and an obituary appeared in the Topeka Capital-Journal.

  • Grandson Joseph Wayne Zima (1948- ? ) was born in about 1948 and grew up in Topeka. He was an alumnus of Topeka High School and received a bachelor of arts degree in 1969 from Washburn University. As an undergraduate, he joined the Fir Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and served as executive officer of the honorary organization Arnold Air Society. He went on to earned his law degree from his alma mater and in 1972 was admitted to practice law in Kansas. On Dec. 22, 1968, Joseph entered into marriage with Janet Marie Thaete (1947- ? ), also a 1969 alumna of Washburn with a bachelor of education degree. She was the daughter of Hilbert R. and Ruby M. (Hogeland) Thaete of Belleville and Topeka. Two offspring born to this union were Karen Elizabeth Zima and Laura Ann Zima. Joseph's legal focus was in the field of education and law enforcement. Circa 1975, he served as legal advisor for the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office. He also spent several decades as legal counsel for the Topeka Public Schools. In this role, he was involved in a number of complex matters, including a dispute over entitlement to a health insurance premium "divisible surplus" refunded to the Unified School District by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, Inc. Another was a case involving the administration of the Shawnee County Youth Center by the county's Department of Corrections. In 2009, in recognition of his 21 years of service to the school system, he and a number of other retirees were honored by the board of education with a special banquet. The Zimas have been longtime supporters of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra and the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice.

    Great-granddaughter Karen Elizabeth Zima (1972- ? ) was born in 1972 in Topeka.

    Great-granddaughter Laura Ann Zima (1977- ? ) was born in 1977 in Topeka.

  • Granddaughter Janet Elaine Zima (1948- ? ) was born in 1948. She was a 1966 graduate of Topeka High School. Janet wed John Lindgren  ? - ? ).
  • Granddaughter Nancy Lorraine Zima (1952- ? ) was born in 1952. On July 19, 1971, she married Willard G. Liska Jr. (Feb. 5, 1947-2013), a Milwaukee native and the son of Willard G. and Dorothy M. (Erbe) Liska. They together produced one known son, Michael David Liska. Willard was a 1965 graduate of Topeka High School. During his tour of duty with the U.S. Army, he was stationed in Germany for two-and-a-half years. Upon his return to the states, he founded Custom Cabinet Company in Topeka which he operated for more than four decades. He belonged to the Topeka Independent Business Association. In his free time he was a fan of Kansas University Jayhawks basketball. The Liskas' union endured for 35 years until an apparent divorce. Willard died at KU Medical Center at the age of 66 on June 3, 2013. By 2018, Nancy was using her maiden name. 

    Grandson Michael David Liska (1976- ? ) was born in 1976 in Topeka. 

  • Granddaughter Kathy Arlene Zima (1958- ? ) was born in 1958. She has been employed as veterans program manager for the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care Systems. In April 1999, she began dating Michael D. Sauer (April 17, 1948-2020) and a decade later they were wed on April 11, 2009. Michael was the son of Michael J. and Betty Mae (Sims) Sauer of Mansfield, OH and brought two sons to the union -- Michael L. Sauer and Matthew T. Sauer. Michael was an alumnus of Charles F. Brush High School in South Euclid, OH. During the Vietnam war, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps with the 3rd Marine Division. He was wounded and received the Purple Heart. After his return home he worked as a mechanic and spent 25 years in the maintenance department of the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital System in Cleveland. Said an obituary, Michael "traveled extensively on his 1994 Harley Davidson motorcycle with his two sons and various friends. He enjoyed the outdoors, camping, fixing things and time with his family and close friends. He will be remembered for his tenacity, sense of humor, kind heart, rescuing dogs and cats, mechanical ability, being a good neighbor, and for his love of nature and family." Kathy and Michael made a home in Harveyville, KS. She was involved with a $3 million Women Veterans’ Health Center which opened in September 2014, providing "comprehensive primary care for women veterans as well as other services, including mental health," reported the Utica (NY) Observer-Dispatch.She was profiled in a Topeka Capital-Journal article in March 2014 about Women''s History Month and her work to plan an event entitled “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment: Women in Service from the Revolutionary War to Today.” Again in 2017, for Women's History Month, she organized a display and open house for "national and local women veterans who are using art to express their emotions," said WIBW-TV. "There are ten national posters on display, along with poetry, oil paintings and photography." Michael was diagnosed with cancer and passed away at home at the age of 72 on July 14, 2020.

    Step-great-grandson Michael L. Sauer wed Kelly.

    Step-great-grandson Matthew T. Sauer married Carrie.

~ Daughter Laura Mae (Cole) Forrest McKimmey ~

Laura Forrest McKimmey
Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
Daughter Laura Mae Cole (1895- ? ) was born on March 15, 1895 in Richland, KS.

Laura Mae in young womanhood was adventurous and enjoyed riding an Indian-brand motorcyle with her sister-in-law Vera. She is known to have sewn the long dresses worn on the rides.

She was was married twice. Her first spouse, with whom she tied the knot on Sept. 15, 1915, when she was 20 years of age, was 32-year-old John William Forrest (April 8, 1883-1950), the son of John William and Mary Ann (Seifert) Forrest of Fort Smith, AR. 

They together were the parents of four children -- Ida Mary Mitchell McConnell, John Clark Forrest, Myrtle Bell Dunn and Marjorie May Dwyer. 

John graduated from Topeka High School. When the United States Census was made in 1930, the Forrests dwelled in Monmouth Township, Shawnee County, KS.There, he earned a living performing odd jobs. The couple appears to have divorced by the early 1930s, with John moving to Topeka and into the home of his widowed mother. 

Faced with raising four youngsters during the Great Depression, Laura took in laundry and ironing in her rented house. The rent was $18 a month. Recalled a granddaughter, "she was so good at what she did that she hired a couple of ladies to help her."

Ex-husband John joined the U.S. Navy in February 1941 some 10 months before the nation's entry into World War II. Later, he "was a mechanic by trade and a member of the United Brethren Church," said the Shepherd book. Sadly, John died in 1950 and is buried at Topeka's Memorial Park Cemetery.

On July 27, 1936, Laura wed her second husband, Frank Montrose McKimmey (June 27, 1888-1977). He was the son of Charles Montrose and Olive Imo (Hook) McKimmey of Shawnee County and divorced from his first wife, Elvera Maria Johnson (1893-1955). 

Frank was a U.S. Army veteran of World War I, having been a member of the 15th Service Company. Said the Shepherd book, Frank "was employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Santa Fe Railroad." His career with the government spanned 28 years until retirement. Frank was a member of the Topeka lodge of the Masons.

Laura Mae and her sister-in-law Vera on Indian motorcycles wearing hand-crafted riding clothes, in Kansas circa 1920.Courtesy Kathleen (Dunn) Burton

The McKimmeys dwelled in Topeka in 1940, as shown in the U.S. Census. All but the eldest of the four Forrest children were in the household. Frank earned income that year as a clerk with the Department of Agriculture, and son John as a bus driver.  During World War II, said a granddaughter, "she went to work at the airbase and packed parachutes."

At some point they retired to Texas. Their final address together was at 114 Dewhirst, San Antonio.

Frank passed away on Feb. 3, 1977, at the age of 88. Funeral services were led by Rev. John B. Culver, with burial in Sunset Memorial Park. His obituary appeared in the San Antonio Express.

Laura Mae survived him and belonged to the United Brethren Church, and later in life joined the Church of Christ. In 1984, she made her residence in San Antonio.

She died in San Antonio at the age of 92 on Sept. 15, 1987. The remains were placed beside Frank's in the city's Sunset Memorial Park. 

Daughter Ida Mary Forrest (1916-2008) was born on Oct. 2, 1916 in Winfield, KS. She married Harry Mitchell ( ? - ?  ) in 1933 and and three children -- Larry Mitchell, Thomas Mitchell and Lerna Mitchell. Ida Mary's second husband was Warren H. McConnell (July 26, 1915-2004), a native of Earle, AR. The McConnells produced two children of their own -- Vala McConnell and Howard McConnell. During World War II, Warren served as a tech sergeant in the U.S. Army. He earned a living in the carpet industry in Wichita. As of 1977, the McConnells dwelled in Memphis, TN. Warren surrendered to the spectre of death on Aug. 28, 2004. Ida Mary passed into the realm of eternity on March 26, 2008. Their remains sleep in honored rest in West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Memphis, Section MM, Site 24160.

  • Grandson Larry Mitchell (1936- ? ) was born on Aug. 29, 1936 in Topeka. He entered into marriage with Carol ( ? - ? ). Their trio of children were Chris Mitchell, Curtis Mitchell and Craig Mitchell.

    Great-grandson Chris Mitchell ( ? - ? )

    Great-grandson Curtis Mitchell (1963- ? )

    Great-grandson Craig Mitchell (1965- ? )

  • Grandson Thomas Mitchell (1938- ? ) was born on Nov. 24, 1938 at Topeka. He was joined in wedlock with Barbara ( ? - ? ). They became the parents of Douglas Mitchell and Gregory Mitchell.

    Great-grandson Douglas Mitchell ( ? - ? ) 

    Great-grandson Gregory Mitchell ( ? - ? )

  • Granddaughter Lerna Mitchell (1947- ? ) was born in 1947 in Wichita. She married Jack Schenkel ( ? - ? ). Three sons born into this family were Dennis Schenkel, David Schenkel and Douglas Schenkel.

    Great-grandson Dennis Schenkel ( ? - ? ) 

    Great-grandson David Schenkel ( ? - ? ) 

    Great-grandson Douglas Schenkel ( ? - ? )

  • Granddaughter Vala McConnell (1952- ? ) was born in 1952 in Wichita. 
  • Grandson Howard McConnell (1957- ? ) was born in 1957 in Wichita. 

Myrtle and Harold Dunn
Courtesy Kathleen (Dunn) Burton
Son John Clark Forrest (1918- ? ) was born on May 1, 1918 in Augusta, KS. He grew up in the Topeka household of his mother and stepfather. At the age of 21, in Topeka, he was employed as a bus driveer. John was united in matrimony with Jessie McAlexander (June 15, 1929- ? ), a native of Leavenworth, KS. John was employed as an automobile mechanic and in 1977 lived in Redwood City, CA. They were Protestant. They did not reproduce.

Daughter Myrtle Bell Forrest (1923-2013) was born on the Fourth of July 1923 in Shawnee County, KS. She was joined in wedlock with Harold F. Dunn (Aug. 31, 1920-2008), a native of Holyoke, MA and the son of John and Delia Bridget (Mullery) Dunn whose roots were in County Mayo, Ireland. The Forrest-Dunn wedding took place at Amarillo, TX, and the couple remained together through an extraordinary 64 years. They together produced a brood of six children -- Kathleen "Kathy" Dunn, Brian Dunn, Stephen "Steve" Dunn, Kevin Dunn, Eileen Dunn and Michael Dunn. Harold was a U.S. Army Air Force veteran of World War II, having flown in B-29 bombers and receiving two Silver Stars for valor in combat. The Dunns resided in San Antonio as of 1977 and Amarillo in 1979. Myrtle and Harold and their eldest daughter were pictured in the 1979 book, Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway. Evidence suggests that two of their sons were born with mental disabilities and were educated in the Austin State School and that she spent years advocating for deficiencies in the system of providing care, including lack of help, crowded facilities and low salaries for workers. Said the Express-News, "She did endless hours of volunteer services and received numerous awards from Governors, Mayors, and Senators." Sadly, Harold passed away at age 88 on Sept. 29, 2008. His mass of the resurrection was conducted in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, San Antonio, with the Express-News publishing an obituary. Death claimed Myrtle Bell at the age of 89 on May 20, 2013. Her remains were lowered under the sod of Mission Burial Park North in San Antonio.

  • Granddaughter Kathleen "Kathy" Dunn (1945- ? ) was born in 1945 in Topeka. She entered into marriage with (?) Burton ( ? - ? ). Kathleen graciously has contributed valuable content for this biography.
  • Grandson Brian Dunn (1951- ? ) was born in 1951 in San Antonio, TX. He was deceased by 2023.
  • Marjorie Dwyer
    Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard
    Grandson Stephen "Steve" Dunn (1952- ? ) was born in 1952 in San Antonio, TX. He was named in a 1973 Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the Austin State School.
  • Grandson Kevin Dunn (1953- ? ) was born in 1953 in San Antonio, TX. He was deceased by 2023. 
  • Granddaughter Eileen Dunn (1959- ? ) was born in 1959 in San Antonio, TX.
  • Grandson Michael Dunn (1961- ? ) was born in 1961 in San Antonio, TX. He was deceased by 2008.

Daughter Marjorie Mae "Margie" Forrest (1925-2011) was born on April 2, 1925 in Richland, Shawnee County, KS. She entered into the rites of marriage with Douglas Dwyer (July 17, 1925- ? ), a native of Brooklyn, NY and the son of Daniel and Roma (Agresta) Dwyer. They did not reproduce. Douglas at one time owned an automobile shop. The Dwyers' residence in 1977 was Tiburon, CA. Their last dwelling-place was in Susanville, Lassen, CA. Margie surrendered to the angel of death on May 23, 2011, at the age of 86.


~ Daughter Ruby Elnora (Cole) Murphy ~

Ruby Murphy 
Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
Daughter Ruby Elnora Cole (1897-1996) was born on Feb. 12, 1897 in Richland, KS. 

On Feb. 22, 1917 at Topeka, at the age of 19, she married James Phillip Murphy (1887-1978). 

Three offspring born to this union were Delbert Clark Murphy, James J. Murphy and Lois Ann Gleason Vining.

The Murphys made a residence for decades in Overbrook, Osage County, KS. 

James passed away on Dec. 10, 1978, bringing to a close their marital union which had endured for an extraordinary 61 years.


Circa 1984, when her brother Artemus "Art" Cole died, she was living in Overbrook and mentioned in the obituary in the Topeka Capital Journal.

Ruby died in Overbrook at the age of 99 on Sept. 26, 1996. Her remains were lowered under the sod of Overbrook Cemetery. 

Son Delbert Clark Murphy (1917-2007) was born on Dec. 10, 1917 in Overbrook, Osage County, KS. He made a living over the years as a road construction laborer and carpenter. He is believed to have been married to Lena Rowe ( ? - ? ). They together bore a family of seven -- with evidence suggesting that they were Darrell Murphy,  Lawrence "Butch" Murphy, Dale Murphy, Allen Murphy, Brian Gene Murphy, Judy Lincoln and Joyce Marts. They were in Great Bend, KS in 1953 at the birth of their son Darrell and in Abilene in 1958 when son Brian was born. Their final home was in Geneseo, Rice County, KS. He surrendered to the spirit of death at age 89, in Memorial Hospital in McPherson, KS, on June 25, 2007, just five months after the passing of his son Darrell. His cremains were placed into eternal sleep in Memorial Park Cemetery, Lawrence, KS, with an obituary appearing in the Wichita Eagle and McPherson Sentinel. He was survived by eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

  • Grandson Darrell Murphy (1953-2007) was born on June 29, 1953 in Great Bend, KS. In 1976, at the age of about 22, he wed Faye Howland ( ? - ? ), with their ceremony taking place in Topeka. The pair did not reproduce and eventually divorced. For 36 years, he was employed by McFarland's Restaurant in various capacities. "He was known for his generosity and patience," said the Topeka Capital-Journal. He died at home at the age of 53 on Jan. 17, 2007. A memorial service was held at the Fairlawn Church of the Nazarene, with burial in West Lawn Memorial Gardens.
  • Grandson Lawrence "Butch" Murphy dwelled in 2007 in Geneseo, KS. 
  • Grandson Dale Murphy put down roots in Topeka.
  • Grandson Allen Murphy has dwelled in Topeka.
  • Grandson Brian Gene Murphy (1958-2008) was born on Nov. 2, 1958 in Abilene, KS. He resided in adulthood in Topeka and then in about 1995 relocated to Holton, KS. Said an obituary, "He worked as a heavy duty floor tech. He was last employed at Harrah’s Casino (later named Prairie Band Casino) for the last 5 years. He retired from the United States Army National Guard, 714th Maintenance Co. after serving 22 years of service." He isknown to have attended Lakeview Faith Chapel near Holton. In 1985, Brian wed Lisa Borders ( ? - ? ). The marriage ended in divorce. On Jan. 12, 2001, he married a second time to Larice R. (Dean) Bennett. In all, he was the father of four -- Pamela Murphy, Sean Murphy, Jeremy Murphy and Colyn Murphy. Sadly, at home at the age of 49, he died on April 28, 2008. Burial was in Olive Hill Cemetery. In an obituary, the family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Colyn Murphy Education Fund.
  • Granddaughter Judy Murphy Lincoln was in Englewood, FL in 2008.
  • Granddaughter Joyce Murphy Marts lived in 2008 in Topeka.

Son James J. Murphy Jr.  (1920-1989) was born on Oct. 12, 1920 or 1923. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Sadly, at the age of 66, James died in Overbrook, Osage County, KS on Nov. 5, 1989. He sleeps for the ages in Overbrook Cemetery.

Daughter Lois Ann Murphy (1924- ? ) was born in about 1924. She is believed to have been twice-wed. Her first spouse was Ted Bert Gleason (1928- ? ). The two offspring they produced together were Mickey Linn Gleason Vining and Roger Paul Gleason. The federal census enumeration of 1950 shows the family in Topeka, with Ted employed as a service salesman with a truck service and sales company. The couple divorced. Later, in the 1950s, she married Willis "Dean" Vining (May 4, 1926-2009), son of Bryant Oliver and Margaret Francetta (Hinshaw) Vining of Wilsey, KS. Dean was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and may have been married previously to Bessie A. (1923- ? ), a native of Georgia. Lois and Dean lived in the Topeka area in the 1950s and 1960s and bore a brood of children -- with the known names thought to be Debra Ann Edwards and Leslie "Les" Vining. The Vinings were enumerated together in the Kansas state city and county censuses of 1956-1961, at the address of 1906 East 20th Street. For 38 years, he was employed by Stormont-Vail Hospital as director of design and development. The couple divorced, and Dean married again on Jan. 12, 1980 to Ruth Ann VanDeVeer ( ? - ? ). Lois' home in 2007 was in Westmoreland, KS. Dean died on Feb. 6, 2009, with his obituary published in the Topeka Capital-Journal. Former husband Ted lived for a number of years in Junction City, KS.

  • Grandchild Mickey Linn Gleason (1948-2011) was born on May 1, 1948 in Topeka. She was a graduate of Highland Park High School. On May 10, 1966, at the age of 18, she was joined in wedlock with Thomas Edward Vining (Oct. 13, 1941-2008) in nuptials held in Newkirk, OK. He was the son of Charles Benjamin and Mary Jean (Stone) Vining and stepson of Geraldine M. Vining. Together, they produced these children -- Daniel C. Vining, Brian J. Vining, Kimberly S. Martin and Ashley L. Vining. Thomas was a 1959 graduate of Highland Park High School and had served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, with his term lasting from 1960 to 1966. The family moved to Meriden, KS in about 1978. For 43 years, he was employed in Topeka with Goodyear Tire Company, retiring in 2006. He belonged to the United Steel Workers Local 307, the Knights of Columbus and the Ozawkie post of the American Legion. The family belonged to St. Aloysius Catholic Church of Meriden. Mickey was active in the church and Girl Scouts and liked to collect teapots. Thomas died at home on April 14, 2008 at the age of 66. His mass of Christian burial was held in the family church, and the remains interred in Mount Hope Cemetery. Stricken with cancer, Mickey lived for another three years. She died in Meriden on June 22, 2011. Cremation took place.

    Great-grandson Daniel C. Vining was in Meriden in 2008-2011.

    Great-grandson Brian J. Vining dwelled in 2008-2011 in Meriden.

    Great-granddaughter Kimberly S. Vining entered into marriage with (?) Martin. She resided in Lawrence, KS in 2009 and by 2011 had moved to Meriden. 

    Great-granddaughter Ashley L. Vining moved to Tallahassee, FL and by 2011 had relocated to Topeka.

  • Grandson Roger Paul Gleason (1951-2009) was born on May 8, 1951 in Topeka. He was an alumnus of Highland Park High School, where he received a Federal Communication Certification, achieved his Eagle rank in the Boy Scouts and won a statewide chess championship. He attended Tulsa Junior College and served for seven years in the U.S. Navy, working in classified electronics. He was educated as both an engineer and accountant. On July 2, 1976, after meeting on a blind date two months earlier, the 25-year-old Roger entered into marriage with 22-year-old Deborah Ruth Towne ( ? - ? ), daughter of C.A. and Janet Ruth Towne II. Their wedding ceremony was held at Yale Avenue Christian Church, Tulsa, led by the hand of Rev. Leslie Hames. Deborah was pictured in a wedding announcement in the Tulsa World. Two daughters in this family were Dawn Veach and Lisa-Marie Lane. Roger established his career in Oklahoma with their home in Claremore, OK. Later in life, he enrolled in the University of Phoenix to pursue an online master's degree in accounting. In business, he was an field service engineer circa 1976 and went on to become an energy-management consultant and president/CEO of Execu-Technologies Inc. He developed the innovation of a mobile co-generation plant called "Power Conservation" and is said to have supervised installation of the first computed tomography (CT) scanner at Tulsa's St. Francis Hospital. Every so often he was quoted in news stories about residential energy rates charged by Public Service Companyof Oklahoma. Roger also owned his own firm, Accent Concrete Coatings, and managed a portfolio of rental properties. During the term of Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, in 1994, he ran for election as a state representative. During his campaign, he listed jobs, crime and taxation as his top priority issues. He and Deborah liked to travel in their motor home. Roger was a founding member, president and treasurer of the Claremore Reveille Rotary Club and served as an eleder in the First Presbyterian Church. His other community involvements ranged from the Rogers County Model Railroading Club to Good Sam’s and the GMC Tulsa Lunch Bunch. He died at the age of 58 on Dec. 13, 2009. Pastor Tom Launius presided over the funeral service in the family church, with interment following in Baxter Springs Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Dawn Gleason married Roger Veach. They lived in Topeka in 2009.

    Great-granddaughter Lisa-Marie Gleason wed William Lane. The couple put down roots in Oologah, OK.

  • Granddaughter Debra Ann Vining (1954- ? ) was born in about 1954. She wed (?) Edwards and made her residence in Topeka in 2011.
  • Grandson Leslie "Les" Vining (1957-2014) was born on Jan. 19, 1957 in Topeka. He studied in the Topeka Public Schools. For five years, from 1976 to 1981, he served in the U.S. Navy. Leslie earned a living over the years as a service technician and sheet metal journeyman laborer. He was united in matrimony with Teresa Lynn Stubbs (Jan. 6,1949-2007). She brought three stepchildren into the union -- Jennifer Emert, Tabitha Sanchez and Terri Miller. The pair settled in Topeka and did not reproduce. Sadly, Teresa passed away on Aug. 12, 2007. Leslie outlived her by seven years and remained in Topeka. Death carried him away at the age of 57 on Feb. 6, 2014. His remains were cremated.  

Topeka's Kansas Avenue, looking south


~ Son Ernest Kenneth Cole ~

Ernest Cole
Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
Son Ernest Kenneth Cole (1899-1927) was born on June 22 or 27, 1899 in Richland, KS.

He married Edith Mildred Burbank ( ? -1991) in about 1923, in Topeka. Within a few years, about 1926, they and his brothers Clarence and Clyde migrated to San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, CA. 

They produced one son, Cecil "Norman" Cole, and apparently remained in San Bernardino for the remaining four-plus decades of their lives together. 

He earned a living for many years as a carpenter with the Santa Fe Railway. The family belonged to the Del Rosa Heights Baptist Church.

In August 1931, Edith and their niece Ernestine Cole traveled back to Topeka for a family visit, as chronicled in the gossip columns of the San Bernardino County Sun. Upon their return home, they brought back Harriet Cole who had gone to Kansas a month earlier than they.

The World War II years were spent at 2285 Lugo Street. In January 1958, Ernest and their son Norman entered into a business partnership with Frankie ""Cee" Canizio to form the Desert Salvage Company, located at 27522 West Highway 66. They hired a number of employees to truck scrap metal to wholesalers in the San Bernardino to Los Angeles corridor. Their dreams were dashed when Canizio, an ex-convict who had promoted himself as a desert business tycoon, was court-ordered for admission in Patton State Hospital for mental health treatment. 

A year before his death, in 1976, Kenneth and Edith signed an affidavit to amend the State of California birth record of their niece, Ernestine Ahlstrom (Cole) Finkle, whose name originally had been grossly misspelled as "Earnstian Ahlstern Cole."

Ernest passed away on April 17, 1977 in a local hospital. An obituary appeared in the Sun. He is buried at San Bernardino's Mountain View Cemetery. 

As a widow, Edith moved to Loma Linda. There, having contracted coronary artery disease, she succumbed to the spectre of death at the age of 92 on March 21, 1991. The Sun printed an obituary, saying she had lived in San Bernardino County for 65 years. 

Son Cecil "Norman" Cole (1924-2005) was born on June 1, 1924 in Topeka. He was a 1942 graduate of San Bernardino High School. He worked for Morrow Aircraft Corporation and then joined the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was deployed to the Pacific Theatre and served on the gun crew of an Army transport vessel providing convoy duty. An article in the San Bernardino Sun in October 1943, in which he was pictured, said he had "circled the globe since his enlistment in the Navy" and was now "serving as a guard aboard a merchant ship in the south Pacific." He returned to the states in April 1943 for major surgery at a Navy hospital in Norco. Norman married Phyllis Eleanor Praster (April 18, 1926-2011), a San Bernardino native. In August 1955, he was hired to teach at San Bernardino High School and in 1956 was assigned to instruct auto shop at Pacific High School. They resided in San Bernardino in 1977-2005 and were the parents of two -- Annette Sue Garrett and Roger Norman Cole. The couple enjoyed traveling in their motor home all across the country. Norman passed away at the age of 80 on April 13, 2005. Interment of the remains was in Mountain View Cemetery. The widowed Phyllis survived her spouse by almost six years. Death swept her away at age 84, in Ontario, CA, on Feb. 10, 2011.

  • Granddaughter Annette Sue Cole ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). She was a 1965 graduate of Pacific High School and attended San Bernardino Valley College. Circa 1966, she was employed by Orange Belt Federal Savings and Loan Association. In August 1966, she was united in matrimony with Robert Garrett ( ? - ? ), son of Ernest L. Garrett of 1269 Marshall Boulevard. Rev. James Bartsch led the nuptials, held in the First English Lutheran Church, and announced with their wedding portrait in the San Bernardino County Sun. Robert was a 1963 graduate of San Bernardino High School and studied at the same college as his bride. He earned a living at the time of marriage with Standard Oil Company. She also wed (?) Laing and was the mother of Jason Paul Laing. One other name associated with Annette over the years is "Stonesifer." By 2011, she had taken back her maiden name and dwelled in Manhattan Beach, CA.
  • Grandson Roger Norman Cole ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). His home in 2011 was in Chino, CA.


~ Daughter Ida "Isabel" (Cole) Cook ~

Isabel Cook
Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
Daughter Ida Isabel "Bell" Cole (1901-1984) was born on March 7, 1901 in Richland, KS.

On Aug. 3, 1924, in Richland, KS, the 23-year-old Isabel entered into marriage with 35-year-old Clinton William Cook Sr. (March 18, 1889-1982), also knwn as Clinton C. Cook.

Clinton was a U.S. Army veteran of World War I. The couple almost immediately relocated to California, where their son was born the following year.

They bore one son, Clinton William Cook Jr. 

When the federal census enumerations were made in 1940-1950, the Cooks made their dwelling-place in Center Township, Sacramento County. As of 1940, Clinton was a mechanic at the U.S. Air Depot. By 1950, he made a living as an aircraft mechanical maintenance foreman with the U.S. Air Force, while Isabel worked as a farm helper. 

Bell in 1979 resided in Fair Oaks, Sacramento County, CA, and "contributed largely to the records of the early Cole family," said the Shepherd book. 

Sadly, Clinton died on Feb. 2, 1982, at the age of 92.

She passed away at age 83 on Oct. 22, 1984. Her remains sleep for the ages in Mount Vernon Memorial Park in Fair Oaks. 

Son Clinton William Cook Jr. (1925- ? ) was born in about 1925. He attended San Juan Union High School and, during World War II, spent three years in the U.S. Navy. On Jan. 8, 1950, in Sacramento, he married Janice V. Downey ( ? - ? ), daughter of Jesse Downey of Sheffield, IL, Their wedding ceremony was held in Fair Oaks Federated Church, by the hand of Rev. Ralph Fellersen. In announcing the marriage, the Sacramento Bee said that "a wedding dinner followed in the Capitol Inn." Janice was an alumna of Sheffield High School and the Augustana Nursery of Chicago, and at the time of marriage was employed in Sacramento. The Cooks went on to bear three children. Circa 1953, Janice earned a living with the California-Western States Life Insurance Company.


~ Son Frank Leslie Cole ~

Frank and Velma Cole
Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway
Son Frank Leslie Cole (1906-1975) was born on June 18, 1906, in Richland, KS the youngest of 14 brothers and sisters. A full quarter century separated him in age from his eldest brother Clarence. 

On Nov. 16, 1929, at Overbrook near Topeka, KS, the 23-year-old Frank was joined in wedlock with 20-year-old Velma I. Miller (March 23, 1909-1994), daughter of Charles F. and Ada I. (Johnson) Miller, originally from Lawrence, KS. 

They were the parents of two children -- Judith Darlene Broumand and Dennis Ray Cole. 

Frank was a construction worker. They relocated to Idaho in 1936, and made their home at Wendell, ID. Later, they moved to Jerome, ID. 

During those years, from 1936 to 1974, he was employed by Reynolds Construction Company. He held a memberhip in the Local 370 of the Operating Engineers union. The Coles were members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Jerome. 

Frank died in Jerome at the age of 69 on June 13, 1975. Rev. Frank Duran presided over the funeral. The Twin Falls Times-News published an obituary.

Velma outlived Frank by nearly two decades and maintained her home in Jerome. The angel of death claimed her at the age of 85, as a patient in St. Benedict's Long Term Care Unit, on Sept. 14, 1994. Rev. Baldwin Camin led funeral services, with burial in Jerome Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Times-News.

Business district in Jerome, ID

Daughter Judith Darlene "Judy" Cole ( ? - ? ) was born in Wendell, ID. She married Haushang "Shane" Broumand ( ? - ? ). As of 1967-1994, they dwelled in Los Angeles. Judith was active circa 1971 in the Westwood Hills Woman's Club. Haushang owned Shane Carpet circa 1983, a company furnishing carpeting, vinyl and hardwood floors as well as draperies, with outlets in West Los Angeles. He and Kamran Broumand were pictured in the March 31, 1983 edition of the Los Angeles Times, promoting their business. Judith and Haushang are known to have been in a partnership with Kamran and Eleanor Broumand in a business known as B and A International Enterprises, and B.A. Self Storage of San Juan Capistrano. The four individuals in 1990 sued requesting judicial supervision of the closing of the company as its debts outweighed its assets. In July 2010, Judith filed for divorce in Los Angeles County Court. Houshang subsequently appears to have been an owner of SFC Flooring Corporation.

Son Dennis Ray Cole (1948- ? ) was born in 1948 in Wendell, ID. On June 17, 1967, he married Carol Ann Kulm ( ? - ? ), daughter of Albert and Elsie Kulm. Their nuptials were held in St. Paul's Lutheran church, by the hand of Rev. John Frese, and announced with their wedding portrait on the pages of the Twin Falls Times-News. She wore "a Bridal Original empire styled gown of Chantilly lace," said the Times-News. "The fitted styling featured Chantilly lace on the high empire bodice and banded the sheath skirt. Scallops of clipped Chantilly lace outlined the oval neckline." They put down roots in Jerome.

Copyright © 2001-2003, 2003, 2008-2009, 2012, 2019-2020, 2023 Mark A. Miner

Select photographs reprinted from Family Records of Baxley and Hilliard, Cole and Hathaway by W. Flora Shepherd (Topeka, KS: 1979). Deborah Swank, George Thurston Finkle III and Jennifer Brackeen graciously have provided content for this biography..