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Brick Walls

DNA Project


Michael S. Cole, M.D.

left by William John COLE

Most discussion of these documents is reserved for the section called Brick Walls, where I explain the obstacles I had for so many years that prevented us from making any progress at all on my COLE family tree.

Since I was a child, I have had in my possession the following pedigree, typed by my grandfather. (I am the only COLE grandson.) At first glance, it appears to be a genealogist's dream-come-true, but it became a genealogical nightmare. I'm now convinced that this document is a complete fabrication. I am hesitant to publish this bogus pedigree, not wanting to disseminate false genealogical data that anyone might add to their family history. This list of names, vital statistics, and bogus history should never be re-published for any reason. It is meticulously reproduced here to illustrate part of the difficulty we had in determining my grandfather's actual pedigree. (I also found among my grandfather's papers a more detailed version of this genealogy, but this brief one will suffice for the purposes of this Web site.) If you have an idea about why this record was originally created, other than what is already theorized, I'd love to hear your opinion.

Research by Stanley T. Cole, (1951), great-grandson of the late Congressman from Ohio, W. L. Cole, from his book, THE HISTORY OF MY TIME.

    Thomas Cole, a Puritan minister, from Oxford, England, settled in Williamsburg, Virginia, with his wife and two children, in 1698. John, a third child, was born there in 1701.

    In 1724 John married Miss Barbara Beal. They moved to Westmoreland County, Virginia, and had nine children. Their first child, named Calvert, was born there in 1725. Why he was named Calvert, after an English Catholic, no one seems to know.
    Calvert moved to Tenn., near what is now Easton, and married Miss Rachel Toby. Four children were born to them: two sons and two daughters. The elder son, named John Henry, was born there in 1751. Calvert was a farmer and tanner. He became wealthy and prominent socially and politically.
    John H. moved to New York in 1774 and married Miss Fanny Moore in 1776, the year Washington drove the British Army out of Boston. They were the parents of two children, a son and a daughter. The son was born in 1778 and named Wesley. John H. was commissioned lieutenant in the Continental Army. He took part in the battles of Harlem Heights and Westplains, and for his bravery he was promoted to a captaincy and later was commissioned colonel. Later he studied law and became a successful lawyer. He studied law with James Monroe, who was elected President in 1816.
    Wesley married Miss Jane Warden. They had two children, a son, named Thomas, born in 1801, and a daughter, who became the wife of a Methodist minister named Stevenson, a kin of the ancestor of the late Vice-President, Adlai E. Stevenson. Thomas Cole became one of America's most celebrated landscape painters.
    Thomas opened, and conducted, an art school in New York, from which came many prominent and successful painters of that era. In 1830 he married Miss Charlotte Lane, a talented and charming lady that added color to her husband's career. They had three children, a son and two daughters. The son was named William La Fayette, who was born in 1832. This man, William L. Cole, inherited many instincts from some of his forebears. From his great-great-grandfather got heritage of the love of freedom of thought and freedom of religion and hatred of oppression. From his great-grandfather he received the qualities of values of liberty, government by the people, antipathy to cast in peoples.
    In 1852, William L. moved to Bradford, Penn., and married Edith Terry. They had two sons and three daughters. The younger son was born in 1857, named Harry John. William L. moved to Mansfield, Ohio, and later to Marrietta, the first permanent settlement in Ohio. He served in the Ohio State Senate with James A. Garfield, and was elected to Congress in 1882, and served to the end of 1896. In 1892 he nominated Adlai E. Stevenson for Vice-President, who was elected with Grover Cleveland. Stevenson was the grandfather of Adlai E. Stevenson the present Governor of Illinois, elected in 1948. W. L. Cole died in Washington, D.C., in 1897.
    Harry J., with an uncle, moved to Fremont, Nebraska, in 1879. He was in the cattle business with his uncle; and in 1883 was elected County Clerk of Dodge County and re-elected in 1885. In 1883 he was married to Miss Kathryn Woepple. Her parents came from Germany in 1848, and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where she was born in 1859. She moved to Omaha, Nebraska with her parents in 1871. She received her education in the schools of St. Louis and Omaha, and later attended Creighton College. She came to Fremont, to teach school, in 1880, and later became a member of the faculty of the Fremont Normal (now Midland College), when it opened for business. They had one son, born in 1885. He was named William John. The parents were killed in a railroad-crossing accident in January 9, 1886.
    What I write from this point is my own story. Your father's older brother was my grandfather and your grandfather was my great-grandfather. My father and you are cousins. My father is still living. He served two terms in the Ohio Legislature and is a veteran of World War One. I am a lawyer and City Attorney of Marrietta, Ohio. I was born in 1909. My wife is a former nurse. We have three children, a daughter and two sons. The daughter is married and has a baby girl, nearly two years old. She is married to a Major in the U.S. Army. They live at Fort Bragg.
Per: S.T.C.

    The conclude of this family (tree) narrative, had its origin in England and planted its roots on American soil in 1698, is by William J. Cole, born in Fremont, Nebraska, September 18, 1885. By a previous marriage, 1909, I had one daughter, born in 1911. The wife died in 1916. The daughter married a United States Naval boy. She died in 1932, and he was lost in the Midway Naval Battle in the Pacific. In 1934 I married again, to Mrs. Mellie Wilson (nee Mellie Hunt); we have two children, a son, born in 1935 (Billy, nick name) Maynard, and a daughter, named Norma June, born in 1937. The son is married now (May, 1954), and the daughter is a junior in high school.

It is of much interest to relate here that the mother of these two children is one-eighth Cherokee Indian, and in view of the Indian blood in her veins, distantly related to the late, beloved humorist Will Rogers.

    It is my hope, God willing, in the near future to revitalize the history of the times of this clan 1698, and in particular, from the beginning of the narratives of my grandfather, to this period by the study of his book, THE HISTORY OF MY TIME, which is replete with many momentous growth of this country and its changes in political and economic fundamentals, including the influencing and actuations of the period of my own life and times.

William J. Cole

The following is all typed on a single sheet of paper. Though attributed to Daniel STENNARD, its source is unknown. (The Unicameral Amendment mentioned was adopted in 1934.) These newspaper articles appear to be someone's imagination, as you can see in a
1976 letter I received from the publisher of the Fremont Tribune.

Fremont Weekly Tribune, Sept. 24, 1885.
    Born to County Clerk and Mrs. Cole, a son, at their home on W. 4th St., Sept. 18. The new-comer, according to his father, is a howling success and was named William John. Mrs. is a former school teacher in Fremont, and is reported fine. These young parents are very proud of the addition to the family. As usual, in similar cases, the County Clerk is passing out the cigars.

Fremont Weekly Tribune, January 16, 1886.
    A terrible accident happened at the Union Street railroad crossings snuffed out the lives of two prominent people. At 7 P.M., Sunday, when the County Clerk and his family were returning from a visit to his uncle's farm, about 2 miles south of Fremont, in crossing the railroad tracks, their carriage was struck, broadside, both were killed almost instantly, the carriage was demolished. Fortunately the bodies were hurled clear of the track, and the life of the four months old son was saved and uninjured. When the body of the mother was lifted off the baby it was crying lustily. The baby is in the care of Mrs. Cole's half-brother, John W. Tuma.
    The funeral was held Jan. 14, and burial was at the cemetery north-west of the city. The attendance was the largest ever witnessed in Fremont. The horror of the accident and the prominence and the high respect in which the couple was held, is beyond the power of our words to describe. Mr. Cole came here with his uncle from Penn. in 1879, where he was born in 1857. He was elected County Clerk in 1883 and re-elected in 1885. Mrs. Cole (nee Kathryn Woepple) was born in St. Louis, Mo., in 1859, and moved to Omaha, Nebr. with her parents in 1870. She was educated in the schools of St. Louis and Omaha, and attended Crieghten College, at Omaha. In 1880 she came to Fremont and taught school for 3 years and also became a member of the faculty of the Fremont Normal College, when it opened for business. On May 22, 1883 the couple was married at the home of her parents in Omaha.

Fremont Weekly Tribune, January 23, 1886.
    The County Board of Supervisors met in regular session, Jan. 21, and confirmed the deputy County Clerk, Alvord Sorensen, appointed by the Governor, to fill the vacancy caused by the untimely death of the late County Clerk, Harry J. Cole, Jan. 9th. After the oath of office was administered to Mr. Sorenson, by Chairman Cherry, and upon his recommendations appropriate resolutions of condolence upon the deaths of Cole couple were duly passed. A Resolution was also passed: (1) a copy be filed for record with the County Board of Supervisors; (2) a copy be sent to Mrs. Cole's parents at Omaha, Nebr. and (3) a copy be sent to Mr. Cole's parents, Congressman and Mrs. William L. Cole, at Marrietta, Ohio; (4) and Mr. & Mrs. John W. Tuma of Fremont. The copy of the Resolutions has not been found among the memorandums of Mr. Cherry's.

On the next anniversary of the adoption of the Unicameral Amendment to the Nebraska Constitution, in which you played such an important role, The Tribune will go into the old files and reprint that part of your address before the reception to you at the then Fremont Normal, now Midland College, referring to the legislation's beginning of the move. We were just kids at that time, now in charge here, we know an old man in years but still young in mind and intellect, and all of us wish you many years of usual activities and good health.

Daniel F. Stennard
Reporter & Vice Pres. of
Tribune Pub. Co.

We used to think that this letter was proof that William John COLE served in the Nebraska legislature. View the actual letter. Any ideas about how "W. J. Cole" could have been typed on this letter?


F. L. Haller, Omaha, President
[and other officers listed]

Lincoln, 15 December 1912

Mr. W. J. Cole
    Geneva, Nebraska
Dear Sir:
    I take it for granted that your chief concern just now is the business of the state you have been elected to serve in the Legislature. Knowing that you will be overwhelmed with pressing affairs as soon as the Legislature convenes, I take the opportunity at this time to call to your attention the work of the State Library Commission. Under separate cover I am sending you the last report of the Commission and I trust that you will read it with interest.
    While the chief service of the Commission is to furnish library privileges to the people living in communities where they have no free collections of books, we also do a great deal for the small local libraries as you will find by consulting your own librarian, Miss Williams. That we can barely approach the task of serving the whole state with library facilities on $5000 a year can readily be seen but I hope that after reading this report you will feel that creditable results have been obtained with the amount at command. A new departure of the last legislature was to put a sum of money at the disposal of the Library Commission to be spent for suitable reading for the people in the state institutions. I hope that you will have an opportunity of asking Miss McMahon about the benefits of this work in your own institution. While we wish the support of all the Legislature in this branch of the state's educational work, we wish that support to be based on a knowledge of what work we are trying to do and the extent to which we are succeeding.

Very truly yours, [signed] F. L. Haller

"White-Washing the Negro," the title of an article found among William's papers, appears to have been clipped from a magazine. The alleged article on this typed page has not been confirmed as true or rejected as untrue, but it seems to be plagiarized from the magazine article.

Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colo., June 1922

    An excerpt from a speech by Wm Cole, before the Negro Club of Denver, entitled: "White-Washing the Negro."
    "At a school up here in the north, where negro and white children sometimes go to school together and no body throws any fits about it, a five year old white boy and a darky of the same age got together by a pail of white-wash. In a minute there were two howls, one of delight, the other of consternation.
    I've made him white! I've made him white! yelled the white boy, and he really thought he had. The darky yelled because he thought he was killed, and for a fact the white-wash had not done him any good. A little clean water and a good natured teacher soon made it all right, but the white boy still grieved. His efforts at reform had been choked off and he did not like it. After all he was a good deal like his elders. Some of us have been trying to make the black man white ever since 1865, with white-wash, and we still insist it can be done. Moreover, as in the case just cited, it has not done the negro any good. It has caused him pain and he is a negro still and always will be.
    This is nothing against the negro. God made him and he has a useful and honorable place to fill in this world. He has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness just like the rest of us. He'll find them, too, if he seeks them as a black man and does not try white-wash. That he tries it sometimes is not always his fault. We white folks have too often put him up to it.
    Personally I hold that the negro cannot or does not rise in the world by his own will. On the other hand he is teachable and with wise white supervision and examples can become a man and a good one in his own way. There are countless examples of this in the United States today. Many a negro here is an honest, God-fearing, capable man, a credit to himself and the community in which he lives, and a good deal more respected than some white men we all know. If he is wise he will know that he has attained this by being a negro and sticking to trying to be a good one. Such men have the respect of all decent white men. It is the negro who tries the white-wash that is discontented and gets himself disliked. If we give the colored man a chance to live a free and useful life, learn all he can from the white man and in that way become a better negro, we are doing right and more than right. If we try to make him believe he can be a white man we are making fools of ourselves and doing him an irreparable wrong. That is the way it looks to one white man, and he born and bred of abolitionist parents at that."


Denver, Colo.,
June 29, 1922

Mr. William Cole,
Denver, Colo.

Dear Mr. Cole:
    In behalf of the colored people of the country I want to express my thanks to you for your very sensible address at the Negro Club Hall last night. If more white people talk like you did, and more negro people acted more like you talked, there would be less friction between the races and the Colored people be better off and more respected.

Very respectfully yours,

   Hiram Walker    (a City Policeman)

The following alleged article was found typed on a single page. It is included here because it claims that William COLE was a carpenter from Claremont, California, in 1926.

Los Angeles, Calif., Herald, June 16, 1926


    For a number of years attempts have been made at improving working conditions and treatment of women employees, mostly poor women, but have invariably met with failure, because of the coercive methods of the Company.

    The Company has always operated on the open shop plan. The nucleus of a Company-sponsored union had always been encouraged. Quiet investigation, over a period of fifteen months, of a one man, self-appointed committee brought about and revealed conditions too revolting to print.

    Wm Cole, a carpenter of Claremont and a representative of the American Federation of Labor, induced a number of the wives and daughters of his fellow-carpenters to get employment at the plant. It was through their co-operation of getting and compiling specific and definite data of continual violation of State Laws, as well as the County and State Sanitary laws designed to protect women workers, and the unafraid willingness of these selected workers to sign complaints that brought about the closing order from Judge Carlos A. Hardy of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, closing the plant to make sanitary improvement and working conditions in conformity with the County and State Laws, the immediate payment of thousands of dollars to workers for over-time work, the prohibition of the use of the blacklist and the discharge of those signing the complaint and those who appeared as witnesses, the cessation of over-time work, except in cases of necessity to protect property or produce in danger of spoilage, the observance of the WOMEN'S AGE, WAGE AND HOUR LAW, AND A FINE OF $2500.00.

    Many people feel that the penalties assessed against a monster-lust, degradation and cheating of women workers, the flagrant trampling under foot laws that have been approved by the people and sustained by the State Supreme Court, are wholly inadequate in proportion to the many revolting cases and practices presented to the Court.

    This Mr. Cole seems to be a very reasonable and far-seeing man. He refuses to measure the value of the penalties imposed to the value of the good received by the workers in the days to come. From now on, we venture to say that this man Cole will be PERSONA NON GRATA by the unscrupulous employers of the State. It can be said with much gratification that he accomplished this service to the underpaid and under-privileged in the face of the fact and truth he succeeded where the constituted officials failed.

Whether the following article is genuine, it alleges to provide history just 3 months prior to my grandparents marriage in December 1933. I wonder if perhaps he typed this up prior to mailing my grandmother the original newspaper clipping (which is lost). Or did he fabricate the article as "proof" of his status?

Ontario California Standard, September 7, 1933

    For the first time in the history of Ontario, Labor-day was made an occasion of a colorful celebration last Monday. Thousands heard the rare gifts of ready and pure elocution of the Demosthenes of Labor: the Hon. William Cole of Claremont. He traced the struggles, the hardships and poverty of the masses of the working people from Medieval times, the origin of the Guilds in the Middle Ages, as the forerunners of the Labor Unions. He drew a vivid picture of the last one hundred years in the United States and Europe, of the dire poverty and struggles of the laboring people for a recognition of human rights. The right to organize, and to use that right, to bring about a situation, to be as good, at least, as that of the least of burden.
    He gave a brief history of the beginning of the establishment of the Labor Department; from the establishment, in 1884, of the Bureau of Labor Statistics up to 1913, when, under the leadership of Senator Borah of Idaho and Congressman Wilson of Penn., a bill was forced through Congress creating the Labor Department. He said: "The last official act of President Taft, before leaving the White House, was the signing of the bill, and a few hours later President Wilson appointed this same Congressman Wilson the first Secretary of Labor."
    He rose to great heights of sarcasm when he declared: "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturer's Association are the greatest criminal organizations of modern times. The blackest and most unscrupulous Mafia of all history; as exemplified by the maintenance of an army of hired flunkies and spies and Labor baiters, strike-makers and strike-breakers, big and small. The use of Policy Departments, by Sheriffs, High-way Patrol Officers, and in many instances, Governors of States, and even Presidents, to uphold and protect hired strike-breakers, to uphold mob-rule, to serve, uphold and protect the predatory interests at the expense of the tax-payer."
    He declared that all strike violence is caused, and deliberately brought about, by the hired and professional mobs and strike-breakers, the hired tools of these big criminals, hidden behind mahogany desks and the paid for and the deceitful smoke-screens of the big daily press. With cleverly planned and concealed browbeating, coercing and murder of strikers and striking pickets. Life goes unprotected. While the vile creatures, whose heart is so black and his mind so depraved that he becomes a tool for violence and murder for a price. The price of the big boys that belong to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturer's Association. Yea! they are Angels along side of the depraved creatures that hire them. He said that Labor would receive, and was already receiving, a NEW DEAL, and a square deal from this Administration. He was bitter at times, as well as classical in his denunciations. His statements were bold and deliberate and that time would vindicate this challenge to the oppressors of Labor and stifling of social progress.

The next 4 alleged newspaper articles appear typed on the front and back on one sheet of paper. Each is a comment on the speech reported above. If his purpose was to invent the whole thing for aggrandizement, why then is the first article so negative?

Los Angeles Times, Sept. 6, 1933
    The speech by Wm Cole at Ontario on Labor day was a disgrace and insult to the intelligence of the people of that community, and the State in general, and a vicious and uncalled for attack on organized and patriotic business associations of the United States. The man knows how to use the English language to appeal to the so-called Roosevelt mob.
    It was a rabble of an I.W.W., a dangerous communist and a menace to decent organized society. It can be put down as certain that this rabble rouser does not even represent, or speak, for but a very small part of the working people of California, and that part only the worst communistic elements that are using the laboring people as covers under which to spread discontent, destruction and decent established social conventions.

Whittier, Calif., Republican, Sept. 8, 1933
    It must be said the editorial in the Times of Sept. 6th was no surprise to anyone. As usual, the Times asserts its true colors. It does not like organized Labor, and it does not like anyone who is bold enough to speak for labor. The Times never was fair to Labor Unions, or to any idea seeking the betterment of labor. We disagree with the Times. Mr. Cole is a sincere crusader and never indulges in misleading and false statements. It was a great speech made in great earnestness, and left a lasting impression on all that heard it. He tramped pretty hard, and pretty truly, on the toes of Harry Chandler, and a smear in the Times was the usual, and only come-back.

Oakland, Calif., Tribune, Sept. 10, 1933
    The Address of William Cole, at Ontario on Labor-Day, has greatly ruffled the feathers of several gentlemen representing certain interests whose practices will not bare the light of day, find it more convenient to call the speaker names, than to offer any proof that the charges hurled into their repressive dens are not true. The Officers of the State Federation of Labor put themselves down on record that the speaker is very conversant with the facts as they are, and are only too well known by organized Labor and all other people who believe in fair play. These gentlemen are well aware of the fact that this man Cole has plenty more up his sleeve that they hope to smother under name-calling, such as the Times indulges in.
    But the fact still remains that the conviction, in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, of one of their kind, that received the wrath of the speaker's publicity, and as some are pleased to call it, "SURPRISING ASSAULT," still stands as a surprising confirmation of the stand of a man that is unafraid. If Cole is wrong, the Judgement of the Los Angeles County Court is wrong. But if the Court is right, and judging from the approbation of the public, and the acceptance of the verdict by the convicted, it must be right, then Mr. Cole is right. The Times realizes that it is one thing to indulge in name-calling in the matter of decisions of our Courts and individuals dedicated to fair play and elimination of oppressive restriction on Organized Labor Unions.

San Francisco, Calif., Call-Bulletin, Sept. 10, 1933
    Nothing else could have been expected of the Los Angeles Times in reporting the speech of Mr. Cole of Claremont, delivered at Ontario on Labor-Day. Calling the speaker names does not help the misrepresenting cause of the Los Angeles Times and the labor-hating Harry Chandler. Mr. Cole is a remarkable man of great intellect and has never been known to make public statements without justifications. Every Union man and woman knows the truth of the charges in his Ontario speech.
    We call attention, at this time, to give the lie to the Los Angeles Times, to the back-ground of this man. An able educator, and a school teacher in his young manhood. First elected to the City Council of Geneva, Nebraska, in 1908. Later, elected three times to the Nebraska Legislature, established a legislative record that has never been equaled by anyone, and one so young in particular. Moved to Idaho, and soon was elected to the City Council of Idaho Falls, and was its acting Mayor much of the time, and made history in ridding the city of corruption and official bribing, and the handling of a labor strike that made headlines in all the newspapers of the northwest. Headed many war agencies during the world war. Appointed Revenue Collector for the southern District of Idaho by President Wilson, serving two years. His abilities, his honesty and public services were never once questioned. When he came to California, he accomplished, single-handed, a task that duly constituted public Officials failed to do. He secured the conviction of a powerful corporation that has many plants all over the State, a corporation that was violating all the laws of decency enacted to protect the women-workers of California, a corporation that was forced to make restitution to its workers and the obedience of State Laws. It was done by the energy and boldness of this man.
    He brought to bay, a corporation that employed the same implements to coerce, cheat and oppress its employees. Implements that were to coerce, cheat and oppress its employees. Implements that were so deservedly and outspokenly exposed in the Ontario speech. The Los Angeles Times did not like that either, yet the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, agreed with what Mr. Cole charged in the Ontario speech, imposed the penalties proscribed by the State Laws.

There is no doubt that William COLE was a carpenter, as I have seen his work with my own eyes, and he taught the trade to my father and my uncles. There is no doubt that he was a public speaker, as I have read many of his speeches. He was a school teacher around 1897 to 1900. The following article, if genuine, indicates a continuing interest in public school education.

San Bernardino Sun, Sept. 19, 1933

    Wm Cole again added laurels to his prestige as a public Speaker, in an address at Claremont yesterday, at the teachers session of northeastern Los Angeles County, in the hall of music at Pomona College. The address was the shortest, as well as the best in its effect upon the hearers, out of a dozen delivered to the teachers. President Studebaker, of Pomona College, declared: "It certainly stamps the man as a master of English language, fine diction and a profound exponent of present day needs and modern trends." Because of its brevity, clarity of thought and value of logic, the Sun gives it in full.

THE ADDRESS: - I cannot but feel impressed with the grandeur of purpose and the magnitude of the results of the profession of which I choose to speak. I do not know we fully realize the widespread benefits of our most commendable public school system. It has contributed more to our national greatness than any other one factor. By it our country has attained the foremost rank among the learned nations of the earth. It is the most sacred of our free institutions.
    When he said, "Education is the cheap defense of nations," Edmund Burke gave voice to one of the noblest truths discovered by the sages of government. The greatest foe to the freedom of a nation is the ignorance of the people of that nation. The greatest foe to the hosts of ignorance is the intelligence of the people. The school system is conducive to the intelligence of the people, for all classes receive alike its blessings. It is therefore the greatest safeguard to our liberties.
    Ignorance is the parent of crime, slavery, debauchery and poverty. But the army of American school children trudging along the great highway of learning, commanded by such a noble corps of teachers as our country boasts, is a more formidable foe to ignorance, crime, slavery, debauchery and poverty than all the standing armies of the world.
    The school teacher is the most influential of all our missionaries. The school teacher comes in contact with the rich and poor, high and low, wise and otherwise, and all classes are for a large share of their earlier years under his or her care.
    If the newspapers are the "molders of public opinion" for the present, then the school teachers are the "molders of public opinion" of the future. Their influence cannot be measured by a day, or week, or term of school, but is to be found inseparably associated and identified with the future history of the world. Our future Presidents, statesmen, editors, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, and also future school teachers, and above all, our future American citizens are but pupils of today. Their natures are being molded, their minds educated, the principles of honor and integrity inculcated. Truly the mission of the school teacher is freighted with the destiny of the world. The future is in their hands.

"Here's the marble, there's the chisel;
Take it; mold it as you will;
Thou alone can shape the future;
Heaven grant thee strength and skill."

Along with the 1912 letter from the Nebraska Public Library Commission, the following letter from 1950, found among William's papers, is quite a mystery. The letter allegedly arrived with a letter (which I've seen) from Congressman Trimble on his letterhead about a different matter. In Mr. Trimble's letter there is a P.S. which mentions the census letter being enclosed. However, the typewriter used in the P.S. does not match the body of Congressman Trimble's letter. The letter below was typed on plain white paper with no letterhead and no signature. Regardless of the letter's authenticity, if you subtract 9 years from most of the dates, the information provided in this letter is generally accurate, except that the 1890 census burned in 1921. So, any ideas about what purpose this letter could have really served?

May 9, 1950

Honorable James W. Trimble

House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Trimble:

    I am writing in reference to your recent communication, in which you expressed interest in behalf of Mr. Wm J. Cole, of Harrison, Ark., who, seemingly is uncertain, and in a dilemma, as to his exact age. In accordance with the data supplied by Mr. Cole to you that you have furnished, we find this record in the census of 1890 for Colfax County, Nebraska, and we feel certain that it covers his case and will be to his satisfaction.

    John Tuma, by virtue of his father's naturalization in St. Louis, Mo., 1871, American citizen; born in Germany, 1858.
Katy Tuma, his wife, born in Germany in 1860
Josephine Tuma, his daughter, born in Fremont, Nebr., March 21, 1882.
William J., (foster son, born to Mr. & Mrs. Harry Cole, deceased in 1876 [sic.]), September 1885.
Emma Tuma, daughter, born in Fremont, Nebr., Aug. 4, 1885
Joseph Tuma, son, born in Fremont, Nebr., May 9, 1888
Katy Tuma, daughter, born in Colfax County, Nebr., Feb. 14, 1890.
Post Office given Glengo, Dodge County Nebraska.

Sincerely yours,

James F. Redfield,
Chief Assistant,
Vital Statistics Census Bureau

The following is the first page attached to several pages that make up a speech on unicameralism, allegedly presented by William COLE in 1952 in St. Louis, Missouri. The page here is significant as it claims that Mr. LARKIN knew my grandfather as a child, and the introduction mentions several significant events in my grandfather's life during those once-missing 3 decades. None of the "facts" of this letter can be verified. Most have been disproven. If William COLE was not the man of distinction claimed here, I would think the opponents of unicameralism in Missouri that year would have exposed him in order to derail the campaign.

    Speech of Introduction by Mr. David LARKIN    

    Friends and fellow-citizens: by virtue of my chairmanship of UNICAMERAL ASSOCIATION has fallen to my lot [and] pleasure and great privilege of introducing, to you, our guest speaker and my boy-hood acquaintance, whom I first met on his first day in school over 60 years ago, on the frontiers of Nebraska.
    At 19 and 20 years of age he was teaching school. At 21 he was a member of the Geneva, Nebr., City Council. At 22 he was elected a member of that state's Legislature. At 24 he was a determined opponent of class legislation. At 26 he was the first man in public life to give expression in support of the departure from the 2-house legislature. At 28 he led revolt after revolt in the elimination of dishonesty in government and legislation in behalf of special interests. In the twilight of 1914 he moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, and soon was elected to the City Council, and acting its Mayor for almost 2 years, because the Mayor had been called into the military forces of world war one. He made history in settling of a labor strike against the city that involved thousands of dollars in public improvements that made headlines in all the papers of the northwest. At 32 he was Idaho's Commissioner on uniform state laws, at the national convention in Chicago, Aug. 1916. And by virtue of the clarity and logic, in 2 addresses on important subjects before the convention, he attained national recognition. In one of those speeches he sounded a doctrine that cannot be successfully contradicted. He said: "Much has been said here about youth delinquency. I am not worried about youth delinquency. There is no such animal. I am concerned about the viciousness of ADULT DELINQUENCY, concealed in camouflaged, secret and darkened dens of debauchery in violation of laws enacted for the protection of decency and youth, to satisfy prostituted lust for dirty profits. Destroy ADULT DELINQUENCY by the fires of Hell and the wrath of decency, and there will not be cause to worry about youth delinquency. Your schools and churches will be filled with children with happy faces, young men and women with clean hearts and bodies, with honest purposes written on their faces realizing their purpose and mission in life." The more I think about it the more forceful becomes the meaning. At 34 by appointment of President Wilson, on recommendations of Senators Borah and Gooding, he became Collector of Revenue for the southern district of Idaho.
    But he never lost sight or interest of the measure he helped to originate, the measure that is the purpose of this meeting, and that he did so much to perfect. Although away from Nebr., he never slackened his pace to aid the late Senator Norris, to bring to a successful fruition of the proposal to a vote of the people, who approved it by a majority of 100,000 votes in 1934, and put into operation in 1937. The wisdom and determination of these men has more than justified the claims made for it, and far exceeded the hopes and expectations. We have to guide us, the successful experience and operation of this unique, yet simple, system of legislative government. It is for us to take courage from the results and labor of these men and help to make it a working fundamental part of the legislative government of Missouri.
    It may also interest all of you to hear that Mr. Cole is also one of three men that originated and prepared the groundwork for the establishment of the CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS, that took almost a half million boys off the streets in the beginning of the Roosevelt administration, rehabilitated them and greatly aided their families.
    It is with a feeling of great honor that I am privileged to introduce to you this white-haired crusader, who despite his infirmities came here to offer, and freely give, in putting on the finishing touches, to honor us with fruitful years of knowledge and experience, and receive the appreciation of our people for work well done. Ladies and gentlemen: my friend, William Cole of Harrison, Arkansas.

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