Monday, November 22, 2010

The History of William George COLE [1814-1890]

William George COLE and Sarah LARNDER

The History of William George COLE [1814-1890]
A Brief History Written by Nellie HAWKES CURTIS His Granddaughter
[Nellie is the daughter of Eliza COLE HAWKES 1840-1905]
From Facts Gathered With the Help of her sisters,
Martha [HAWKES BROUGH 1874-1942] and Beth [Elizabeth HAWKES GIBBS 1881-1958]
and also from Louisa COLE ATHAY [1872-1950]
[Louisa is the daughter of Walter Charles COLE 1848-1900]

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William George COLE was born the 4th of September, 1814 at Poplar, Middlesex, England. His father [William COLE 1782-1843] was a cobbler and moved as a young man from Corton, Suffolk, England. At Poplar, he met and married Elizabeth MAY HATCH [1781-1858], a widow [of John HATCH]. To them were born two sons, William George [COLE 1814-1890] and Charles James COLE [1816-].

Their parents gave the boys a good education and William George became a bookkeeper. He was also apprenticed to a tinsmith and glassier and when necessity demanded, used this skill to earn a living. However, being a fine penman and accurate at figures, he was usually employed at bookkeeping.

When Grandpa (William George) was about 22 years old, he met Sarah LARNDER [1813-1884], a very refined young woman, to whom he was later married. During their courtship, he wrote her a letter asking for her hand and pledging his devotion. So tender and beautiful was this missive that she treasured it thought life, and it is still in the possession of the family.

To this happy couple were born nine children, five boys and four girls, three of whom died in infancy.

One day while going home from work, Grandfather found a paper announcing a meeting to be held in the vicinity by some Mormon elders who were going to discuss religion. It seemed to hold an attraction for him, so he attended. That meeting opened to him new ideas that seemed all so plain and true. He continued to attend these meetings until he was converted to the Mormon faith and was baptized on the 12th of February, 1846. Right away he wanted to carry this wonderful message to his mother and brother, Charles James. The tracts and testimony that he brought mad no appeal to them. He tried to interest his two half-brothers, George Waterman HATCH [1809] and John May HATCH [1811-], but like his mother and brother, they would have none of it.

Eliza COLE

Grandfather now took comfort in his growing family and the elders of the Church. In the spring, his wife was converted and baptized 10 April, 1848. Later his two daughters were baptized, [1-] Elizabeth Sarah [COLE 1838-1906] on August 28, 1848 and [2-] Eliza [COLE 1840-1905] on November 20, 1848, at the age of eight years. Up to this time, they had had their share of joy and sorrow. To them had been born six children, one of whom, a little girl, had died at three years of age. [3-William Geroge COLE Jr. 1842-1899, 4-Sarah Ann COLE 1844- 1847, 5-George COLE 1846-1919, 6-Walter Charles COLE 1848-1900.]

After it was known to his employers that he had joined the Mormon faith, he lost his job. For a while he found
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other Secretarial work, but later, since no work of that kind could be found, he set up a tinshop in the front room of his little brick house at 6 Cross Street, Poplar, and hung out the sign, “Tinsmith and Glassier.” He did fairly well, but his business fluctuated with the times. All England was in a depression in the 40’s and 50’s and he suffered with the rest.

However, he managed to send his children to school. Schooling had to be paid for in that day. Elizabeth, the older daughter, received a fair education, but Eliza was such a helpful little girl that she was kept at home to care for the smaller children, besides the twin babies who were sick all the time. They died when less than [two] months old and later a new baby came. [7-Lorenzo COLE (twin) 29 Dec 1850-10 Feb 1851, 8-Symaria Ann COLE (twin) 29 Dec 1850-21 Jan 1851, 9-Erastus Moroni COLE 1852-1918.]

Trying times and added sorrows and expense did not sadden Grandfather. He had received a higher light in the truths of the blessed Gospel. He became more interested in its teachings and his faith grew day by day until it was only a short time before he was called to be the Presiding Elder of the Branch where he lived.

Now his hopes were to gather with the Saints in Zion. His father had died before the Gospel came to them; but he knew that one day his work could be done for him in the temple and then he could receive it.

His children were baptized as they became old enough and they all were attending school. Now was the time to bring his family to Zion. In 1862, his two daughters [and Eliza‘s 3 month old son Clarence Christopher CRESSALL 1861-1949], being the oldest in the family, left England, 23 March on the John J. Boyd sailing vessel and arrived in Salt Lake City 2 October, 1862. Elizabeth, the elder, went on to Goshen with her husband, John ALLEN [1836-1915], to whom she had been married on the journey across the plains. Eliza remained for awhile in Salt Lake where she met [widower] Francis HAWKES [1830-1899], to whom she was married 23 November, 1862, and with whom she wnet to Logan where he had a home.

The next spring Grandfather had prepared to follow his two daughters, so on Thursday, 4 June, 1863, he and his wife and four sons set sail as part of a company of 883 Saints on the packet ship “Amazon” with Elder William Brimhall as Presiding Elder. At this time, while the Saints were embarking, Charles Dickens became interested in the undertaking. He made the statement that only pigs could make the voyage from England to America as steerage passengers. He visited the ship on day, visiting especially among the Latter Day Saint immigrants. He later stated that he had never seen more cleanliness, neatness, order and happiness than he found
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among these Mormons, leaving their home country for their new-found religion and to make new homes in a strange land.

The voyage was made in variable weather conditions. The first part in an unusually heavy storm which caused a great deal of sea sickness among the passengers. [6-]Walter COLE, then a lad of fourteen and not a very robust boy, was very ill. One of the regulations fo the ship was that all light6s must be out by nine o’clock in the steerage section. His mother would place her hand on his face several times during the night to satisfy herself that he was still alive.

After the storm, they had fair weather sailing for some time and the Saints, with a strong faith and grateful hearts, were thankful for each day which passed and brought them nearer their journey’s end.

Then they had another experience. This was not a storm, but almost a perfect calm in which the ship, a sailing vessel unlike the ships of today, made little if any headway, for days. Many of the People began to worry over the condition and feared that the good and water might not last to complete the voyage. Brother Brimhall called a meeting in which a prayer was offered, asking for the blessings of the Lord and that they would reach their destination safely and would not suffer the discomforts of hunger and that the health of the children would improve. The illness was called “ship fever” and likely was caused by the type of diet they lived on so long and from the confinements that were necessary on the ship.

With thanksgiving and gratitude in their hearts, after 44 days they arrived in New York Harbor 18 July, 1863. As soon as possible, they proceeded to Florence, Nebraska by railway. This was rather a perilous journey across country as it was during the Civil War period. Many of the Saints had all their belongings destroyed by fire when rebels burned a train on which they ere traveling. From Florence to salt Lake City the trip was made by ox team.

Their experiences were like many of the other pioneers who were willing to sacrifice all friends, lived ones and comfortable homes for the gospel of Jesus Christ which bore testimony to them of its truthfulness and righteous principles.

Grandfather COLE was now 46 years old [Sarah LARNDER COLE 1813-1884 was 50 years old]. His eldest son, William, was 21, George was 17, Walter 14 and Erastus 11 years of age. Upon reaching Salt Lake, the two oldest boys went south to stay with their sister, Elizabeth COLE ALLEN. William and George, however, did not stay long with her, but came on to Logan where they found work for the winter with farmers.

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Grandfather and Grandmother and the two younger boys, Walter and Erastus, were taken to Logan by my father, Francis HAWKES, who had come to Salt Lake City to meet them. How happy mother [Eliza COLE HAWKES] was to see her parents and brothers again.

They were made as comfortable as possible, although they had but one log room. A large cellar beside the log house was fixed into a nice warm room. Willows were cut and pushed into the dirt close together a small space from the wall. Then clean straw was packed tightly between the willow and the dirt wall, making the room dry and warm. Grandfather made a fireplace which was used to heat the room. Here they lived for two winters.

[Son] William had completed a course in mining engineering and [Son] George, one as a machinist, but no opportunities were found for the use of such sills. They worked at whatever jobs could be found.

In the spring, William was called on a mission to take an outfit of ox team and wagon east to Florence, Nebraska to bring immigrants to Salt Lake City. It was on this trip that he met his future wife, Annie HODSON [1846-1928].

George, not being able to practice as a machinist, studied the square and carpentry. In about 1884, he and his brothers and father built a log house in the east part of town for their parents. Logs were cut and hauled from green Canyon and a large log room was built on what is now known as 5th North between 3rd and 4th East.

In the winter of 1865-1866, a log school house was built by the people of what was called the 5th district which was near where Grandpa lived, and he was hired as the first chool teacher. This building was a log house 16x20 ft. and was used as a community center. School and church and community affairs were held there. Bishop Maughn presided over all four districts and later the 5th district was added. After teaching school during the winter, Grandfather would help the farmers gather their grain and garner it safely.

To commemorate this very first enterprise, some years ago a marker was placed on Fourth East Between 4th and 5th north, just south of the Adams School and field in Logan, Utah which reads.

  • “Thirty feet east of this spot was built in the winter of 1865 and 1866, under the leadership of Benjamin F. Woolfenstien, the first community center of Logan fifth Ward, consisting of but one room 16x20 ft. It served, nevertheless, as a church building amusement hall and school house. William George Cole being the first School Teacher.
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  • At that early date, eager for religious, social and educational growth, the Ward united upon the project. Men and boys of school age helped other men with teams to get the logs from Green Canyon. Others laid them into building a building that rose a bumble symbol of the cooperative spirit of the Mormon Pioneers.
  • To commemorate that enterprise, this marker was erected by the Scout Explorers Troop 105 of the Logan 5th Ward, John I. Adams and Dan A. Swenson, Ward Committee, Henry K. Aebischer, troop leader. The original key affixed to a stone from the foundation of that old building has been made a part of this marker.”


The Marker -- a large base of stone taken from the foundation of the old log house put together with concrete and one large stone in the front center stone. The base is four or five feet square, the bronze plate affixed in the center top portion of the marker with the inscription in raised letters on the bronze plate. A buffalo head is stamped forming the top of the plate. The key is about seven or eight inches long and most likely was made by one of the blacksmiths in the city.

Grandfather Cole was called to be the first Block Teacher in that district. He and john Jacobs labored as block teachers for a number of years. He was often called to deliver a sermon to the people in church in the old center. John I Adams said the people liked William George Cole. He was always of a happy, jovial disposition. He had a pleasant countenance and in his old age he had white curly hair which he kept well groomed. He could always meet you with a smile, but was very firm in his convictions to the principles of the Gospel.

About the year 1868-69, Uncle John Allen, Aunt Elizabeth and family came from Goshen to see her parents and brothers and sisters, some of whom she had not seen since leaving England in 1862. So they had a real family get together. It was Christmas time and Grandmother, Aunt Elizabeth and mother [Eliza COLE HAWKES] made special preparation from the things they had stored, dried corn, pies and pudding with dried fruit added. A fat little porker was roasted on twin spits in the large fireplace and there was roast potatoes and gravy. Father [Francis HAWKES], who was a baker, made delicious hot cross buns.
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While dinner was being arranged, a shot was heard and Johnnie Allen [John 1865-] came screaming in. He had been shot in the hand with buckshot from a gun by a neighbor boy, Niely Bell, who had been shooting birds. The wound was not serious and he was soon made comfortable. The dinner was then served and all enjoyed the feast prepared. How happy they all were to be tighter and in the land of Zion and in their own homes though they were small and very humble.

About 1878, Grandpa was called by the Church Authorities to set up a tinshop in Brigham City, Utah. This he did and he made every sort of tinware from little tin plates, cups, funnels, buckets, to stoves made of sheet iron. Transportation at this time was one of the problems of the Saints. Tin sheets and sheet iron were shipped in bales of tin or iron sheeting and from these, numerous articles were made. Each sheet was about five ft. wide and fifteen ft. long. A tinsmith was kept busy furnishing the people with many needed articles.

Later, he returned to Logan and set up a shop on first North, a little west of Main Street. His son, Walter, and family had moved from Logan to Paris, Idaho. Uncle Walter had run a butcher shop in Logan, but he was not successful, so he sold the shop and moved to Paris, Idaho. There Walter and a Mr. Hodges set up a sawmill in the canyon near Paris. No doubt he had spoken about his father being a tinsmith.

Other tinners were set up in Logan and when the Presiding Officers of Bear Lake Stake invited Grandpa to go to Paris, he went as there was a great need for a tinsmith there. He opened up his shop in connection with the Zion’s Co-operative Institution of Paris, which was the main source of supply of nearly all the commodities that the people used. Here he had plenty of work. The pay was usually in food supplies or firewood. He took meat, potatoes, flour, logs. After shop hours, he would saw wood for his home and shop. This he always set in stacked piles for the long winter months of that cold country where the snows were deep. He was neat and systematic in his work and everything had a place and things were found in their places, even to small things. When he later had matches, he wanted the heads in one direction so he would have no need to fumble about in the dark. He loved to have his shop and home and all his belongings in perfect order, where he could lay his hand on any tool in the dark if need be. He made his own stoves and all their household utensils, even the candle molds.

Grandmother [Sarah LARNDER COLE 1813-1884], molded the candles and made all her own clothes, quilts, and knit the stockings for the family, made rugs and all other necessities. She made her husband’s shirts, gloves, etc.

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Winter snows in Bear Lake County were deep. Winds were strong and fierce and great drifts would pile around the house, making it necessary for the men to shovel paths. This was somewhat difficult for an older man. As the snow was usually very heavy. His sons were now all married and he and Grandmother were alone.

As always, he still took an active part in church affairs and filled every call made upon him cheerfully. His wife [Sarah LARNDER COLE 1813-1884], however, was in failing health and he devoted a great deal of his time to her.

Whenever an opportunity came, they visited their family in Logan, where three of his sons and one daughter were located. The trips were usually made through Logan Canyon, and , as a rule, took most of two days with team and wagon. One trip was made rather late in the season and a storm made the canyon impossible to travel through. Their return trip had to be made by way of McCammon, Idaho. They went by train to McCammon and stayed over night at the Harkness Hotel where Mr. Harkness treated them kindly. Next morning the journey was continued with a driver who made the trip once a week with mail and passengers. The snow fell all that day, and they were compelled to camp short of their destination. They found an empty cabin and enough wood to keep a fire in a crude fireplace. The horses were fed hay, which was carried in the sleigh box for just such emergencies. Next morning they resumed the journey, reaching Montpelier in due time, where they stayed at a friend’s home after their strenuous journey. Next day they completed their journey, arriving safely in Paris after four days of travel. The trip was hard on Grandmother, and she continued to fail in health. However, her husband’s kindness and devotion continued to increase.

About this time, Bear Lake had a severe earthquake which caused plaster and pictures to fall from the walls, dishes to clatter down from the cupboards and milkpans and contents to be thrown from the shelves. Dogs barked, chickens cackled and cattle bellowed. For a time, a great fear took possession of the people. At that time, Grandfather was living in an upstairs apartment in the Duffin Home on Main Street where (or near) the Jensen Garage is now. They were awakened by the sounds from a sound sleep and they found the house swaying back and forth. They were startled when their prize clock came tumbling to the floor from the shelf. Grandpa wrapped a blanket around his wife and carried her downstairs, where he found the people there as badly excited as they sere. However, after several minor shakes, all was normal again and peach and faith were restored.

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The clock, “Ol Toby” they called it, was a real prized possession which they had brought from England and carefully carried it across the plains and with them in all their moves.

Sarah and William George COLE marker Logan Cemetery

Grandmother’s health continued to fail, so Grandfather sent for mother, Eliza, who came from Logan to wait on her. Long months passed and on 25 March, 1884, she passed away. She was brought to Logan where she was tenderly laid away in the Logan Cemetery. The lot had an iron railing put around it by her son, George, to protect it from wandering animals. A marble monument was erected to maker the resting place.

After his life’s companion was gone, Grandpa moved to Logan to be among his children. Still, he liked his own home and lived alone where he kept things neat and in good order always. His thoughts now turned to temple work and, as the Logan Temple was dedicated that May, 1884, he and his daughters, Elizabeth Allen and Eliza Hawkes, did work for his parents and such of his relatives as he had records of.

Grandfather’s life was not quite the same, but he preferred living alone, rather than with any of his children. He sold his business in Paris and from that time on, he was employed as bookkeeper for the U. O. Lumber Co. of which his sons held a controlling share. He remained in this position until his death.

Hannah Louisa SMITH SQUIRES COLE marker Logan Cemetery

After living alone for some time, he met and married Hannah Squires [Hannah Louisa SMITH SQUIRES COLE 1823-1885]. She was a very gentle and refined English lady, much like his former wife. She and Grandfather spent many happy hours reading together and working in the Temple. Life took on a new look and he was cheerful and happy as usual. She made a pleasant home and was cheerful and a good companion for Grandpa. However, this peaceful union did not last long. She was taken by death after they had been married about two years. She was laid away in the family plot beside the mother of his children.

Alone again, his time was mostly taken up as bookkeeper by his son, George, at the U. O. Lumber Yard and with visiting his daughter, Eliza, and the other children. How I remember as a child running up the street to meet Grandpa. How Beth and I loved to get hold of his hand and walk home with him while he talked to us. Although the things he talked about I have forgotten; yet, I remember how pleasant and cheerful he was and how we loved to have him come. He was such a jolly and good person. If he did not come down Sunday to dinner, we thought something was wrong. Christmas or New year’s Day we watched for his coming, unless he had told mother that he was going to one of the sons.

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Grandfather loved to be independent and strove not to impose on anyone, but to meet cheerfully whatever came his way. He met all trials as they came and was willing to suffer what hardships that came to him for the Gospel’s sake. He tried to live its principles and to teach them to his children and others whenever he could.

He continued to work for the Lumber Company until he took sick in March, 1890. He had pneumonia and was not sick long. Grandfather passed away 1 April, 1890 at his little home at 86 West Center with part of his children at his bedside. The day he died, Beth was there with mother and he called her name and held her hand for a few minutes. Soon after he passed away. Mother and his tow sons, George and Erastus, were there. This was at his little house where he had spent the last few years of his life.

The night of his death, his daughter, Elizabeth, saw him come and stand by her bedside in a dream, but he did not speak. She awoke and told her husband she knew that her father had passed away.

He was 76 years of age when he died and was buried beside his two wives in the family plot in the Logan Cemetery. He left behind a large posterity to do him honor.

Ancestral Chain: CR, Lark, Camilla SMITH, Amy Ella HAWKES, Herbert Henry HAWKES, Eliza COLE, William George COLE and wife Sarah LARNDER.

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