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John Cole

An early convert to Mormonism in the British Isles, and one of the second company of Latter-day Saints to emigrate from that land, John Cole, now of Willard City, was born at Bishop's Froome, Herefordshire, England, July 8, 1821. His parents, William and Ann Fenner Cole, had eight children, and lived in humble circumstances upon a farm. All the schooling he received was prior to being put to work at eight years of age, following the plow and otherwise assisting his father. At ten he was apprenticed to a wheelwright, serving five years to learn the trade, and then continuing at it for wages until he left his native land. In the manufacture of wagons and agricultural implements he labored from twelve to fourteen hours a day. He was a conscientious youth, and led a sober, industrious life.

He became a Latter-Day Saint in 1840, and in September of that year sailed from Liverpool on the ship "North America" in a company of Saints presided over by Elder Theodore Turley. Landing at New York, he proceeded by way of the Hudson River and the lakes to Chicago, and thence by team and flat boat to Nauvoo. In 1842 he married. He had three wives, namely Charlotte Jenkins, Mary Ann Cordon, and Helena Danielson. He and his family were in the exodus of 1846, and from Council Bluffs came to Utah in 1850. They were outfitted with a wagon, two yoke of oxen and one yoke of cows - a splendid team for the journey - and traveled in Captain Gardiner Snow's company, several of whom died of cholera on the way. The dates enclosing the journey from the Missouri River to Salt Lake Valley were the 20th of June and the 6th of October.

Mr. Cole first settled at American Fork. He took part in the Walker Indian war, fought the invading grasshoppers, and in the fall of 1856 helped the belated handcart companies into Salt Lake City. In the spring of 1859 he moved to his present home in Box Elder County. There in 1867 he was a prime mover in establishing the Willard Mercantile Association, of which he was one of the directors. He has been connected in business with Harding Brothers, E. Pettingill and others, and at the same time has carried on farming. His life in Utah has been one of peace and privacy, assuming no other titles than those of an honest man and a trustworthy citizen. He is the father of fifteen children. One of his grandsons is a graduate of West Point and an officier in the army of the United States.

Source: Article taken from the book HISTORY OF UTAH, Whitney, Volume #4, page 416-417.


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