Biography of William B. Cole


History of Columbia County, New York

By Captain Franklin Ellis

Published by Everts & Ensign

Philadelphia, PA



Page 316


        William B. Cole was born on the farm where he now resides, in New Lebanon, Columbia Co., N.Y., March 5, 1810. He is a son of Joseph and Ruth (Gordon) Cole, the former born in the town of New Lebanon, Feb. 15, 1782, and the latter in Stephentown, Rensselaer Co., June 15, 1785. Jacob Cole, the grandfather of William B., was the first settler on the present farm, when the wilderness in which it was situated was under the crown of Great Britain. The house shown in the engraving was built by him more than a hundred years ago. He was of German decent, and was born in New York City, Oct. 13, 1743; he died June 18, 1848, aged one hundred and five years. Before he came here he had been what is known as a "light pilot" under his father in the city of New York, engaged in guiding vessels into the harbor.

     The place on which Mr. Cole lives has been handed down to him from his grandfather. His father, Joseph Cole, though born in Rensselaer county, was brought up here, and died here Sept. 18, 1819, aged thirty-seven years. William B. Cole married Mary Ann Cadsey, of Stephentown, Rensselaer Co., in 1834, and has one daughter, Harriett M., now Mrs. Henry Royce, of New Lebanon. His life has been devoted to the quiet pursuits of a farmer, in which he has laid up a competence for his future years, having bought out the heirs of both his father and grandfather, and having a large and valuable estate. He has resided here from birth, almost sixty-nine years at this writing (July, 1878).