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COLE, Thomas W.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 1295-1296

The high standard of excellence which marks the popularity of any business house is maintained by the firm of COLE & DAY, dealers in all kinds of fancy and staple groceries, located at No. 307 West State Street, Rockford [Winnebago County, IL].   The present firm was established in Nov 1879, and carries one of the largest stocks in the city, and is rapidly increasing its business beyond its previous scope by honest treatment of patrons and strict integrity.

Since 1865 Mr. COLE has been identified with the business interests of Rockford, and for some years wa a tobacco dealer, later served as County Treasurer for six years, and was Township Collector for two years.  At present he is Alderman of the 7th Ward, and as a strong Republican takes an active part in political matters, and is prominent in public affairs.  His fellow citizens have repeatedly called him to official positions of honor and trust, which he has invariably filled with credit to himself and satisfaction to all concerned, and has been especially active in all matters pertaining to the growth of the city.

Mr. COLE is a native of NY City and was born 09 Nov 1838, but has been a resident of Rockford since he was 18 months old, and has seen this city grow from a struggling village with a small population to a prominent  position among the best cities of the State.   When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted for three months in the early part of 1861, and served during the period of his enlistment as a member of Company D, 11th IL Infantry.  In Jul 1862 he re-enlisted in the 74th IL Infantry as a private in Company D, Captain Douglas and Col. Marsh, commanding.

After organizaton, the regiment marched at once to the South and was assigned to the 20th Army Corps, in the Army of the Cumberland.  Among the engagements which Mr. COLE participated were the battles of Perryville, KY; Stone River (after which he was made 1st Sergeant), Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Dalton, Buzzard's Roost and Resaca.  At the last named place the 74th took a very prominent part, and Mr. COLE, in the thickest of the fight, was wounded in the right elbow by a ball from the enemy's guns, which confined him to the hospital for six months.  Meanwhile he was sent back to Rockford, where his arm was amputated in Nov 1864.

On 03 Apr 1872, Mr. COLE was united in marriage with Mis Alice MENTZER, who was born in Rockford, 11 Jan 1849.  She was reared and educated in this city, of which her parents were early settlers.  Mr. and Mrs. COLE are the parents of three children, Frank C., William J., and Lulu, all of whom are at home.  Mrs. COLE takes an active [p 1296] interest in all matters pertaining to the welfare of women of the city, and has for many years been a prominent member of the Women's Relief Corps.  Mr. COLE is a member of G. L. Nevius Post No. 1, G. A. R., of Rockford, and has occupied the Chair of Quartermaster of the post.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.