Lee County Biography

Joseph F. Cole

Joseph F. Cole, Postmaster and druggist at Compton, is one of the leading citizens of the village who is active in its business interests and is potent in promoting its growth. He was born near Wellsboro, Potter Co. PA July 14, 1844. His father, Joseph Cole was born, reared and married in the state of NY. He was a millwright by trade, and after marriage removed to Potter County where he followed that occupation a few years. He subsequently took up his residence at Angelica, Allegany Co NY and there his death occured in 1854 while yet in his prime. His wife, Adelina Fairchild also a native of NY did not survive him many months, but died the following year.

Thus sadly bereft of his parents our subject went to live with his uncle Samuel P. Fairchild, with whom he came to Lee County in 1856. On his arrival here he went to live with Elisha Hills. He attended school a portion of each year and made the best of his opportunities. to obtain an education and the remainder of the time he assisted on the farm, thus continuing until 1864. A youth of 19 years who had watched with great interest the course of the war that was raging between the North and South, he determined to doa a man's part and in the month of May he enlisted in Co E 140th IL Inf. for 100 days. He went to TN with the commany which was assigned to guard the Memphis & Charleston RR and he was thus employed until the expiration of his term of enlistment. He was honorably discharged with his regiment, having shown excellent soldierly qualities in the discharge of his duties.

Soon after his return he went to Mendota to attend school. He devoted himself to his books for a year, and then went to Bloomington to learn the trade of a house and sign painter. He remained in that city for four years, and then spent a year at Normal working at his trade. He then came back to Lee County and until 1872 was engaged in the mercantile business at Melugin's Grove. Carnahan Station was his next place of residence and he was similarly engaged there a few years. In 1888 he established himself as a druggist at Compton, and at the same time opened his house to the traveling public under the name of the Compton House. In the management of these various enterprises he has done well and is looked upon as one of the solid men of the village. He received his appointment as Postmaster in May 1889 and it is conceded tat no better man could have been found for the place.

In 1871 he was married to Ellen Carnahan, daughter of A.J. & Elizabeth Carnahan. Their marriage has been a harmonious and happy union and has brought them four children - Addie, Lizzie May, Andrew J and Joseph F.

Mr. Cole is a patriotic citizen and a Republican. He has filled various offices of trust with credit to himself and benefit to the community. He was Township Clerk for 8 years and was the last Postmaster at Melugin's Grove before the office was abolished.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL Pg 614


Lee Co Bios