Monday, January 29, 2007

Henry Cole Died a Hero

by Marilyn (Cole) Posey

Henry Harrison Cole was born 1861 in Gilmer County. He married Mary Heater who was born in 1863. Just after the turn of the century, when Henry and Mary were in their 40s, they moved to Orlando. Their home was at the corner of Grass Lick and Three Lick, and there they farmed and finished raising their eleven children1.

Like many of that period, Henry Harrison Kuhl lived in the shadow of his family's role in the Civil War. Henry's father, William, who fought for the Union, felt disgraced by his parents and siblings who supported the Confederacy. (That story will be in another entry). For that reason William and a brother who had also fought for the Union changed their names from "Kuhl" to "Cole."

First Row: Simon Cole, Bessie (Cole) Wimer Blake, Henry Harrison Cole, Susan Rosetta Cole, Verdie Elizabeth Cole (on lap), Mary Jane (Heater) Cole, Jesse Cole. Second Row: Nellie Wymer, David Wymer, Furman Wyer, Mabel (Cole) Wyer, Charles Quinton Cole, Laura Cole, Cora Wimer, Ida (Cole) Wimer

Henry Cole died in a fire on Town Run Road in Lewis County on Feb. 26, 1926. He had been called for jury duty and was spending the night with the Minnie Radcliff family. During the night, the house caught fire. Mrs. Radcliff claimed her small child was still inside the house and Henry re-entered to save the child. The home collapsed and Henry was killed. The child had been safely in the arms of a neighbor all along. Henry Harrison Cole was 66 years old.

Henry's wife Mary was ill in bed when this happened. Folks brought his body to their home on Three Lick, for her to see him. Someone went inside the bedroom and helped her to the window. They then took him by wagon to bury him at the Orlando cemetery. However, the water was up and they could not pass. So they had to wait till the water receded to take him on the hill for burial.

Mary died four years later, on March 14, 1930. They both are buried in the Orlando Cemetery. Over the years their 125 acres on Three Lick has plotted off and either sold or given to descendents.

1. Henry and Mary's eleven children were:
1. Charles Quinton Cole (my grandfather) married Rissie Alice Blake..2nd Stella Messenger
2. Jessie Uriah Cole married Della Fox
3. Bessie Cole..1st married David Wimer, 2nd marriage to Rubin Blake
4. Ida Cole married James “ Polk” Wimer
5. Mabel Cole married Furman Wyer
6. Lena Cole (twin) died when 2 years old; fell into a pot in the yard while they were rendering lard and died a few days later due to the severity of the burns.

7. Laura Cole (twin) married William Dolan
8. Simon Lewis Cole married Sybil Heater See the comment below.
9. Susan Rosetta Cole married Frank Browning
10. Verdie Elizabeth died at the age of 14
11. William (Willie) Henry Cole died at the age of 19 months

Comment 1 from David Parmer
In 1958, Burnsville High School was playing a baseball game with Gassaway High School . The game was being played at the baseball field at Falls Mill. I was playing third base for Burnsville. During Gassaway’s first at bat in the first inning, I took the field at third base. The Gassaway coaches took their positions at first and third base. The third base coach for Gassaway was a tall slender man who appeared to be in his fifties or sixties in age, dressed in a brown khaki shirt and brown khaki trousers. Being stationed at third base the Gassaway coach was just a few feet away from me.

This was my first game of organized baseball and I was probably unsure where to position myself as Gassaway’s first batter came to the plate. I then noticed that the Gassaway coach was signaling me discreetly to move up the baseline. I thought to myself, “that is odd, why would Gassaway’s coach be advising me where to play the batter?” The Gassaway coach continued to give me the same discreet advise throughout the game and I became ever the more puzzled.

After the game had ended, the Gassaway coach came over to me, and asked “You don’t know who I am, do you?” I replied that I did not. He then said, “I’m your uncle Simon Cole”. “I’m married to your grandmother Mae’s sister, Sybil.”

My grandmother was Mae (Heater) Parmer, and Sybil, her sister, were daughters of my great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Heater and his wife, Ora (Riffle) Heater.

Simon Cole was the son of Henry and Mary (Heater) Cole who are featured in this article.


  1. My name is Eugene. It seems that my mother and your grand father were 1st cousins. My mothers mother was named Virginia Ceril (Cecile) Cole. She was a sister to Henry Harrison (Kuhl) Cole, husban to Mary Jane Heater. Her father was William Harrison (Kuhl) Cole, husband to Mary Elizabet Heffner.

    I would love to talk with you about geneology. email eugenebowden@windstream. Subject title Kuhl Geneology

  2. Eugene, Thanks for your interest. I'd be delighted to put you in touch with a couple of your cousins, but your e-mail address seems to be a bit short. Please send your correct e-address to

  3. Actually Eugene is my uncle. he should have put his MOTHER Is Daisy nee: Keller
    so a type O there.
    I will contact him and have him correct that and contact you