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Col James Reid Cole
Birth: Nov. 17, 1839
Stokes County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Oct. 27, 1917
Dallas County
Texas, USA

(Lieut.) Served in the following NC units early in the war. Guilford Grays, Second Calvary, Co. F. 1st Sgt., 54th Inf. Adjutant, Lt., 22nd Inf. Adjutant, Lt. Late in the war he was appointed Col. of a Regiment recently organized by…the legislature…By order of Governor Vance…in the brigade of Gen. Collett Leventhorpe who had command in eastern NC.
(Source "Seven Decades of My Life," by James Reid Cole, 1913, published privately). Signed Lee Deatherage Taylor, May 10, 2002.

Days prior to graduating from Trinity College (now Duke University) in Randolph County, NC, in 1861, due to James Reid being summoned to war, he hurriedly mastered his final exams and then marched off as a Confederate soldier. His father William Carter Cole also served in the war of 1812, and died while James was an infant. His mother died when he was 6 and he was reared by siblings. Following the war, James arrived in Texas with a burning desire to teach and he was very successful in that profession.

Some of his more publicized accomplishments include in 1866, chairing the ancient languages of McKenzie College at Clarksville, Texas, and administering to Bonham Masonic Female Institute, and to Canaan Institute in Grayson County, Texas. (Information in the Texas Handbook)

He purchased a large farm in the Cedar Community southeast of Sherman, TX and taught school in a one room log house in that community. He was also a charter member of the Cedar Methodist Church, and donated land for the church site.

He was elected to the 12th Texas Legislature as a Democrat, and it was during this session, while he was serving on the education committee, that A&M College in Bryan was Chartered (1871), as well as Southwestern University at Georgetown.

In 1878-9 he served as President of North Texas Female College (renamed Kidd-Key College in 1919).

In 1879 he was offered a job, heading the Literary Department of Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College in Bryan, Texas. He served in that capacity for 6 years and served as the 3rd president of Texas A & M College for a short period in 1883, until the title of President was abolished by the board members.

In 1885-1889 he served as Superintendent of Public Schools in Abilene, Texas.

And in August 1889 a petition of twenty-five or so Dallas business men proposed that he come to Dallas, Texas and head a private school with a guaranteed salary of $3,000 per year. This offer he accepted and within thirteen years developed the famous preparatory school named for him - Coles's Classic and Military School. Here for years Colonel Cole prospered as a great educator and public-minded citizen, reared a large family, and provided all of his children a college education.

Two of his published books can be found in the Library of Congress, titled "MISCELLANY", published 1897, and "SEVEN DECADES OF MY LIFE", published in 1913. The above information was taken from these books, The Texas A & M web page, Dallas, Texas Historical web page, and two pamplets titled "FIRST FIVE ADMINISTRATORS OF TEXAS A. & M. COLLEGE" 1876-1890 and 1879-1885, compiled by David Brooks Cofer, College Archivist, in 1952 and 1955.

James Reid Cole - 3RD PRESIDENT
Acting President April 1, 1883-June 26, 1883
President June 26, 1883-July 19, 1883
Born: Stokes County, North Carolina; November 17, 1839
Died: Dallas, Texas; October 28, 1917; buried in Dallas
Appointed professor of English language, history, and literature on November 22, 1879, following the dismissal of the Gathright faculty; Appointed Acting President April 1, 1883, following the resignation of James. Office of the President was abolished in favor of a Chairman of the Faculty System, July 19, 1883. (Info. on A&M web page)

Cole's Select School
(Source: Memorial & Biographical History
of Dallas County, 1892)

This college was established in 1889 by Colonel J. R. Cole, an eminent scholar and educator, at the solicitation of a number of prominent citizens of Dallas. The special object was to prepare boys at home for college or university or give a useful education adequate for the various vocations of life.
While this school is mainly for boys, a limited number of girls are admitted. The course of study adopted, in many respects, is equal to the curriculum of many colleges, and, thoroughly mastered, will prepare a student for the freshman or sophomore class in the best colleges and universities in our country. It requires eight years to complete the entire course for graduation, which can be accomplished at 16-18 years of age. Students completing the entire course will receive diplomas.
Colonel J. R. Cole, principal, is a graduate of Trinity College, North Carolina, having received the degree of A. B. and A. M. He has taught in Texas more than 20 years and has been professor, principal or president in some of the most prominent institutions in the State, as McKenzie College, North Texas Female College and the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas.

Misses May and Ella Cole are the daughters of the principal and were educated under his direction. He was assisted by the best lady teachers he could procure in the State as private instructors in his family for nine years.

- Memorial & Biographical History of
Dallas County, Texas, 1892, pp. 318-319 
Family links: 
  Mary Parrish King Cole (1849 - 1916)*
  May Wightman Cole Deatherage (1869 - 1954)*
  Ella Cole Reid (1871 - 1939)*
  James Reid Cole (1872 - 1960)*
  Christopher Columbus Cole (1877 - 1956)*
  William Robert Cole (1883 - 1891)*
  Nora Cole Skinner (1885 - 1936)*
*Calculated relationship
Greenwood Cemetery
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Plot: Block 23 – Lot 23 Space 2(SW)
Created by: Joann Cole Slaven
Record added: May 28, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14436917
Col James Reid Cole
Added by: RMLeahy
Col James Reid Cole
Added by: Kelli Smythe
Col James Reid Cole
Added by: Kelli Smythe
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- Kelli Smythe
 Added: Sep. 2, 2009
James, I admire you just as Christopher did, and with good reason. You carried on where he left off. Your father and mother raised a family of wholesome, intelligent and loyal children. God Bless you Athos!
- P. Farrow
 Added: Jun. 9, 2009
This page is sponsored by: Joann Cole Slaven

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