Biography of Sarah A. Cole, M. D.

Sarah A. Cole, M. D. In a state which had thrown open the door of opportunity to women in many vocations and professions Doctor Cole, of Lincoln, Kansas, is one of the distinguished women in the field of medicine and surgery. She had been a successful practitioner for nearly thirty years, and had spent a great part of that time in Kansas.

She was born October 23, 1855, on the high seas while her parents were en route from Ireland to America. Her primary education was obtained in the schools of West Virginia. As a girl she taught school in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In 1882 she came to Kansas and until 1886 taught school in Lincoln and Ottawa counties. Doctor Cole began the study of medicine under a private tutor, and in 1887 entered the Homeopathic Medical Department of the State University of Iowa, where she was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine March 5, 1889.

For the next eight years she practiced at Port Austin, Michigan. While there she was medical examiner for the Ladies of the Maccabees and for three years was village health officer. During 1897-98 she took a post-graduate course in the Hahnemann Medical College of Chicago, graduating March 24, 1898. Coming to Lincoln, Kansas, Doctor Cole took up the active work of her profession and soon afterwards built a well equipped sanitarium for the treatment of some of the so-called incurable maladies. Doctor Cole is a natural leader and takes an active part in the live of the community wherever she happens to be, as president or in some other official relationship with clubs and societies. She is especially active in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and in equal suffrage work. She is medical examiner for women applicants for insurance in fraternal organizations and old line insurance companies.

Doctor Cole’s father and mother were born, reared and married in Ireland. They had ten children: Sarah A., Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Hannah Rachel, Annie Laurie, David A., William John, Alberta, Jeremiah Wilson and Ida. The daughter Mary Jane Cole married William L. Barr and was the mother of four children, namely: Anna Mary Barr, who is at present superintendent of the Visiting Nurses Association of Kansas City, Missouri; John Bell Barr, in the service of the Government as a forester in the Weiser forest in Idaho, and at this writing is lieutenant of the Tenth Engineers, Company D, United States Army; Margaret Jane Barr, a trained nurse and teacher of Mechano-Therapeuties in the leading hospitals of Kansas City, Missouri; and Elizabeth N. Barr, a writer, whose home is at Topeka, Kansas. Hannah Rachel Cole is associated with her sister Dr. Sarah A. Cole in her work in the sanitarium at Lincoln. Jeremiah Wilson Cole is married and lives in West Virginia, where he is an educator. His children’s names are Mary Elsie Cole, Walter W. Cole and John W. Cole.

Doctor Cole is a direct descendant of a family whose history dates back over 800 years. The Coles claim noble blood. There still exists a lineage of earls in Devonshire, England, beginning with William Cole of Hollisleigh (1243) down to the present earl. Several ancient places of Cole are found in the counties of Devon, Somerset, Wilts and Middelsex, England. For many generations a family of Coles had a seat at Twickenham, Middlesex, and prior to the rebellion they possessed nearly the whole place. A fine monument of the family is in Petersham Church, erected in 1634. John Cole went to Ireland about 1614 and settled in County Donegal, and was the father of William Cole, an officer in Oliver Cromwell’s army. Another of the family went to Scotland and settled near Glasgow. These Irish and Scotch Coles intermarried so that the Coles of these countries are almost pure blood. However, their religious ethics forbade them to marry nearer relation than second cousins. Doctor Cole’s mother was also a Cole and second cousin of her father. The men of the family were all fairly well educated, some of them as lawyers, ministers and doctors. Many of them received military training fitting them to be commissioned officers in the army and some of them held commissions of high rank. Many of the Cole family took active part in affairs of government, some serving in parliament both in the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The oldest son of the family was usually named William and inherited the estate. The other sons were usually given Bible names, such as John, James, David, Isaac, etc. The Coles as a family are industrious people; owning their own homes and saving their money so as to be well provided against times of hardships and high cost of living. Those not in the professions have followed trades and have represented nearly every handicraft.

There is a legend in the Cole family that “Old King Cole” of the nursery rhyme was a real man and was actually king. However, nothing had been found to substantiate the connection of the present branch with that legendary character. Some of the Coles believe the jolly old king was a Dane and the progenitor of all the English, Irish and Scotch Coles. The Cole family had a coat of arms. Its heraldic description was as follows: Coat of Arms: Argentum, a bull passant gula, within a bordure sable, bezantee. Crest: A demi-gryphon holding an arrow headed or, and feathered argentum. Motto: Deum Cole, regem serva.

The English description is as follows: Coat of Arms: A silver escutcheon, upon which is a red bull in the attitude of walking, hoofs gold color, within a black border and pendants of gold coin. Crest: A demi-gryphon holding a gold headed arrow silver feathered. Motto: Worship God and protect the king. The name Cole means a helmet. The coat of arms signifies courage and daring.


Biography, Women,

Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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