from A Cyclopaedia of Canadian Biography, Volume 1 edited by George Maclean Rose
Cole, Wilmot Howard, Lieutenant Colonel, Brockviille, Ontario, was born at Brockville, February 16th, 1834. . .
Cornelius Cole emigrated to America in the year 1708; in 1711 he became a justice of Albany county, comprised within the limits of what was called "Livingston Manor." His land was next to that of W. T. Livingston, and extended from the Manor House road to Jansen's Kill, or creek, and was one of the finest farms in the manor.
He had three sons, named Nicholas, John and Adam. On the breaking out of the rebellion, Cornelius Cole and his sons, John and Adam, espoused the cause of England, and the sons joined the Royalist forces. As the war proceeded, the feeling ran so high against the "Tories," as the Royalists wore called, that Cornelius Cole, although an old man, was seized and imprisoned, where he died a victim of fidelity to Fatherland.
His property was confiscated, and his sons forced to seek a home in the wilds of Canada. In 1782 John and Adam Cole left, with other United Empire loyalists, for Canada, and passing up the St. Lawrence, they landed and settled in the County of Leeds, in that part now called the township of Elizabethtown, at a point on the river St. Lawrence about five miles west of the present town of Brockville, which place is still called "Cole's Ferry."
Here Adam Cole settled, being, as he was frequently heard to say, the first person to begin a settlement in the township of Elizabethtown. . . Adam Cole's wife was Thankful Fulford, also descended from loyalist stock. Her brothers, a short time after her departure with her husband, came to Canada and settled in the same neighbourhood, and they have left numerous descendants.
Adam Cole's family, in 1812, consisted of nine sons and seven daughters, besides four who died in infancy. Five of the sons served in the war of 1812, the eldest, Peter, being present and assisted in the capture of Ogdensburg, and he subsequently held the rank of captain. The house of Adam Cole was the general headquarters of the military, when they were in that section of country, or when moving between Montreal and Kingston.
It is related of Peter Cole, the eldest son, that in the year 1810, the mail carrier was taken sick at his father's house, and Peter took the mail to Kingston, where he received that from Toronto and carried it back to Montreal. At Montreal he took charge of the mail for the west, which had been accumulating for a month and weighed upwards of sixty pounds, and carried it to Kingston. He accomplished the whole trip, going and coming, of 430 miles, on foot, in fourteen days, and this was in March, when the tramping most of the way was through the forest and very difficult. He received for this service from the government the sum of fifteen dollars.
Abel Cole, who was the youngest son of Adam Cole, is the only one of that large family now living (1886), and is a hale and hearty old gentleman of eighty years. His wife, Catherine Seaman, is the oldest person now living (1886) in Brockville, who was born there, her father, Nehemiah Seaman, being one of the early settlers.
Wilmot Howard Cole, second son of Abel Cole, was educated at Brockville. He commenced mercantile business in 1855, and continued in the same until 1882. The old spirit of loyalty which he inherited, prompted him upon the organization of the volunteer militia of Canada in 1855, to become a member of the old "Brockville Rifle company. . ." . . .Col. Cole married Jane Adelaide, youngest daughter of the late Abram Phillips, of New York.