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Cornelius Cole

Cornelius Cole (September 17, 1822 – November 3, 1924) served a single term in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican representing California from 1863 to 1865, and another term in the United States Senate from 1867 to 1873.


He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1847. In his lifetime he practiced law in his adopted state of California first in San Francisco, then in Sacramento. After returning to California following his retirement from national politics he practiced in San Francisco again and finally in Los Angeles with his eldest son Willoughby.

On June 27, 1922, Cole spoke before Congress, as it was in recess, for a period of 5 minutes at the age of 99. When he died in 1924 at age 102 he was the oldest former U.S. Senator in American history, and has yet to be surpassed.

On March 8, 1856 Cole organized the California branch of the Republican Party, acting as secretary and writing the manifesto. Of the seven men who joined him were Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, Leland Stanford, and the Crocker brothers Edwin B. and Charles Crocker. Later that summer of 1856, Cole started the Sacramento "Daily California Times" (also published weekly) with James McClatchy as an editor. It was short lived lasting only a few months after the 1856 National election.

Cornelius Cole in 1922 (age 99–100).

Additionally, he was nominated on the Republican ticket for Clerk of Sacramento Court, but failed to get elected. In 1858 he was elected as District Attorney of Sacramento County. In 1862 he and his family moved to Santa Cruz located on Monterey Bay. It was from there he went to the US Congress in 1863.

In 1880 he moved to southern California where he owned one of the original Spanish/Mexican landgrants, what is now known as Hollywood, then was dubbed Colegrove after his wife, Olive Colegrove. There are several streets now named after the family; Cole St., Willoughby Ave., Eleanor St. and Seward St.

The eastern California community of

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