Sue Young Histories

Sarah A Cole 1855 -

January 09, 2008

sarah a coleSarah A Cole 1855 - homeopathic physician in Lincoln for forty years.

for nearly forty years a physician in Lincoln and adjoining counties, died at her home in Lincoln Wednesday, February 20, following a long illness. She was 90 years old. In her death, this community lost one of its outstanding characters, a woman who had devoted her entire life to making the world a better place in which to live.

In 1897, Dr. Cole took a post graduate course at the Hanemann Medical College in Chicago. Here she was offered a [class?] in one of the departments but declined in favor of general practice and came back to Lincoln county in 1898. In the meantime she had become a member of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1896.

In a state which has 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 has been a successful practitioner for nearly thirty years, and has 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.

She grew up on a farm near Cameron, West Virginia. Those were the real pioneering days. Her mother spun and wove for the family clothing. Fireplaces were used exclusively for heating and cooking.

Both girls were keen students and seeing their eagerness, some of their teachers taught them subjects far in advance of the course of study in a country school. Jane became the wife of William L. Barr, well known among an older generation of Lincoln county people, and Sarah taught school. Fond of music, these three young people took singing lessons. There were no organs or pianos and the vocal music was taught by means of a tuning fork.

In 1880 Mr. and Mrs. BARR with their two children came to Lincoln county and settled just east of Beverly. Miss Sarah Cole soon followed them to “the West,” as Kansas was then considered. At that time she was a beautiful young woman with an abundance of flaxen hair which came down below her knees, blue eyes and pink cheeks. For a time she continued teaching school.

Dr. Anna Goff lived in Lincoln at that time. She was a pioneer woman doctor of the homeopathic school and encouraged Miss Cole to become a physician (Doctor Cole began the study of medicine under a private tutor). Dr. Cole took her medical course at the University of Iowa, graduating with the degree of Doctor of medicine in 1889.

The Barr family had in the meantime moved to Michigan and Dr. Cole entered practice there at Port Austin. She started her practice on a principle to which she adhered until the time of her retirement - that a physician’s duty to humanity was a sacred obligation and that a call to the sick bed must meet with response regardless of circumstances…

Soon after coming back to Lincoln county, Dr. Cole was joined by her sister, Miss Hannah R. Cole, a nurse, and they built a hospital of 16 rooms, one of them large enough to constitute a ward where several patients could be cared for. This was for the accommodation of patients who lived at a distance.

Dr. Cole was a thorough student and kept abreast of the latest developments in her profession. She was one of the first to experiment with the treatment of cancer by the use of colored glass through which the sun’s rays were focused to the seat of the disease. She realized a very high percentage of cures in cases where the cancer was still confined to an area and before it had spread its tentacles thoughout the entire system. continue reading:

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.

Their 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-Therapeutics 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. continue reading:

Miss Hannah R. Cole is a sister of Doctor Cole. She is the trained nurse of the sanitarium, and also gives Osteopathic massage.


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