Medina Journal-Register — Marc W. Cole was the son of Sands Cole Jr. and Carrie Danolds Cole, who were descendants of early settlers of Eagle Harbor. He attended the Eagle Harbor rural school and Miss Foster’s Select School in Albion which was a private school. But mostly he was a self-educated man. He had an inquiring and brilliant mind which lead him to questions and search for answers through untold volumes.
Cole operated the large Danolds farm in Eagle Harbor and was one of the founders of the Albion Golf Club at Eagle Harbor in 1898. This golf club, which he and his family ran, lasted until the 1930s and is reputed to have been the third officially recognized golf club in the United States.
Cole’s first wife was Pearl Coann Curtis, who died in 1925. They had five children: Ezra, Marsha, Marc Wheeler, Fanny and Peter. Cole later married Florence Terry of Brockport by whom he had another son, Terry. Their family home was a large sprawling Colonial house with formal gardens at Eagle Harbor. It was this residence that was turned into a fine tea room known as the Four Chimneys and operated by Florence Terry Cole during the late 1920s and 1930s.
Aside from this enterprise they also made candy that was known as “King Cole Mints,” as well as another product known as “King Cole Plum Pudding.” Around 1950 Marc and Florence moved to the Barlow-Truselle house on South Clinton Street in Albion. They made their famous “King Cole Watermelon Pickles.” Through Mr. Pilato, the local fruit and vegetable man, they were able to procure melons with thick rinds for this purpose from Texas. Although they received help from many family members, this was essentially a two-person operation of peeling, preparing and canning. Neighbors will remember the abundant gifts of watermelon meat, for only the rinds were used.
Now to Marc Cole and his own personal pursuits. In 1912, he ran on the Democratic ticket and was elected our state assemblyman for one term. This was the same seat to which his grandfather, Sands Cole Sr., had been elected 68 years before. He served during 1913 and was much involved in the impeachment proceedings against Gov. William Sulzer, who was replaced by Gov. Martin H. Glynn.
During his brief career in the Assembly, Cole introduced the first bill for state aid to the former Gratwick Laboratory in Buffalo, now Roswell Park Memorial Institute. In 1914, he ran for the State Senate but was defeated. The following statement from a political pamphlet in his behalf, published in 1914, states: “In the case of Marc W. Cole, let his record speak for him. The press of the State, particularly the Agricultural periodicals, agree in declaring the Assemblyman Cole accomplished more in the furtherance of the interest of agriculture than any legislator of his time.”
Cole became an intimate friend of Gov. Alfred E. Smith as he continued to be very active in the Democratic Party. Gov. Smith was a house guest of the Coles at the Four Chimneys on numerous occasions.
Cole was active in the Patriotic Farmers’ Fund and also served with the Federal Reserve Land Bank. During the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt, he became affiliated with the U.S. Department of Treasury and served as an investigator with the Narcotics Bureau from 1933 to 1948, when he retired from public service.
His personal interests included gardening, reading and talent shows. He wrote several short stories and was the first person to research and write an article on cobblestone buildings. The article was published in Country Life in America in 1916.
For a number of years Cole had an interest in directing and performing in local dramas for community causes such as the Free Bed Fund of the Arnold Gregory Memorial Hospital. He also had a keen interest in political science and history and always kept abreast of current events. I remember him vividly, his long black cigarette holder and his ability to talk with knowledge about almost anything.