Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1870s/1880s Autograph Album of Bell Cole of Hampden, Maine


1870s/1880s autograph album presented to Bell Cole of Hampden, Maine, by her teacher E. B. Towle.



The album measures approximately 4" x 1-3/4" and contains the sentiments of 30 of Bell's teachers, schoolmates, friends and relatives.



From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

The 1880 Census of Hampden, Maine, includes an Isabel O. Cole, age about 14, in the household of Daniel B. and Helen A. Cole.  The 1870 Census has an Ora Cole, age about 4, in the household of Daniel and Helen Cole.

One irksome detail is that in the 1880 Census referenced above there's a Dora E. Cole in the household, called a daughter, as was Isabel.  However, there's a page in the album signed by a Dora E. Cole who called herself Bell's cousin.  Perhaps Dora was a niece of Daniel B. Cole.  It's possible she was Dora Eliza Cole, the daughter of John and Eliza R. (Harding) Cole, and perhaps her parents were unable to care for her.



Despite the problems above, I think that Bell was actually Ora Bell Cole [or Ora Belle Cole], born 29 February 1866, to Daniel B. Cole and Helen A. (Wheelden) Cole.  

As if there weren't enough confusion with the name already, Ora Bell Cole is enumerated as Laura B. Cole in the 1900 Census of Boston, Massachusetts, where she and her brother Horace, a hay dealer, were living in the household of landlord Thomas J. Chesley.

A little over a month after the June Census enumeration, on 31 July 1900 at Boston, Massachusetts, Ora Bell Cole married Thomas J. Chesley, son of Thomas and Susan (Croxford) Chesley.  Thomas, Jr., was born about 1829 at Durham, New Hampshire. 

Sadly, Ora Belle (Cole) Chesley died several years after her marriage, on 11 March 1904, of Bright's Disease, complicated by pneumonia.   Widower Thomas died in 1908.

If you have corrections to the information above, especially if you believe that album owner Bell is not Ora B. (Cole) Chesley, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Three people named Cole, in addition to Dora, signed pages in Bell's album:
  • Lillie F. Cole
  • Horatio E. Cole
  • Mary M. Cole
Ferdinand C. Nealey of No. 26 Pickering Square, at Bangor, a noted photographer, signed a page.  See another post for a photograph, perhaps a self portrait, of Ferdinand Cortez Nealey.


List of signers: [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]
  • Cora, signed on April 12, 1885
  • E. H. T. of Hampden, Maine
  • Jennie, signed on April 12, 1885; Isabel's schoolmate
  • Abbie Babcock, signed at Hampden, Maine, on October 12, 1879
  • Mabel F. Brown of Hampden, Maine, signed on August 4, 1882
  • Louise Carleton of Winterport, Maine
  • James A. Carleton of Winterport, signed Maine, on July 6, 1884
  • Ora Bell Cole, album owner; the album was presented to "Bell" by teacher E. B. Towle
  • Lillie F. Cole of Hampden, Maine, signed on September 1, 1883
  • Horatio E. Cole of Charlestown, Massachusetts
  • Dora E. Cole of Hampden, Maine, signed on March 27, 1884; Isabel's cousin
  • Mary M. Cole of Hampden, Maine
  • Alice B. Couillard of Hampden, Maine, signed on November 10, 1880
  • Horace W. Deane of Hampden Corner, Maine, signed on March 18, 1884
  • Carrie L. Deane of Hampden, Maine, on March 7 [no year]
  • Flora E. Knowles of Hampden, Maine, signed during Summer Term on June 3, 1878; Isabel's schoolmate
  • Ernest Knowles of Nealeys Corner, Maine, signed on February 17, 1879
  • Minnie Knowles of Hampden, Maine, signed on February 16, 1879
  • Belle L. Myrick of Hampden, Maine, signed on March 20, 1889 [or 1884]
  • Louisa P. Nealey of Hampden, Maine, signed on June 20, 1878; Isabel's teacher
  • Ferdinand C. Nealey of No. 26, Pickering Square, Bangor, Maine 
  • Julia M. Perkins, signed on June 25, 1879
  • Hattie S. Phillips of Hampden, Maine, signed on September 6, 1880
  • A. H. Sealand; possibly Arthur H. Sealand of Hampden, Maine
  • E. Edward Stevenson
  • T. H. Stevenson of Boston, Massachusetts, signed on September 10, 1881
  • Charles S. Stoddard of Augusta, Maine, signed at Hampden, Maine, on October 8, 1879
  • Lillian Stoddard of Augusta, Maine, on October 8, 1879; middle initial could be L or S
  • Emma Taylor of Hampden, Maine, signed on June 3, 1874
  • E. B. Towle, presented the album to Isabel "Bell"; signed another page at No. 2-1/2 Strickland Block, Bangor, Maine
  • Leonard T. Tribou of Hampden, Maine, signed on October 11, 1879
Hampden, Maine


Thanks for stopping by!

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