W. P. (POKE) COLE FARM

“When you get a good farm— stay with it”– that seemingly has been the policy of the Cole family in Slygo. This week brings up the farm known as the “Uncle Nathan Cole Place” in Slygo, about two miles northwest of New England, now owned and operated by W. P. (Poke) Cole. Uncle Nathan, Poke’s father, was born at the old home place– so was Poke— (and he is 54 years “young” himself.)

Though the dwelling has had some minor repairs, it is over 100 years old. Slaves were kept by the pioneer Cole family. Now in the home is one of the old time spining [sic] wheels; also one of the early cradles– (Poke tells the writer that he has spent no little time in the cradle himself.) Another thing about the farm of special interest is the log corn crib— the logs were hewed out by Uncle Dock Cole scores of years ago.

Anyway, to go on with the facts about the general farming interests, Poke, though being County Surveyor and an expert carpenter, takes “time out” to look after the 148-acre reservation— 85 of which are in cultivation. The owner is successfully getting away from so much row crop farming; sowing plenty of lespedeza, barley, red top, rye grass, etc, and cutting down on corn. Quite a bit of Poke’s time is devoted to taking care of a fine herd of Hereford cattle. He has built his herd up considerably during the part few years, due to keeping registered bulls. We pause here to note that his largest bull weighs 1840 lbs. He recently bought a young “white face” bull calf–(registered).

Poke has team of mares tipping the scales at 3200 lbs, (he’s never been able to load ’em), and out back of the barn the writer saw two hogs that would weigh possibly 800 lbs.

Both white and yellow corn are grown on the farm– some of the finest we’ve seen, particularly the yellow… and he has plenty of it. No cotton is raised, but a wheat crop is usually harvested.

Poke says “all the children have left him but one”– Clarke, the youngest son, is still at home and is becoming quite a “fixture”. Mrs. Cole is also a hustler; keeping up with a fine flock of New Hampshire Red hens — about 80, besides putting up near 500 cans of fruit, vegetables, etc., for the winter. Along with his general farming, Poke manages to raise plenty of potatoes, beans, peas, etc., in a good sized garden.

The entire farm is well watered. Besides the head of Squirrel Town creek, there are two big springs and as many small ones. The springs are known far and near, and many stop by for a clear, cold drink..

In closing, we would not forget to mention that Poke has been a “powerful” fox hunter and used to keep the finest dogs. He says, however, that his dogs have dwindled down to one shepherd. The writer has hunted with him many times, and would put him against the world “hollering”, when “Old Ella” was bringing the “bushy” around by the rock house or across the McCollum orchard on to Brushy mountain. I enjoyed the hunts, too — every one of them. (THE DADE COUNTY TIMES, October 30, 1941.)

William Polk Cole was born September 20, 1888 to Nathan Watkins Cole and wife, Sarah Elizabeth Tittle Cole. (Refer to William Isham Cole article.) On September 29, 1909, Polk married Willie Luverna Dugan. Several children were born to this union. For more information regarding the William Polk Cole family, refer to article William Polk Cole and Willie Luverna Dugan Cole.

Submitted by Sue Forester

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