Special to the Reporter

Members of the Bosque River Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) gathered at Midway Cemetery, Comanche County near Carlton on Saturday, June 20, to dedicate a “Defender of the Republic of Texas” marker for the tombstone of Jesse Cole. 

The flags of the United States and Texas blew in the breeze as Chapter President Jane Klein led the ceremony.  Cole’s biography was recounted by a descendant, Linda Bowden, Registrar of the chapter.  Another descendant, Carlian Pitman was also present.

Jesse Cole served as a private with the Mounted Company of the 3rd Regiment of the 2nd Brigade of the Militia of the Republic of Texas, in 1838. He was born in North Carolina in 1814 and by age 27 was in the Republic of Texas.  He married twice and had six children by each wife. He lived in San Augustine, Nacogdoches, Angelina, Bell, Hamilton and Comanche counties. Cole was murdered in April 1875 in Hazel Dell, Comanche County and buried in Midway Cemetery. No one was ever arrested for the murder, which was not uncommon is those lawless days of Reconstruction.  Many of his descendants still live in the area. 

DRT marks graves of citizens of the Republic of Texas as well as defenders.  Descendants do not have to be members of the DRT to have an ancestor’s grave marked but proof of service or residency is required.  For more information about marking a grave or membership in DRT contact Linda Bowden at 254-968-6880.