Served on the Iowa Supreme Court from March 1, 1864, when he was appointed in compliance with a legislative Act increasing the personnel from three to four members, until he resigned January 19, 1876. For one year of this period he was Chief Justice.
Born in Oxford, Chenango County, New York, June 4, 1824. He was graduated from Harvard Law School and located in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky, where he practiced law for nine years, He came to Des Moines in May 1857. Together with Justice Wright he established the law school that is now the Law Department of the University of Iowa, where he served as professor for ten years. Upon his return to Des Moines he established another law school, which in 1881 became the Law Department of Drake University.
He continued as dean of this school until 1907. He continued in the active practice of law until he was eighty-nine years of age.
Justice Cole died in Des Moines, October 4, 1913.