Who am I?


I was born in 1843 in Munceetown, Indiana.  I was seventeen when the Civil War started.  I enlisted in the 19th Indiana Infantry, which was part of the famed Iron Brigade.  After my discharge, I worked in my uncle’s clothing store, as a clerk for the state legislature, as a postal clerk, a postmaster, custodian of the courthouse and finally, I became a pension attorney.  In 1892, having invented a means of fastening a fruit jar, I founded a glass company to produce my patented jar.

The glass business was not successful, and so I sold out in 1894, including the patent rights to my closure.  The buyer continued to make the jars at the factory for many years.  I went back to being a pension attorney, and continued to invent things in my spare time.  Some were successful, such as my currycomb for grooming horses. 

I was elected Clerk of the county in 1902, and served for four years.  Afterward, I was on the editorial staff of the local newspaper.  I was widely was known as a poet.  Many of them were published, and my lovely daughter Pearl would recite them at the GAR encampments I attended.  I died on September 29, 1916, but my legacy continues, as the building across from the courthouse in Muncie where I had my office still goes by my name.  Who am I?




Written by Richard Cole

© 2002 Minnetrista Cultural Center

First Published in the February 2003 Glass Chatter