Fredericka Cole

Fredericka J. Cole (1835-1922)
Beatrice, Gage County, Nebraska

Fredericka Cole was a Civil War army nurse.
In 1912 she was the Department President of the Army Nurses’ Association.
She was the first president of WRC Ralings Corps #92 of Beatrice, Nebraska in 1889, and always active in it. At least two occasions, 1915 and 1920, she gave talks on her experience as army nurse at the WRC District conventions in Beatrice.

Fredericka / Fredricka J. Wortzschmidt / Wurtsmith was born November 1935 in Baumburg, Germany. She came to the US in 1842. She married Gilbert L. Cole on December 4, 1854 at Monroe, Michigan. They moved to Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin in 1857. They moved to Fremont County, Iowa in 1859, living there nearly 20 years, most of the time at Sidney. They came to Beatrice, Nebraska in 1878 when it was a small town. This was not long before their 25th wedding anniversary. Mr. Cole built their home at 809 S 6th Street (now Highway 77 and in the flood plain). The family members were nearly all musicians.

They had 10 children, 9 living: Carson V. was born May 1856; Frank W. July 1860; George M.; William S. 1863/64; Edward K.; Callie B.; Nellie W.; Alice C.; and Josie the youngest  born March 1878. So the Coles had two or more small children when she went as a nurse in the Civil War. Possibly it was when he was wounded They must have had a close relative nearby to care for the children.

Her husband Gilbert L. Cole (1829-1910)
enlisted Aug. 25, 1862 in Co. E, 29th Iowa Inf., was wounded about 8 months later and transferred to the Invalid Corps, later was 2nd Lt. of A, 124th USCI, discharged Nov. 6, 1865.

He had graduated from the Cincinnati Mechanical Institute in the winter of 1847-48. In Beatrice he was an architect, contractor and builder with the firm of Cole & Conlee. He designed and built the first Opera House. The following year took the contract and built Doane College at Crete. Superintended the erection of the Central School building and the Masonic Temple,
and several business houses and residences. Designed and erected the Gage County veterans monument on the court house grounds. Had been on the board of education, board of supervisors, city council, and board of public works at a time when some of the permanent public improvements of the city were being made. Masonic orders, O.E.S., G.A.R., Methodist Church. Published an account of his 1852-1854 trip to Placerville, California. Member of Nebraska State Historical society, the Nebraska Territorial Pioneers association, Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, and Western Association of Pioneers; the papers he read there are preserved in the records and published proceedings.

This information is given here to illustrate the life of a pioneer builder of a Nebraska town, and activities and interests.

Fredericka J. Wortzschmidt Cole died December 18, 1922. She is buried in Evergreen Home Cemetery, Beatrice, Nebraska.