Hannah Cole

Hannah Cole Statue

Hannah Cole arrived in Missouri in 1809 with her husband (William Temple Cole) and kids. The next year, the Indians killed her husband and she found herself alone in the wilderness with 9 kids to take care of. For whatever reason, she decided to stay in Missouri and soon built a house on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River (where the city of Boonville is now). Hannah & her family were among the very first white families to settle in the area. And I mean settle, not just row by like Lewis & Clark.

Morgan Street Park

Hannah’s house was turned into a fort & used by settlers for defense during the war of 1812, where it provided a safe water source for settlers. The first County Circuit Court session was held there and she obtained the first business license to operate a ferry (in 1816) across the river. After Boonville was settled and established as the county seat, her fort was used as the first school, church and voting place in the county. Hannah eventually moved about 15 miles south of town where she died in 1843.

Boonville hasn’t shied away from their women’s history. If you search Monroe street you can find a plaque marking Hannah’s fort. There is also Hannah Cole Primary school and a statue of her in the Morgan Street Park, located just off Main Street.

Briscoe Cemetery
Hannah Cole's Gravesite

The statue was erected during the Lewis and Clark anniversary in 2004. For that I suppose I can forgive them for surrounding her statue with busts of men.

You can also visit Hannah Cole Roadside Park next to the Briscoe Cemetery, where she is buried, 15 miles south of town on Highway 5.

6 thoughts on “Hannah Cole

  1. Hi Greta,
    I found out this past year that Hannah Cole is my ancestor. This past summer we visited Boonville and saw the statue. I wish I would have seen this post before out trip because we couldn’t find the site of her fort. You have a lovely blog!

    1. Thanks for the support, Deb! Hannah was a fascinating woman. There used to be a grey sign along East Morgan Street that had an artist’s rendering of her fort with a description. I need to get back there and see if it is still up.

    2. I am also related… she is my 6x great grandmother! I wish I could go and see the statue and other things dedicated to her.

    1. I just learned Hannah Cole is my and my sisters 5th great Grandmother. My great grandfather is “Daddy Cole”. He was a sheriff in Houston, TX. My grandmother is Carolyn Cole (maiden name). I would love to chat with you and see how we are connected!

  2. I too am an ancestor of Hannah Cole. I read somewhere that when the statue of Hannah was constructed that the artist used some of her female ancestors as models.

    Thanks for the information.

    Gail Bunce

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