George Cole

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George Cole was principal of the Bannock Stake Academy, the forerunner to Brigham Young University-Idaho. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Cole was born in 1864 in American Fork, Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young Academy in 1892. He taught school in Malad, Idaho, for several years before he was called to be the principal of the Bannock Stake Academy in 1894.

During his administration, seventh and eighth grade school work was added to the academy. One year later the Board of Church Education decided to close the school because of lack of adequate funds; but Cole and other teachers vowed to keep the school open and taught the last half of the year without pay. They accepted homegrown produce for students’ tuitions, which is how they fed their families. He resigned in 1899.

Cole married Rosalie Deschamps in 1890. She died in 1897, shortly after the birth of their fourth child. He married Julia Goody in 1900 and they had seven children. In November 1906, several Rexburg families, including the Cole family, were sent by the Church to settle north of Sacramento in Gridley, California. Cole became the first branch president and the branch met in his home for several years. He also led the Church choir for many years.

He served the Gridley community as well. He served for many years as the secretary of the Gridley Federal Farm Loan Association and taught irrigation techniques to the farmers in the area. He died in 1932 and is buried in there.