Ernest E. Cole

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Ernest E. Cole
Cole, Ernest.jpg
4th Commissioner of Education of the State of New York
In office
Preceded by Frank Pierrepont Graves
Succeeded by George D. Stoddard
Personal details
Born (1871-11-18)November 18, 1871
Savona, New York
Died November 19, 1949(1949-11-19) (aged 78)
Political party Republican
Residence Bath, New York
Profession Lawyer, Educator, Politician

Ernest E. Cole (November 18, 1871 – November 19, 1949) was a New York state lawmaker who served as Commissioner of Education of the State of New York from 1940 to 1942.

Early life and education[edit]

Cole was born in Savona, New York. He graduated from Haverling High School in Bath, and then attended Cornell University, from which he graduated in 1895. He was admitted to the state bar the same year.[1] After graduating from Cornell, Cole served as the principal of high schools at Greenwood, Painted Post, and Addison.[2] He was a member of the Freemasons, and the Odd Fellows.[3] In 1941, he received an honorary degree in Doctor of Pedagogy from Oglethorpe University.[4]

Political career[edit]

He entered politics as a Republican. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (Steuben Co., 1st D.) in 1920, 1921 and 1922; and a member of the New York State Senate from 1923 to 1926, sitting in the 146th, 147th, 148th and 149th New York State Legislatures. Based upon his background as an educator, Cole became a leader in the legislature on matters of education, and became chairman of the senate committee on public education during his tenure in that body. In this capacity, he sponsored the "Cole Laws" of 1925, which helped fund local school districts within constitutional limitations.[5] The bills were called "a long step in the improvement of the State's educational system."[6]

Education Department[edit]

In recognition of Cole's leadership on these issues, he was appointed counsel of the State Education Department on July 1, 1926.[7] Two years later, he was made a deputy commissioner of the Education Department, and in 1940 he was made commissioner.[8]

Cole retired from the department in 1942. He died on November 19, 1949. He was buried at Seamans Cemetery in Savona.[9]


  1. ^ James Malcolm, ed., The New York State Red Book (Albany, NY: J.B. Lyon, 1928), p. 174.
  2. ^ Malcolm, New York State Red Book, p. 174.
  3. ^ Cole at "The Political Graveyard."
  4. ^ "Honorary Degrees Awarded by Oglethorpe University". Oglethorpe University. Archived from the original on 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  5. ^ "Allows $6,000,000 for Poorer Schools," The New York Times, February 19, 1925, p. 21.
  6. ^ Malcolm, The New York State Red Book, p. 174.
  7. ^ Malcolm, New York State Red Book, p. 174.
  8. ^ New York State Education Department, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2010-08-06. ; Malcolm, The New York State Red Book, p. 174.
  9. ^ Seamans Cemetery Website,
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Samuel E. Quackenbush
New York State Assembly
Steuben County, 1st District

Succeeded by
Edwin J. Carpenter
New York State Senate
Preceded by
William A. Carson
New York State Senate
43rd District

Succeeded by
Leon F. Wheatley