Feb 16, 2007, 12:13 PM
Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust
Tommie Cole's Flasks of Gold ;Coffee County, Alabama
Thomas Delorum (Tommie) Cole is quite possibly the wealthiest man who ever lived in Coffee County, Alabama. His land holdings covered three Alabama counties and he owned the largest number of slaves in the area. Tommie Cole was born sometime in the late 1700's in South Carolina. His family moved to Georgia around 1812 and it was here that he married Elizabeth Horn. Tommie and Elizabeth moved to Dale County, Alabama, in 1820, along with three children and a number of slaves. When a portion of Dale County was broken off into present-day Coffee County in 1841, Tommie and his plantation was situated in the Coffee County portion. He was one of the five commisioners who selected Wellborn as the center of government for the fledgling county. Tommie Cole built the first bridge over Pea River, the first building housing the New Hope Baptist Church, and pioneered many sucessful farming techniques used in this area even till this day. He had began work on a newer and larger house when his wife Elizabeth died in 1860. Tommie then married Nancy King, who had been he and Elizabeths' housekeeper for several years prior to Elizabeths' death. Another trait that Tommie was famous for was his habit of paying his debts in gold currency. Legend has it that Tommie Cole kept his gold currency in three flasks in his bedroom, because he was distrustful of banks. Tommie was pushing 70 years of age in 1861, much too old to march away with the younger men who were off to serve the Confederacy in the bloody American Civil War. While some of the Cole men joined the Confederate Army, there were enough of the family left behind to help the aging Tommie around the plantation. It is told that his closest and most trusted companion was an elderly slave known only as "Uncle Rence." No battles were known to have been fought on Coffee County soil between Southern and Northern troops, but many cowardly men who were deserters from both armies found the Coffee County area to be a good place to hide out. These men made raids upon the farms of the area which were mostly being run by women and men too old or infirm to go fight. Thomas Cole was well aware that he was a prime target for the ruffians. When Tommie received an anonymous tip that his plantation was about to be raided, he and Uncle Rence took the three flasks of gold and buried them somewhere on the plantation grounds. They did not have to wait very long before the raiders arrived and set about searching the Cole house for anything valuable to steal. When they failed to locate Thomas Coles' gold, the raiders resorted to bullying and then beating the old man, who refused to reveal the whereabouts of his wealth. They went as far as shooting Uncle Rence to death and then stringing Tommie Cole up by his neck from a rafter until he was nearly unconscious , but all to no avail. Realizing that the old man would not budge from his silence, the enraged raiders rode away and left Thomas Cole lying near death with the rope still around his throat. Relatives of the Cole family came to the house quickly after the Raiders departed, but Tommies' injuries were far to severe and he died on April 29, 1865. He was buried behind his homestead in the Cole Family Cemetery. Thomas Coles' son, Thomas Jr., lost his life during the War himself. The house Tommie Cole was building when he was murdered was eventually completed by the family, but was later dismantled and two smaller homes were built from it. The location of Thomas Coles' buried gold is still a mystery to this very day, though treasure hunters have searched for it in vain for many years.
I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow
Feb 16, 2007 12:13 PM
Nov 27, 2009, 10:27 PM
Re: Tommie Cole's Flasks of Gold ;Coffee County, Alabama
You will not believe this, but through my research, I have found out this is actually within walking distance from my home. I will have the ole Bounty hunter out in the fields this weekend.
Spend each day as if it were your last. Love hard, work hard, laugh long, party hard, and never quit!!!
Search tags for this page
buried gold in coffee county alabama
cole bridge coffee county alabama
cole plantation alabama
gold found in alabama
gold in coffee county alabama
indian artifacts in coffee county alabama
legends of coffee county alabama
metal detecting on pea river
thomas cole coffee county alabama
thomas delorum cole
Click on a term to search for related topics.