Born: De­cem­ber 26, 1813, Scotch Plains, New Jer­sey.

Died: May 3, 1891, at the Hotel Del Mon­te, near Mon­te­rey, Ca­li­for­nia.

Buried: Wil­low Grove Ce­me­te­ry, New Bruns­wick, New Jer­sey.



Educated by his par­ents in­i­tial­ly, Coles be­gan teach­ing La­tin and Greek in Plain­field, New Jersey, around 1830.

He at­tend­ed the Un­i­ver­si­ty of the City of New York; the Col­lege of Phy­si­cians and Sur­geons, New York; and the Jef­fer­son Me­di­cal Col­lege, Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia, where he gra­du­at­ed in 1835. He be­gan prac­tic­ing me­di­cine in New­ark, New Jer­sey, in 1836.

Coles was well a tra­veled man, vis­it­ing Eur­ope se­ver­al times, and st­udied both an­cient and mo­dern lang­uag­es. He was one of the found­ers of the New­ark, New Jer­sey, lib­r­ary, and the New Je­rsey His­tor­i­cal So­ci­e­ty, and served on the New­ark Board of Ed­u­ca­tion for 12 years. In 1866, he be­came pre­si­dent of the New Jer­sey Me­di­cal So­ci­e­ty.

Coles re­ceived sev­er­al ac­a­de­mic de­grees, inc­lud­ing an AM from Rut­gers Col­lege, New Bruns­wick, New Jer­sey; a PhD from Lew­is­burg Un­i­ver­si­ty (now Buck­nell) (1860); and an LLD from Prince­ton Un­i­ver­si­ty, New Jer­sey (1871)