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Cool, Dr. Jonathan

Was a native of New Jersey, and a classmate of the late Judge Blackford, at Princeton College, where he graduated with high honors.

    He studied medicine, and received a diploma at one of the Eastern institutions.  He was, when very young, appointed a surgeon in the United States army, and was for some time stationed at the barracks in Newport, Kentucky.

    Dr. Cool was a man of fine native as well as acquired abilities, but, like many others placed in similar situations, fell a victim to intemperance.  The Doctor had descended too far in dissipation to practice after he came to this place.  He lived with his mother, about three miles north east of the city.  When Dr. Cool first came here, in 1821, Dr. Coe was the only physician well enough to practice, the three other doctors, Mitchell, Dunlap and Scudder, being all sick and unable to render any assistance whatever.  Dr. Cool soon made the discovery that Dr. Coe gave very large doses of medicine, and it was true. Dr. Coe went on the principle that if a "little was good, a great deal was better," and acted upon that hypothesis.  This fact elicited from Dr. Cool this couplet:

        "Oh, Doctor Coe, oh, Doctor Coe,
        What makes you dose your patients so?"

    There was no person better known to the citizens, from 1821 to 180 (about the time of his death), than Doctor Jonathan Cool.  He was very fond of quoting from the poets, and ever had a quotation at the end of his tongue to illustrate anything he said.  He was, I suppose, one of the most gentlemanly drinking men we have ever had in the place, never using vulgar language under any circumstance.  If he would borrow anything it would be with the understanding that it was never to be returned.  His word he valued very highly, and on no occasion would he violate it.  He went to a liquor store on a Saturday evening and asked for a bottle of whisky [sic], which was given him, on condition that he would not open it until he reached his mother's spring.  After arriving at the spring, he cooled his mouth with water, and prepared for a "good jorum," as he expressed it but found the bottle contained only water.  After this he never went to that store again, and they lost his custom.

    There was nothing they could have done to him that would make him so angry as to deceive him.  He made it a point of honor never to deceive any person, no matter how much he needed a drink or anything else.  Some persons, who stand high in the social scale, might have learned a lesson from him in that respect that would be valuable to them.

    The old citizens will recognize in this one of his oft repeated quotations:

            "Just like love is yonder rose,
            Heavenly fragrance round it glows,
            But underneath a briar grow--
            Just like love."




Nowland, John H. B., “Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis, with Short Biographical Sketches of Its Early Citizens, and of a Few of the Prominent Business Men of the Present Day,” 1870, pp. 102104.
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