Cole attended public school before enrolling in Findlay College of Findlay, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1896.
From 1897 to 1899, Cole served as the deputy clerk of Hancock County, Ohio. During this period he also began to study law, attending Ohio Northern University College of Law. Cole was admitted to the bar in 1900 and commenced practice in Findlay, Ohio.
Cole was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-ninth, Sixtieth, and Sixty-first Congresses (March 4, 1905-March 3, 1911).
He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1910 to the Sixty-second Congress. He resumed the practice of law in Findlay, Toledo, and Columbus, Ohio.
Legal adviser to the Comptroller of the Currency in 1912 and 1913. Cole served as chairman of the speakers" bureau for the Republican National Committee in 1916.
He was also chosen as a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1916, 1924, and 1928.
Cole enlisted in the United States Army on June 6, 1917, serving overseas as major and lieutenant colonel in the 37th Infantry Division, taking part in many major engagements. Following the termination of hostilities, Cole became one of the founders of the American Legion at Paris on February 15, 1919. He was honorably discharged from the service April 6, 1919 and thereafter returned to civilian life.
Death and legacy
Sustained serious injuries in an automobile accident near Parkman, Ohio, from which he died in Warren, Ohio, on October 15, 1932.
He was interred in Maple Grove Cemetery, Findlay, Ohio.
He served as member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1900 to 1904.