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Clark Decision: Celebrating 150 Years of Iowa School Desegregation: Justice Chester Cole

The author of the Clark decision, Justice Chester Cicero Cole's made many significant contributions to the Iowa legal landscape.


Chester Cole

Chester C. Cole

Drake University. Quax 1912, p. 135.

Chester Cole

The author of the Clark decision, Justice Chester Cicero Cole's significant contributions to the Iowa legal landscape extend beyond his service on the Iowa Supreme Court. Justice Cole helped establish both of Iowa’s law schools, advocated for black suffrage, and produced legal scholarship.

Cole is pictured below (first row, center), surrounded by Drake's 1905 law students, in front of Cole Hall, the original campus home of the Drake Law School.

Cole Hall, 1905, with Cole and Drake Law School students

Read more about the life of this influential jurist:

Clark on Education

From Cole's Presidential address to the Pioneer Lawmakers' Association of Iowa Reunion of 1913 (at 6). 

"The early wise and comprehensive provisions for education in the common school, high school, and colleges led to an early recognition of our lowest percentage of illiteracy among the states. At an early day in our history I was led to investigate the purposes for which our taxes were levied and expended. That investigation developed that substantially 68 per cent of all the taxes levied within the state were for the purpose of education. The education thus provided for and actually imparted in our schools may well be regarded as the most potent factor in our development and well being."

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